A small town of only a couple thousand on the coast of Victoria, an hour and a half’s drive south of Melbourne. A tight-knit community, but not without it’s problems.
Barunga doesn’t have a wide variety of amenities, but it serves well what the town needs: a cafe/bar/social hangout called Old Joe’s, a surf shop, a marina, small grocery store, garage, and restaurant. The beach draws many from further inland as a good local surf-spot.
The town has always had strong connections with the military as there is a Royal Australian Navy base on the edge of town. There is sometimes conflict between natives and soldiers, particularly within the school, but mostly they live in harmony, with the town offering support to those serving on the base.
‘The Compound’ is a gated community comprised of around 80 homes, a sub section of a larger housing estate built at the same time. The Navy had bought up this end of the estate forty years earlier due to a housing shortage for its servicemen serving on base. A reduction in the number of soldiers on base at any point has meant they have been able to sell off two-thirds of the houses cheaply to ex-military families wanting to stay in the area or active soldiers whose families no longer wanted to move with them, while retaining some for temporary servicemen and women.