GIPPSLAND folk artist Harry Hookey (aka harry hook is real), has partnered with Visit Victoria and Music Victoria to soundtrack the region through a playlist featuring local music artists.

The initiative celebrates Victoria’s talented musicians and performing arts culture. It is supported by Visit Victoria’s ‘Stay close, go further’ campaign, encouraging Victorians to turn the music up, hit the road less travelled and explore more of what the state has to offer.

Mr Hookey, who grew up in Cowwarr and now resides in Sale, was given the opportunity to curate for the Gippsland playlist.

“Visit Victoria contacted me and they were looking for a musical bend to local tourism,” Mr Hookey said.

“They wanted songs to road trip to when you come through Gippsland. They asked for my pick of places I love here and music to go along with it. It’s pairing music with scenery.

“The brief was that it had to be Victorian artists. I’ve chosen mainly Gippsland artists themselves or artists that have been inspired by the region.”

Paul Kelly and Archie Roach appear on the playlist, who have songs inspired by Gippsland.

“Archie Roach travelled through Gippsland a lot, I think in the early days,” Mr Hookey said.

“It’s an honour to be asked to do this playlist. Gippsland is a great place to visit, and even for locals, there’s so much to see on a road trip.”

Other artists on the playlist include Machine Translations, Elly Poletti, Kutcha Edwards, Michael Waugh, Two Last Names, Bumpy, Janie Gordon, The Spaghetti Stains and Olivia Lay.

“Gippslanders are an unexpectedly diverse bunch, united by the natural wonder of the place they call home,” Mr Hookey said.

“This place is big, mountains-to-sea big, and ancient, culturally and ecologically ancient. I have chosen an eclectic bunch of songs by eclectic Gippslanders or people inspired by Gippsland that meander through the broad spectrum of emotions you can feel in a place this big and this ancient.

“I don’t like stuff that’s all the same, I like versatility. It’s a perfect road trip playlist.”

The initiative celebrates Victoria’s talented musicians and performing arts culture.

Visit Victoria chief executive Brendan McClements said the collaboration was an excellent way to bring the regions and their diversity to life.

“Each of Victoria’s regions is distinct in culture, landscape and creativity, we’re encouraging Victorians to jump in the car, drive somewhere new and be inspired by our regional sounds,” he said.

Music Victoria chief executive Simone Schinkel said she was delighted with the outcome.

“It’s been a real collaboration that manages to bring to life all that is special about the state – the people, the places and the music,” she said.

“With so much local talent here in Victoria, why would you look anywhere else?”

Mr Hookey, who also performs in the band Desert Alien, says that Gippsland is a great place to write songs.

“You can’t go past the scenery. The magnitude of the place, there’s something very freeing about the big open sky, the mountains, the ocean. It helps the spirit open up,” he said.

“I like that Gippsland is a musical blank campus. You wouldn’t say there’s one defining feature of Gippsland music. I know people who do hip-hop, one does classical and another does grunge stuff. I like that diversity.”

Mr Hookey is working on an album that he aims to release in October as harry hook is real.

The other five playlists feature Melbourne, the Murray, Grampians, High Country and the Great Ocean Road. All six playlists were launched on World Music Day and are available via Music Victoria’s Spotify and via

Check out the full playlist on Spotify.

Harry shows us around Gippsland

HERE are Harry’s top spots to check out in Gippsland, plus the best music on the local scene.

1. Tarra Bulga National Park

As my kids describe it, Tarra Bulga is our very own Jurassic Park. It’s an ancient rainforest, lush all year round, and home to the consummate lyrebird who can (and will) mimic near any sound. Be sure to stop in at the Tarra-Bulga Guest House in Balook for a great feast by firelight and some terrific cocktails, fuelled by local Gippsland liquor.

2. Walhalla

It’s no coincidence that this place was named after Viking heaven. I’d be quite happy to wind up here. In 1860, Walhalla’s population was 4000, thanks to gold fever. Now the permanent population is about 20. I’m talking Australia’s most picturesque cemetery, spooky ghost tours, and a trip that will take you 200 metres into the belly of a mountain. Be sure to bring your footy and have a kick at Australia’s highest altitude oval, too.

Harry Hookey

3. The Gippsland Lakes

There’s something unique about the water in the Gippsland Lakes. The colours, especially at dawn or twilight, would blow Monet’s mind. Just ask Brendan Sims – he’s an artist friend of mine and has painted the lakes exclusively for the last 40 years. The lake system is expansive and you can’t really go wrong anywhere, but the views around Paynesville and Raymond Island at twilight are particularly enchanting. Also try Marley Point or Lake Tyers at dawn. Why not hire a Bulls cruiser and just explore them afloat?

4. Live Music

If you’re in Gippsland on a Saturday night, you need to check out one of our great live music venues. Heading east? The Waterwheel Beach Tavern is an iconic venue, right on the edge of Lake Tyers. In the heartland? Live at the Bundy is an old country hall just outside Sale, which has been decked out with state-of-the-art PA. Down south? Archies Creek Hotel is a great music venue with an eclectic roster. I played a gig at the Regent Theatre in Yarram recently and it’s a beautiful old place. Yarram’s a great old town and a pleasant surprise for anyone who drives through and checks out the murals.

5. Gippsland Art Gallery

Behind the heritage-listed brutalist exterior of the Port of Sale building on Sale’s main drag, you’ll find the visionary Gippsland Art Gallery. It’s got Gippsland’s greatest paintings, sculptures, textiles and prints, as well as some of the nation’s best touring exhibitions. Make sure to come back regularly, because the exhibitions are always changing!

The other five playlists feature Melbourne, the Murray, Grampians, High Country and the Great Ocean Road.