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Victoria’s Lake Como: Ambitious plan to transform coal mines into tourist hub

Victorian coal mines could become a tourist attraction rivaling the Great Lakes in the US, or Italy’s Lake Como, under a bold new plan.

A state government plan proposes filling the Latrobe Valley’s coal mines with water, and turning the region into a world class food and wine hub.

A ‘draft preliminary land use’ document suggests rehabilitating the Hazelwood, Loy Yang and Yallourn coal pits for the tourist site.

Sue Smethurst, chair of Destination Gippsland, said there are still many obstacles to overcome before the coal mines become a tourist hub, but the plan is promising.

“There is actually water that comes in naturally from a couple of rivers nearby, but that is all still to be decided,” she said.

“The site itself is actually a fantastic location. Around the obvious eyesore of the mine there is beautiful farmland, rolling hills, there’s national parks nearby. It is literally only one hour from the snow and one hour from the surf, which is the only place in my understanding, in Australia, to have that sort of capability.

“It just needs something done with it, and I say bring it on!”

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The plan prompted Ross and John to ask: If we’ve got Lake Como at Morwell, what else have we got that we just didn’t know we had?

Victoria’s answer to famous landmarks around the world:

  • Great Wall of China — Rabbit proof fence
  • Golden Gate Bridge — Bolte Bridge
  • Macchu Pichu — The 1000 Steps
  • Berlin Wall — Franco Cozzo mural in Footscray
  • Amalfi Coast — Mornington Peninsula