playground in the Heyfield Apex Park
Small timber town at the southern extremity
of the Snowy Mountains range.
Heyfield is located 203 km east of Melbourne and
58 metres above sea level. In 1841 James
McFarlane selected a pastoral run in the area.
He named the district 'Hayfield' after recording
that it looked "like a field of waving corn". A
settlement was developed when prospectors,
headed for the goldfields, began to stop there.
The first town blocks were auctioned in 1860.
In 1866, McFarlane's property was taken over
by wealthy pastoralist and one-time member of
the Queensland Legislative Council, James Tyson.
Tyson was dissatisfied when he was refused
compensation for a bridge, built across the
Thomson River in 1878, which encroached upon his
land. As a result, he erected a barrier at one
end of the structure. A group of infuriated
locals, led by a burly African American named
'Freeman', fought 'Hungry' Tyson's men and
destroyed the gate. The "Battle of Heyfield
Bridge", as it became known, was followed by
free beer at an old bark pub and became the
source of the folk song "Hold The Bridge".
Today, Heyfield relies upon the dairy and
timber industries for its prosperity. It is the
principal source of treated hardwood in
Victoria. A timber festival is held each year
and some of its mills are open to the public.
Farming in Heyfield is assisted by water from
the Glenmaggie Reservoir where you can boat,
swim, sail, waterski or fish for trout. It is
only a few minutes drive to the north. Poet John
Shaw Neilson helped to build the weir in the
1920s and composed several poems while in the
Things to see:
Roman Catholic Church
St Michael's Roman Catholic Church and the
Near the centre of town is the delightful, and
shady, Apex Park which is notable for its
outstanding timber children's playground. There
is also a huge woolybutt log which has been
placed at the edge of the park as a suitable
symbol of one o f the town's major industries.
Over the road is the attractive all-brick St
Michael's Roman Catholic Church.
The Scottish origins of Glenmaggie's name are
connected with the cattle runs of the
MacFarlanes. The initial township was flooded
when the Lake Glenmaggie reservoir was
constructed although some its buildings, such as
the Mechanics Institute, St John's Roman
Catholic Church, the town hall and the Church of
England, were saved and transferred to their
present locations in the new town site. Some of
the buildings at the town of Glenmaggie, such as
the Mechanics Institute and St John's Roman
Catholic Church, were moved to their current
location from the site where the reservoir was
constructed. It is located 11 km north of
Located 28 km north of Heyfield there are a
number of interesting bushwalks in this largely
untouched area. Ben Cruachan is 839 m high and
the area around it is typical of the wild and
inhospitable southern extremities of the Snowy