Lake draws the crowds

YARRAWONGA’S adopted son, Brendan Fevola, has dubbed it “God’s Country” and faithful visitors say he might not be far off.

For another year Yarrawonga pilgrims have turned their noses up at tourist meccas such as the Gold Coast and headed lakeside for their holidays.

Chris Crawford, at the Yarrawonga-Mulwala Visitor Information Centre said this year’s crowd seemed on par with recent seasons, but some had packed up ahead of this weekend’s forecast heatwave.

“It has been extremely busy. The town has been chocked,” Ms Crawford said.

“I did a drive down the street the other day and it took me about 10 minutes to get from one block to the next.”

Most of those who come to the visitor centre are from Melbourne or Victoria, but they do get some families coming from further afield.

They include Adolfo Salvatore and his wife and children who make the trip to Yarrawonga from their home on the Gold Coast to escape the crowds every two years.

“There’s extra space to stretch out but you’re also able to enjoy the day without fighting for a spot,” he said.

“Every time we come down here we always seem to find a place to put the gear down.”

Hoppers Crossing’s Jason Secoulidis has been coming to Yarrawonga almost every year since he was seven or eight years old.

He is now 38.

Mr Secoulidis has ventured to Queensland twice for the festive season but it rained.

In Yarrawonga, he says, it never rains.

When he was young he remembers swimming from morning to night.

Asked if he agreed with Fevola’s assessment of the town, Mr Secoulidis said the footballer he was close to the mark.

“If you like water, it’s definitely the place to be,” he said.

Ms Crawford said she didn’t think the “Fev factor” had affected visitor numbers over Christmas and New Year, but she said it could have given them a boost during the football season.

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