Discover regional tastes & crafted beverages
After building a ferry to cross the Murray, Maiden constructed a simple wooden inn on higher ground and began welcoming both travellers and settlers alike to share a drink and a meal together. It was a simple establishment and he named it accordingly—Junction Inn.
Today, in the spirit of the man who hoped to bring the banks of a mighty river – and the people who called them home – a little closer together, Junction gathers locally
sourced food, handpicked wines and refreshing craft beers to offer travellers from near and far.
The venue—like the area itself—is a place where the rustic charm of colonial days and the comfort of contemporary culture meet. It’s now the junction between timeless elegance and modern sophistication.
From the beginning - the traditional owners of the land, the Yorta Yorta people, call the region home.
James Maiden arrives at the junction of the Campaspe and Murray rivers and quickly establishes a punt to encourage cattle trading.
Captain William Randell arrived in the paddle-steamer ‘Mary Ann’ becoming the first person to travel upstream from Goolwa.
James Maiden establishes a larger punt - known as Maiden’s Punt - one mile east of present day Moama.
The Junction Inn - built by James Maiden - obtains a license and begins trade.
Henry Hopwood establishes Hopwood’s Ferry - his own punt on the Victorian side of the Murray directly across from Maiden’s Punt.
Maiden’s Punt is officially renamed Moama.
Hopwood’s Ferry is officially renamed Echuca. James Maiden sells the Junction Inn to Jeremiah Rolfe.
James Maiden buys the Junction Inn back from Jeremiah Rolfe with the intention of ‘conducting it in a very superior manner with reduction of charges.’
Moama’s growth slows as the cattle market cannot compete with tough competition from Echuca.
A rail link is established with Melbourne and sees a decrease in paddle-steamer trading.
Temporary wooden bridge spanning the Murray River is built.
Iron Bridge is completed.
First Moama council meeting held on 16th March.
Moama municipality becomes part of the Shire of Murray.
The legend of the Echuca Moama region plays a leading role in Junction’s story. The traditional owners of the land, the Yorta Yorta people, have lived on this unique stretch of forest-wetlands for thousands of years and still regard the Murray River as the life source and the spirit of the Yorta Yorta Nation.
The growth of both Echuca and Moama came riding in on the wake of the paddlesteamer, but it was the fierce rivalry of two men that gave these two settlements their individual and enduring character. The region isn’t just rich in wonderful food and wine—it’s rich in a history that is as powerful as the Murray itself.
Ah coffee – one of life’s essential pleasures… or would we call it one of life’s necessities?
Junction is very excited to welcome Mansfield Coffee Merchants, which is the brainchild of Mathew Picone, who works alongside his wife Lee and the rest of their dedicated team. Mat and the crew have come on board in August to supply us with our locally produced and delicious roasted coffee.
How long has Mansfield Coffee been operating?
We opened the main café in Mansfield on Queens Birthday weekend of 2014, so 5 years now. Our wholesale operation has been going since day one but has had its own dedicated team for about 3 years now when we opened our roastery in Mansfield in 2016.
How did Mansfield Coffee get started? What was the inspiration?
The inspiration was to get a bit of Melbourne in the beautiful town of Mansfield. Wanting to roast specialty grade coffee and showcase a high level of food, coffee and service in the region. Also to raise my family in such a great place whilst doing what I love.
What did the you do previous to starting Mansfield Coffee?
I have always been in hospitality. Since seeing my uncle and auntie run a pub when I was a kid I knew it was what I wanted to do, I loved it. I have worked in a range of restaurants, cafes and bars but was up at Mt Buller as food and beverage manager at the chalet hotel for a number of years, this is where I fell in love with the area. A few years roasting coffee in Melbourne and then the right opportunity in Mansfield and here we are.
Because it is delicious! Also I love seeing people when they try a good coffee and introducing them to other styles of brewing and coffee origins they may not be familiar with.
Is there a specific dish or way you would recommend to use Mansfield Coffee, or other products?
Our coffees work great in espresso but we also roast a range of other styles such as filter coffee for aeropress, pour over coffee and more. These are exciting and different to what most people think of coffee. The flavours are amazing. Of course I always return for a solid kick from an espresso though.
What’s your number one tip for the ultimate coffee experience?
Don’t just smash your coffee down, enjoy it and look for flavours. Try new things and ask questions.
Where would you take a visitor for an essential country food experience?
I think the landscape of what a “country food” experience is changing. No longer is it just a good old fashioned pie or shank, there is so much on offer now with great chefs moving out of the city looking for something more relaxed and allowing them to express themselves more. Places like Gracebrook Vineyard in the King Valley, The Mill Inn in Merrijig and our very own Mansfield Coffee Merchant are doing great food with a personal twist using local ingredients.
If you could visit any city for a day’s eating and drinking experience, where would it be and why?
I love London and would love to head back there to see what is happening in the dining scene after being away for many years. Otherwise I love returning to Melbourne and seeing what is going on there in the café and bar scene. I love my wine and gin so I still try to keep a finger on the pulse where I can.
What other local artisans or producers do you admire? Why?
We are so lucky to have a great range of local producers now. We formed the Mansfield Producers Group a few years back to support our local producers and people such as Long Lane Capers, Jillicious, Heirloom Natural Veggies. I love bespoke ingredients and being able to highlight them on our menus, we live in a great spot.
If you had to choose your last meal, what would it be?
A Wagyu burger from Tomahawks in Bright. Best burger ever!
Altis have long been considered leaders in their field and were excited to bring their vision to life at Junction. With a focus on creating intimate pockets – a cocktail lounge, cellar room and wine bar, and an inviting restaurant overlooking lush gardens and water ponds – Altis’ design provides the flexibility of an exciting venue experience. Embracing the rustic and industrial aesthetic of the area, they envisioned a contemporary space with a relaxed, inviting atmosphere offering a range of dining and drinking experiences.
Clever combinations of repurposed bricks, packing crates and verandah poles, contrasted against the beautiful polished tiles, bespoke murals and finished joinery, helped Altis refine an already uniquely individual space.
Abeo and Altis have always shared a special relationship with each other and with likeminded venues such as Junction. Inside, Abeo took a contemporary approach by incorporating aspects of current industrial trends as well as more relaxed and gentle design elements to bring a sophisticated edge and atmosphere to Junction.
They gave the interior design both a modern and comfortable vibe just as the natural materials and earthy palette they selected have brought warmth and texture to the space. Thanks to Abeo, Junction is stylish, elegant and inviting – inside and out – and is set to become a destination for locals and visitors during the day and long into the evening.
Maddie Sharrock was engaged to produce a series of concrete vessels that would form the basis of the branded artwork. Her tactile, layered pieces were designed to tell the journey of the river and its importance to the region.
The finished piece became a modern interpretation of the riverbed, the layers of stone, sand and sediment.