FOR a community of less than 500 people, Rokewood certainly bats above its average.
The town, which is a similar distance from main centres Ballarat, Geelong and Colac, has a range of amenities that make it a popular place for those who live there.
A primary school and kindergarten cater for young families, as does a range of sporting organisations, including cricket, tennis and golf clubs. A police station, general store, RSL club and local watering hole, the Rokewood Hotel, are some of the other points of interest.
But it’s perhaps the Rokewood-Corindhap Football Netball Club that keeps the town’s heart beating through the winter months, with membership of more than 400 people.
The Grasshoppers, as they are known, field teams for boys and girls of all ages and the clubrooms are a popular social meeting point for the locals.
Well known around town is Mildred McKay and her husband John.
The couple own a farm in Corindhap and have called Rokewood home for more than 60 years.
Mildred, who spoke to The Courier during a scrapbooking day at the community health centre, is now in her 80s and says it’s a lovely place to live.
“There's lots and lots of new people now,” she said.
Municipality: Golden Plains Shire
First settled: 1852
Main industries: Agriculture
Claim to fame: Rokewood is home to giant pig Wilbur, who has been known to stop traffic from his pen at the town's main junction, where roads lead to Ballarat, Colac and Geelong. Wilbur even has his own Facebook page - the Rokewood Pig Appreciation Society.
Five fast facts:
1. History of gold mining in the Rokewood area dates back as far as 1852.
2. Rokewood was gazetted as a township in 1852, which was about the time of the gold rush at nearby Corindhap.
3. In 1857, a permanent constable was assigned to the town and was followed by the establishment of a police station.
4. Rokewood had a court of petty sessions, a post and money order office, two schools and the Rokewood and Victoria hotels in 1865.
5. Rokewood Football Club merged with neighbours Corindhap to become Rokewood-Corindhap in 1931. The team now plays in the Central Highlands competition.
Five things to do:
1. Attend the annual Rokewood Tractor Pull, which was created by members of the Rokewood-Corindhap Football Netball Club as a fundraising venture on behalf of community groups in the town.
2. Go for a meal or drink at the Rokewood Hotel, the only hotel operating in the town but still open seven days a week.
3. Have a round at the Rokewood Golf Club, a nine-hole course with sand greens.
4. Watch the Grasshoppers play at the Rokewood Recreation Reserve every second Saturday during the football/netball season.
5. Check out the dry stone walls - built by settlers in the 1800s - along the Rokewood-Shelford Road.