County Gaol (formerly "J" Ward)
Girdlestone St, Ararat
Ph: (03) 5352 3357
Open: Monday-Sat, 11.00am tour
Sunday: 11am-3pm, hourly tours
Victorian school holidays, 11am-3pm hourly tours
Opened in 1861 as a country gaol equipped with gallows, this imposing
bluestone complex was taken over by the Ararat Mental Hospital as
'J Ward', to house the criminally and dangerously insane. Tours
include a visit to the memorabilia collection which documents the
history of penal and psychiatric reform in Ararat.
Corner Barkly & Vincent Sts, Ararat
Ph: (03) 5352 2181
Open: 9am-5pm, Mon-Fri
in 1898 by Ballarat architects, Smith and Molloy, the Ararat Town
Hall is in the style of the traditional Roman Revival. Set within
formal gardens. a fountain in memory of the Boer War was installed
Best's Wines Vineyard
1km off Western Highway, Great Western
Ph: (03) 5356 2250
Open: 10am-5pm Monday-Sat, public holidays. 12noon-4pm on Sundays
of holiday periods
Established in 1866, Best's is among Australia's oldest, family
owned wineries. This wooden slab winery overlooking the old vineyard,
features original hand dug cellars which continue to play an important
role and original 1860's vines still thriving today.
Big Hill Pioneer Memorial
Upper Main St, Stawell
Open: Daily, all hours
The western slopes of the hill were the site of the rich quartz
mines which stretched for about 2kms. The memorial was erected in
1838 to honor early residents.
Cobb & Co. Coach Station
Western Hwy, Buangor
Ph: (03) 5354 5504
Open: Daily 11am-8pm (key from Buangor Hotel, opposite)
A step back in time, the historic Cobb & Co. was built in 1869
and is one of the few still remaining from this era. The building
has been restored back to it's original design.
Do See View Farm
Ph: (03) 5384 2300.
Open to the public 10am-4 pm. Mon - Sat by prior arrangement.
Do See View Farm offers demonstrations of old farming methods used
by early farmers in the Wimmera region. Special features include:
chaft cutter, drag saw, ploughs and Clydesdale working horses.
18kms North of Dimboola (towards Jeparit) - Antwerp
Ph: (03) 5382 1832
Founded in 1858 by Maravian missionaries in an effort to Christianise
the local Aborigines. Today
it stands in ruins. It's pale pink stone buildings are surrounded
by wheat fields and bush. A tiny cemetery contains graves of Mission
Koories and Lutheran priests. An Antwerp Koorie, Bobby Kinnear,
who won the rich Stawell Gift foot race in 1883, is buried here.
His grave is marked by a Koorie monument erected in 1985 by the
Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Cooperative to remember local Koories.
The National Trust is currently preserving the building.
Harrow Historical Township
Blair St - Harrow
Ph: (03) 5588 1338
A picturesque little town settled on the banks of the Glenelg River.
Nestled beneath rolling hills and grand old red gums, it is reputed
to be one of the oldest inland towns in Victoria. In its heyday
it was a thriving town with three hotels, a courthouse, a log jail,
stabling for the trooper's horses, brickworks, Chinese market gardens
and a depot for Cobb & Co. Harrow today is a journey into living
The Harow Sound and Light Show has quickly become a major tourist
attraction for the small town. Developed entirely by members of
the community, The show sees the town come alive at night as you
mingle with characters typical of the 1800's. The Hermitage Hotel
(1884) is the starting point.
Mt Zero Rd, 14kms north of Halls Gap
Ph: (03) 5356 4381
Open: Daily for viewing
Many of Melbourne's landmark buildings, including the GPO, State
Library and Parliament House, were built from Grampians Freestone
dug from the former MT Difficult Quarry, famous for it's high yield.
Today, extraction of stone is only permitted for repairing buildings
originally made from Grampians Freestone.
Scott St, Warracknabeal
Ph: (03) 5398 1182 or (03) 5390 4236
Open: 2-4pm every day except Saturday
Historical Centre houses a unique collection of early documents,
personal possessions and household articles from the district. Housed
in the town's first State Savings Bank, the collection makes up
the history of a typical Wimmera town.
Horsham Historical River Walk
Barnes Blvd & Hocking Sts, Horsham
Ph: (03) 5382 1832
Set along the banks of the Wimmera River this leisurely one hour
walk takes in a signposted history of Horsham, including the old
weir and swimming pool, a number of old bridges, the old tramline
and Seeliger's Brewery.
John Shaw Neilson Cottage
Western Highway, Jaypex Park - Nhill
This restored and relocated cottage was once the home of one of
Australia's leading lyric poets, John Shaw Neilson, who spent much
of his life working on roads and farms in the Nhill district.
