Hopetoun is a small Mallee town providing the main gateway to the Wyperfeld National Park. The town was named after the seventh Earl of Hopetoun, first governor of Australia. Hopetoun was a frequent visitor to the home of Edward Lascelles, who was largely responsible for opening up the Mallee area.

Things to Do and See

Two historic homes classified by the National Trust are located in Evelyn St. Hopetoun House (1891), built for Lascelles and Corrong Homestead (1846), home of Peter McGinnis, the first European settler in the area.

There are few birds in the world as interesting and industrious as the Lowan, or Mallee fowl, a unique bird which in years past was in danger of being exterminated by a rapid increase in clearing, grazing and burning of the Mallee areas in Australia. Fortunately this bird is now protected in North Western Victoria by the Wyperfeld and Little Desert National Parks, as well as the Wathe Reserve, just north of the small township of Lascelles, which contains breeding populations of the Mallee fowl.

Other Points of Interest

Mallee mural and leadlight window in the Shire Offices, Lascelles St, depict the history of the Mallee.

Lake Lascelles offers good boating, swimming and picnicing.


Air Sports Festival -Feb.

Country Music Festival - Easter.

Agricultural Show - Oct.

Wyperfeld National Park

One of our most fascinating national parks, is Wyperfeld National Park, located in the flat, semi-arid north-western corner of Victoria. The beauty of the park lies in it's wide open spaces where emus and kangaroos can be seen, grazing at dawn and dusk in the dry lakebeds and creeks.

The central feature of this large 356,800ha park, is a chain of lake beds. The lakes only fill when the Wimmera River over-supplies Lake Hindmarsh to the south of Lake Albacutya. When it rains the semi-arid landscape is transformed by tiny desert plants that sprout from long-dormant seeds, carpeting the ground with clusters of flowers.

Things to see and do

Camping and bushwalking are popular activities in the park. The Eastern Lookout Nature Drive is highly recommended as a good introduction to the park. Two self-guided nature walks, one at Lake Brambruk and the other at Black Flat Lake, enable a close look at the plant and animal life of Wyperfeld. Spring is the best time to see the wildflowers.


The Information Centre near the main camping ground has displays and information about the park. The large wooded picnic and camping area in the south of the park caters for most park visitors. Facilities include a picnic shelter, tables, fireplaces, toilets, and water for drinking and handwashing. General supplies and accommodation are available in Yaapeet, Hopetoun and Rainbow.


Before the arrival of the Europeans, Aboriginal people regularly moved north along Outlet Creek in search of food. Evidence shows that they occupied the area for at least 6000 years, but because of the low and unreliable water supply, they rarely stayed in one place for long. From the 1860's European settlers followed and set about clearing the mallee for grazing and wheat growing. In 1909 a number of naturalists persuaded the government to temporarily reserve 3900 ha of this fast-disappearing habitat. Wyperfeld National Park was declared in 1921, and has been considerably enlarged in recent years.

Flora & Fauna

There are around 450 species of plants native to the park. They occur in distinct communities which can all be seen close to the campgrounds. River Red Gum and Black Box woodlands cover the floodplains of Outlet Creek and the lakes. Mallee eucalypts cover most of the eastern section of the park while rolling sand plains covered with heathland predominate the western section.

Animals living in the mallee are adapted to an arid, sandy habitat with a pattern of irregular rainfall. Emus and western grey kangaroos are common and can usually be seen grazing on the dry lake beds and surrounding woodlands at dawn and dusk. More than 200 bird species have been recorded, including Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, Mallee Ringneck Parrots, Red-rumped parrots, galahs, eagles and smaller birds such as variegated Fairy-wrens and Red-capped robins. Of particular interest is the Mallee Fowl. This rare bird incubates its eggs in a large mound of earth and leaf litter.

How to get there

Wyperfeld National Park is 450 km north-west of Melbourne (Melway 520 A3). A sealed road gives access to the main camping/picnic ground from Hopetoun or Rainbow. Casuarina campground is reached from Patchewollock. Four wheel drive access to the western park areas is via Murrayville Track, but check with the rangers during wet weather.

For more information on Wyperfeld National Park, call the Parks Victoria Information Line on 13 1963 or visit Parks Victoria's website on www.parks.vic.gov.au

How to Get There

Hopetoun is 390kms north-west of Melbourne
Melways Ref: 520 C4
Pop: 800

Visitor Information

71 Lascelles St
Tel: (03) 5083 3093

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Birdlife abounds in the Wimmera.
Lookout for the endangered Redtailed Black Cockatoo.