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Western Border Region

Western Plains Region

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Western Border Region is in the far-western corner of Victoria. It extends from Edenhope in the north to Portland in the south, from Dartmoor on the South Australian border to Dunkeld, the Gateway to the Grampians.

The whole area was once subject to volcanic eruptions and now there are many extinct volcanoes between Mount Gambier (in South Australia) and Warrnambool. Of the many caves throughout the whole district, the Princess Margaret caves are the most well-known.
The first settlement in Victoria was made at Portland by the Henty brothers in 1834, but the first white man to live there was a Captain Dutton. It was then used as a whaling station and Captain Dutton lived there permanently with the aboriginals. When the Hentys built their residence for themselves and their staff, at their own expense, they still had to buy the property from the New South Wales Government. They extended their whaling business and farming interests for many miles around the area. The first piece of land ploughed in Victoria was where the present Richmond Henty Hotel stands, and the first wool sold in Victoria was sold in Portland.
Today the town is a thriving deep-sea port with several industries and it is a popular seaside resort because of its place in history. Fishing is an attraction around the harbour and surf fishing around the coast. The Bridgewater Lakes are fresh water and good for trout fishing and are separated from the sea at Discovery Bay by the sand-dunes. The Cape Nelson lighthouse is one of the seven remaining lighthouses in the States (including Tasmania) still in operation and is visited daily by tourists. The Mount Richmond National Park, with its emus, kangaroos and many varieties of wild life, also attracts many visitors. The town has a number of buildings of bluestone quarried from local stone.
The capital of the Western District, Hamilton is situated on the Grangeburn. It was once known as the Grange and in 1880 it was also known as the town of Three Nines because it had Nine Churches, Nine Hotels and Nine Policeman! It is now famous for its art gallery, college, home industries and the man-made Lake Hamilton. It is also a large market town for cattle and sheep sales.
Fossilised remains of shells and sharks' teeth have been discovered at different times along the Grangeburn, one shell in particular now lies in the Melbourne museum and is the only one of its kind in the world. All this proves that the area was once under the sea. Nearby Dunkeld is a beautiful spot, nestling at the foot of Mt. Sturgeon in the Grampians. This part of the countryside is world-renowned for its wildflowers in spring.
The undulating farmlands of Casterton and Coleraine are very picturesque.
This is Adam Lindsay Gorden (the Australian Poet) country, although he was more famous in the Western District for his outstanding horsemanship, espically in the Great Western Steeple-chases which were held at Coleraine.
Cavendish, Edenhope and Macarthur are rich pastoral districts.
Balmoral is widely spread and surrounded by large properities. Residents are very proud of their high school, one of only two of its kind in the state. Special permission was received from the Queen for the use of the Balmoral tartan for the making of school uniforms.
At the other end of the Region is Dartmoor, situated on the Glenelg River only twelve miles form the South Australian border. Between Dartmoor and the coast are many acres of pine forests, which supply the sawmills to provide the main industry of the town. Pleasure steamers used to make fifty-mile trips up the Glenelg to Nelson. This is part of the area travelled by Major Mitchell in his exploration of the South-Western Region.
Heywood, situated on the Fitzroy River, is also a mill town. Six miles west are Seppelts vineyards. There are beautiful bush walks around this area. This is also a grazing and dairying area.
Historically speaking, the Western District has much to offer in both towns and homesteads.

Guiding in our Region