There are many places a town should be proud of and one for us is The Gippsland Vehicle Collection, Maffra Motor Museum. For a small town in Australia with a population of 5,000 people, it is amazing to think that a vehicle collection museum as beautiful and unique as this would call our little town of Maffra Victoria home.
When you visit the Gippsland Vehicle Collection you will be amazed at the amount of cars and they types that are displayed there. The biggest surprise will be that majority are locally owned and on display voluntarily from their owners. That is a feat in itself.
Where is the Gippsland Vehicle collection?
The Gippsland Vehicle Collection is located in Maffra Victoria, Australia.
The address for the Motor museum in Maffra is 1 Maffra-Sale Rd, Maffra VIC 3860
How was the Gippsland Vehicle Collection started in Maffra?
Like most great Aussie ideas The Gippsland Vehicle Collection was developed by 3 mates and 1 pub. After the Grand Prix Rally had been held in town they all had realised how many beautiful cars had been bought out from a life in their owners shed. The cars had proudly been brought out to show the world and the question was, how many could they be bought out more often? The idea of a Motor Museum was becoming a reality.
Surprisingly the Motor Museum started fast. An inspection of an old unused shed that was previously a dehydration plant that was lying vacant just within Maffra happened the next day.
It was large enough to house displays of cars and any other memorabilia that would be of interest. It was also a perfect spot as at the front was a large grassed area that could be used for parking, the possibilities of developing this area could be endless.
Over the next few months, meetings were held with Murray Goulburn to work out an arrangement for the lease of the shed. Finally, a ‘peppercorn’ lease was arranged and the home of The Gippsland Vehicle Collection had been found. Once the home for the Motor Museum was found there was a massive clean up needed.
The work on the Maffra Shed begins
As it had been left unused for many years windows needed to be boarded up, beams needed to be repaired and with the help of the local Maffra Fire Brigade and their fire hoses, a general clean up was underway! As you can tell there were plenty of people interested in the start of ‘The Shed’.
When was the Maffra Vehicle Collection opened?
The official opening for The Gippsland Vehicle Collection was on 14th of October 2006 and cars turned out in droves with their proud owners. Because of the large grassy area in front of the shed (and the beautiful Maffra weather on the day), there was plenty of room for extra cars to line up out the front that was not part of the official vehicle collection being housed on the inside of The Shed.
People from far and wide came to see what sort of cars had turned out, it was a huge success. And from there The Gippsland Vehicle Collection has gone in leaps and bounds. It quickly became one of the places to visit in Gippsland.
You may be asking how all of these cars can possibly be tracked down. A database was developed with members entering their car details onto it. This allows The Gippsland Vehicle Collection to contact the owner and ask if they are willing to ‘lend’ their car for display purposes.
Visit Gippsland Vehicle Collection
With the reputation that The Gippsland Vehicle Collection has gained itself, private collectors are more than happy to ‘lend’ their cars to the Motor Museum for a period of 4 months if their car is suitable for the current display. The displays are changed every three months in March, July and November each year with a grand opening held on a certain weekend.
This allows people to be constantly wowed by the ever-changing display at The Gippsland Vehicle Collection. As of 2019, the vehicle collection is adding a train to the platform that once carted goods away from the working shed in years gone by.
With a large number of members increasing over the years The Gippsland Vehicle Collection decided to become a part of The Club Plate Scheme. This is a permit scheme for people with cars over 25 years old so they can be driven for between 45 days and 90 days per year without having to pay full registration.
As some of these cars are works of art they are not taken out for a run to the shops on a regular basis so this has been a magnificent way to get people to visit Gippsland and share the beauty of the car they own.
Who runs the Gippsland Vehicle Collection?
With all good organisations, the volunteers are the backbone of this beauty. In many cases, it has accidentally become the go-to place for people with a common interest for support through hard times.
Not only can they bond over their passion for cars but they can check in on a mate who may need that extra care. People are welcomed with open arms and it is also with these people that they help out other worthy organisations.
The Gippsland Vehicle Collection and the Maffra community
There have been fundraisers for local families and for other larger organisations like The Breast Cancer Foundation and the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal. It has also been with these volunteers dedication that many improvements have been made to the shed to make it what it is today.
What facilities does the Gippsland Vehicle Collection have?
There is an outdoor area with a bbq and seating, disabled access, a small kitchen that can cater to basic food and an indoor eating area with toilets. The area out the front is also a great place for people to park their vans overnight with a dump point facility easily accessible. For people living in the town and seeing it as we drive past you can see how much goes into keeping it looking so good. It had been with all of this hard work and dedication that in the near future ‘The Shed’ will be owned by The Gippsland Vehicle Collection.
Do we recommend the Gippsland Vehicle Collection?
We have attended plenty of days held at The Gippsland Vehicle Collection. While we don’t know a lot about cars we have absolutely enjoyed our visits there. This is one of the best Gippsland tourist attractions.
Any children who attend the open days are always thought of and catered for. The cars that are on display are always unique and even if you are not ‘into’ cars you can always appreciate the pure workmanship that goes into every tiny little beautiful detail.
There are always plenty of children and families wandering chatting about which car is their favourite, especially when the Maffra weather is at its best. Another part of the display that they love is the clothing from the era the cars are from.
A local couple tries their hardest to match clothing and other items of interest to match the current display. It really adds a whole other dimension to the display within The Shed.
While we are sharing some pictures of what will be on display within The Shed we can’t tell you what other gems will be bought out for the day. There is nothing like getting down there and seeing the display for yourself.
Gippsland Vehicle Collection opening hours
Friday – Monday from 10 am to 4 pm
‘The Shed’ is open EVERY DAY of the school holidays if you are looking for a family-friendly activity.
Gippsland Vehicle Collection entry prices
Adults $15 – Concession $10 – Under 15 Free.
The Gippsland Vehicle Collection is an absolute credit to the hours and hours of love and care that its volunteers put into it. It is a definite must-see if you are in the area and if you are not it is worth a drive up to this way to see it.
How to get to the Gippsland Vehicle collection
It will depend on what direction you are coming from but getting to the Maffra Motor Museum is very easy and well worth the side trip off the Princes Highway
Directions from Melbourne
Take a detour to Maffra, turn off the highway 7.5 km east of Rosedale if coming from Melbourne
Directions from Barinsdale
Take the side road to Maffra just after the railway viaduct out of Stratford if coming from Bairnsdale. Look for signs that have the Motor Museum picture on them.
Need a place to stay near Maffra?
Looking for somewhere to stay nearby? below is an interactive accommodation map of Gippsland. Just zoom in and out and drag up and down to find you place to stay when visiting Gippsland
I hope you make it to this display on your Travels in Gippsland and if you can’t I hope you put it on your list of places to see in the future as it is one of the best Gippsland Attractions. If you would like any more information on The Gippsland Vehicle Collection please head over to their website. If you have questions I am sure they will be more than happy to answer any you have!
Click through to our Gippsland Museums page for more places to visit
Please find 2 more articles from Travels in Gippsland below for your reading enjoyment. Just click on the description to read.
Some more travel inspiration for your trip to Gippsland
About the Author
Mark has grown up and lived in the Gippsland area all his life. “I think I know a thing or 2 about Gippsland”. When Mark is not working he is out exploring the best of Gippsland with his wife and kids