|Elevation:||22 m (72 ft)|
|Local Government Area:||Shire of Wellington|
|State District:||Gippsland East|
Stratford is a town on the Avon River in Victoria, Australia, 232 kilometres east of Melbourne on the Princes Highway in Shire of Wellington. At the 2006 census, Stratford had a population of 1950. The town services the local regional community and travellers on the Princes Highway. Stratford's principal industries are dairying, sheep, cattle and horse breeding and vegetable crops. The town has numerous coffee shops and cafes, a cellar door for a local winery, Design Gallery, model railway shop, a pub, parks and playgrounds for car travellers to break their journey.On the Avon River by Stratford
The origin of the town's name is unclear. Many believe it derives from Stratford-upon-Avon in England, William Shakespeare's birth place, a view which is lent credence by the fact that it is located by the river Avon. Locals have embraced the connection with Shakespeare and a Shakespeare on the River Festival has been a successful annual event since 1989, incorporating works of Shakespeare and modern Australian plays. In 1998 the town formally became a member of the Stratford Sister Cities program to promote friendship and cultural exchange between participating countries. Participation is restricted to towns called "Stratford" that have a Shakespeare Theatre or Festival.
The River Avon has a local reputation as a source for river polished gemstones, particularly agate, and for rapidly rising during increased rainfall upstream.
Three kilometres south-east of Stratford is a 56-hectare park called Knob Reserve, part of the Gunai/Kurnai Bataluk Cultural Trail, which winds its way through East Gippsland, highlighting the places of cultural significance to the first inhabitants. There are picnic facilities and an annual country music festival is held at Knob Reserve.
Stratford has a railway station on the Bairnsdale railway line, which was reopened for passenger use in 2004. The Howitt Bicycle Trail passes through Stratford.
The town has an Australian rules football team competing in the North Gippsland Football League.
The town has a cricket team competing in the Sale/Maffra Cricket Association. They have won 4 A Grade premierships since reforming in 1978