Langi Morgala Museum
50 Queen St, Ararat
Ph: (03) 5352 3502
Open: Weekends 1-4pm
Langi Morgala Museum houses the Mooney collection of Aboriginal
artifacts and district memorabilia. Formerly Carroll's Woolstore,
built in 1874, this museum building has been described as "one
of the most elaborate and sophisticated woolstores to be constructed
in the 19th century". Originally designed as a wool and grain
store, the Federal Government took it over in 1942 to function as
a military foodstore. It subsequently served as a parachute manufacturing
factory before the Ararat and District Historical society took it
over in 1970.
Natimuk Heritage Trail
Ph: (03) 53 821 832
Pick up a brochure detailing the early history of Natimuk and outlining
significant points of interest through this unique historical town.
Learn about Natimuk's colourful past and interesting contemporary
history, Brochures available from most Natimuk businesses and the
Horsham Visitor Information Centre.
Creek Courthouse Museum
46-48 Western Hwy, Stawell
Ph: (03) 5358 2380
Open: Wed-Fri 2-5pm
Built in 1860 the building was used for all courts until the building
of a new courthouse 20 years later. It now houses all the memorabilia
and records of Stawell.
Pleasant Creek Historic Precinct
52 Western Hwy, Stawell
Ph: (03) 5358 2314
This precinct is the centre of the old township of Stawell. Self-guided
walking tours of historical sites in the original township of Pleasant
Creek, includes gold discovery, monuments, and police barracks.
Seppelt Great Western Winery
Western Hwy, Great Western
Ph: (03) 5361 2239
Open: Daily 10am-5pm; tours Mon-Sat at 10.30, 1.30 and 3pm, Sundays
only during Victorian school and public holidays
The birthplace of Australia's greatest sparkling wines, Seppelt
Great Western Winery houses one of Australia's national treasures,
an intricate system of tunnels dug by goldminers in the 1860-70's
for cellars. Known as 'the drives' they house thousands of premium
sparkling wines and are used as much today as when they were first
Serviceton Railway Station
Serviceton was established after the Victorian and South Australian
governments decided to build a junction station midway between their
capitals, when the broad gauge railway line was being built (completed
in June 1886). Named after Sir James Service, a former Victorian
Premier, Serviceton was gazetted on January 1, 1887. The township
was to house and cater for Railway employees to enable them to work
within their own states.
The cost of the classified three level building was to be equally
shared by Victoria and South Australia. It was constructed of Horsham
made bricks on the then 'disputed territory' and completed in 1889.
Following the surveying of the border it was discovered that there
was a discrepancy of up to approximately 2km wide extending from
the Murray River and to the coast in the South. Both the Victoria
and South Australia claimed this area of land to be theirs. The
dispute was finally settled in 1914 in Victoria's favour.
The station completely closed in 1986 and since then has been voluntarily
operated by a committee of management to maintain and preserve it's
valuable history. Tours may be arranged through the general store
or post office.
Stawell Gift Hall of Fame
Main St, Central Park, Stawell
Ph: (03) 5358 1326
Open: Weekdays 9am-11am; Weekends by appointment
Houses the history of Australia's best known foot race with film,
photographs and equipment covering over a century of memorabilia.
Close by are the Central Park Gates, designed and built at the local
foundry in 1903 to commemorate district men who went to the Boer
War. It is the entrance to Central Park where the Stawell Gift has
been run since 1898.
Water Tower Museum
Opposite the railway station in Comyn St - Murtoa
Ph: (03) 53585 2254
Open: Sundays 2.00pm - 5pm
The Water Tower was built in 1868 with a capacity of around 182,000
litres and stands at 12.8m high. Today it houses an excellent collection
of the district's memorabilia and is also home to a taxidermy collection
of over 500 birds.
Wheatlands Warracknabeal Museum
Henty Hwy -Warracknabeal
Ph: (03) 5398 1616
Open: Sundays 2.00-5.00pm
Wheatlands Agricultural Machinery Museum has the most comprehensive
collection of farm machinery in Australia and is dedicated to the
collection, restoration and display of agricultural machinery used
over the past 100 years, with particular interest on the wheat industry.
Situated at Miriam, just 10km from Kaniva
Ph: (03) 5392 2418
A step back in time, this old fashioned store has been trading for
over 100 years.
Wimmera Mallee Museum
Charles St -Jeparit
Ph: (03) 5397 2101
Open: Mon-Fri 9.30am -12noon & 1-4pm; Weekends 1-4.30pm
Located on four acres of land adjacent to the Wimmera River the
Mallee Pioneer Museum is run by volunteers and displays
historical articles and machinery of the areas past, in sixteen
historic early buildings.
Overlooking the town and fields of Rainbow, is the National Trust
classified Yurunga Homestead (1910), a mansion built in the heady
days of Federation. Other notable sights include Pasco's Cash Store
(1928) and 10kms outside of town at Lake Hindmarsh an historic fisherman's
Water Tower Museum - Murtoa