The Wimmera is a vast plain in north western Victoria. The Wimmera extends from the Grampians National Park to Lake Albacutya, near Rainbow, and from the South Australian border in the west to Navarre in the east. It is the largest area in Victoria for growing of crops. Vast paddocks of wheat and other cereal crops are grown here. This land would have once been mallee scrub but since white settlement it has been cleared for cropping. The only stock we saw as we cross crossed The Wimmera following the Silo Art Trail were sheep.
The Wimmera River is the largest Victorian river that does not flow to the sea, but instead flows into a series of terminal lakes. The largest of these terminal lakes are Lake Hindmarsh and Lake Albacutya.
Roughly 25% of people in the Wimmera rely directly on agriculture for their income. The roads are long and straight and the farm houses are a long way apart out here. Once you get off the highways the roads are a bit of a rollercoaster. We bounced up and down along them but were still able to cruise along at 90km/h. Most of the Wimmera is very flat
This area gets some 16 inches of rain a year and this is enough to plant multiple crops a year. 25% of Victoria’s Wetlands lie in the Wimmera, mostly in the south west.
Horsham is the largest town in The Wimmera with some 16.500 people.
After leaving our overnight campsite at Green Lake Recreation Park we headed to the next silo art on the trail at Nullawil. Sam Bates was the artist commissioned to paint the silo at Nullawil and only took 14 days to paint the man with his dog.
As we left the Wimmera and headed east into the town of Boort. we started to see irrigation canals. Some of the crops recently sown in this area are just starting to sprout green shoots. Other farmers were busy sowing crops using their huge tractors and giant seeders. Some of the tractors have tracks instead of wheels.
I found it very interesting the the area around Boort is one of Australia’s premium tomato growing areas having been introduced in the early 1970’s by farmer Mario Brunelli.
The town of Boort is situated on Little Lake Boort and this is a popular place in summer for water sports. There are walking trails around the lake and it is also a popular place for bird watching.
We travelled along back roads until we reached the small town of Colbinabbin. Wow their silo art is amazing. They have a large concrete conjoined silo in the middle and two metal silos on either side. Artist Tim Bowtell has painted them with scenes that reflect the area.
On the leftmost silo is a scene from the Colbinabbin Farmers Picnic, an annual event started in 1878 and ran for sixty years.
The next silo depicts the railway station. The steam train arrived in 1914 to support agriculture and to bring passengers.
The middle conjoined silos have the steam train.
The next one across depicts the the first 1947 Austen Tanker Truck of the Country Fire Service. In the background is a couple of children crossing a bridge over the man-made Waranga Western Main Channel, the lifeline of the community.
The last silo depicts the Colbinabbin Tractor Pull. This is another annual event started in 1982 and is still held each year.
We continued on northwards to Rochester and our final silo art for this trip. The two silos at Rochester were painted by artist Dvate and depict an Azure Kingfisher and a Squirrel Glider.