How did the Tour de Tarwin start ?

During a casual walk and ride in 2006, a community minded group saw the possibilities of an event that could link even closer the twin villages Tarwin Lower and Venus Bay in South Gippsland Victoria, and bring together the local and holidaying communities in a friendly non competitive way. That idea became a reality with this fun and healthy annual family event held on Easter Saturday over the past six years, and growing exponentially from a participation rate of 270 in 2007 to close to 1400 in 2016.

Over more recent years the event has grown beyond the borders of the now tradtional 6km and 9km Tour De Tarwin family walk and bike ride to encompass a series of fun and healthy family activities that are dotted across the Easter holiday weekend calendar.

The success of Tour de Tarwin lies in its inclusiveness of people of all ages and levels of fitness, and drawing together the highly compatible themes of community, health and leisure in a safely managed environment.

A highly competent organising committee has garnered significant sponsorship and has worked hard to make the event interesting and sustainable, with profits of $17,500 for 2016 going to the Tarwin Lower CFA, the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and the Venus Bay Surf Life Savings Club.  Over $5000 of this was raised by a giant “CFA You Beaut” raffle, which requires a lot of organisation and hard work to procure the contents and to sell the tickets.  The high number of visitors to the area over the Easter holiday period is well capitalised upon.

The event has been successful in fostering community pride and ownership, and residents have been a powerful resource as goodwill ambassadors and volunteers for the many logistical roles that need to be filled. It has served to motivate other local groups to appreciate what can be done when working cohesively for a cause.

Support came from local businesses in the form of sponsorship and promotional support, mailing out flyers with their regular business material, for example.

The Tour is continually being commended in not only making the Tour de Tarwin Easter festival sustainable, but also for the positive recognition it has garnered for a beautiful part of the South Gippsland Shire in Victoria.