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The Maffra Visitor Information Centre serves this beautiful country town of approximately 5,300 people, situated 220 kilometres east of Melbourne in the Wellington Shire. It is the centre of the rich Macalister agricultural, pastoral and dairying irrigation area. Situated on the Macalister River, this friendly town with its delightful tree-lined main street has a great deal to offer those who visit this area.The Maffra Visitor Information Centre is housed in the late-Victorian designed Maffra Courthouse which retains most of its original features including the Baltic pine-lined ceiling and floorboards, the Magistrate's bench and marble fireplaces and all doors, doorways and interior woodwork.In the specially designed display cases, you will see an important collection of mineral specimens, gemstones and fossils, the result of a lifetime of collection by Italian immigrant, Pino Deriu. Leaving Italy in 1952, this fully qualified accountant came to Australia and soon joined his brother in prospecting for opal around Coober Pedy. This led to a lifelong love of fossicking and trading minerals and gemstones. Apart from a wide and fully representative range of Australian specimens, his collection also contains extremely rare items from Europe, Africa, North and South America, Asia and Asia Minor. Pino's preference was to leave most of the specimens he collected in their natural state rather than have them cut, polished or mounted, which adds to the scientific value of this amazing collection.Call the Maffra Visitor Information Centre and they can provide you with information to assist you in your travel through Maffra, the nearby Victorian high country and the surrounding Macalister irrigation district and to make your stay more enjoyable. The volunteers look forward to making your visit a memorable one.