After a weekend in Gippsland I am once again stoked to be involved in rural medicine. Already rural medicine has taken me from Wellington to Queenstown, to Thailand, up Mount Ruapehu, into the Wairarapa and now Australia. And the possibilities keep evolving.

Gippsland revealed a rugged coastline, golden beaches, aboriginal culture, national parks and awesome people. Saturday took us to Orbost, a rural town at the entrance to Snowy River National Park. Snowy River is world famous in Australia, for its stunning rivers, valleys, mountains and gorges, not to mention Banjo Paterson’s ballad The Man from Snowy River. Two days barely scratching the surface of Gippsland’s many attractions. Winter brings snow to the area, and summer opens up the many surrounding beaches and lakes to swimming, surf, and sailing.

The simple cultural nuances of rural Victoria were fun also. Watching the local Aussie rules match and eating “Kanga Bangers” (kangaroo sausages) were cheesy pleasures, but the novelty was fun and I really enjoyed teaching new friends about rugby as we watched the Super XV final (not to mention it had been shunned to the back corner screen of the RSL bar!).

The great locations coupled with the wide-ranging skills that rural doctors develop; the world is at a rural doctor’s fingertips. Rural practitioners’ opportunities are endless and it is no secret that many rural areas are hard to source, so they are in high demand also. An exciting prospect!

I have had it in Gore, where the trout fishing is renowned, and Gippsland once again affirms that rural communities’ and environments’ hold hidden gems just begging to be explored. I’m only a student and already I’ve encountered some awesome ones. I’m extremely thankful to the Pat Farry Trust and Queenstown Medical Centre for the opportunity to explore another rural location. I can’t wait to find the next diamond in the rough!