Hamilton - heart of the Western District
Hamilton is a rural city on the rich agricultural plain - the Western District - between the Grampians and the coast. The city’s prosperous wool growing heritage is reflected in its many grand buildings, majestic homesteads and fine landscaped gardens. Many treasures from the homesteads are now part of the rich and diverse collection of the Hamilton Art Gallery, one of Australia’s finest regional galleries.
Originally named Grange Burn, Hamilton’s settlement grew as a result of the Western District’s strong pastoral development. The squatters and their wool were of great economic and social importance to the growth of the town.
The Grangeburn River loops around the southern edge of town, around its commercial heart and a number of gracious public buildings and homes. Lake Hamilton was created when the river was dammed at the spot where the earliest settlers camped.
Today picnic grounds provide an equally tranquil scene for visitors. The town is surrounded by a vast and beautiful landscape of green rolling hills, ancient red gums, extinct volcanoes and impressive waterfalls.
Activities and attractions
Discover the treasures on show at the Hamilton Art Gallery on Brown Street – one of the best regional art collections in Australia:
Take a walk through the beautiful, heritage-listed,Botanic Gardens at the corner of Thompson and French streets. The Gardens include a native animal enclosure, bird aviary, band rotunda and decorative fountains
Take one of many historic walks through the town
View the amazing Wannon and Nigretta Falls along the Glenelg Highway, Wannon
Explore the Volcanic Trail with its many unique features
Enjoy fishing and water sports at Lake Hamilton or the nearby Rocklands Reservoir
Discover aviation history at the Sir Reginald Ansett Transport Museum on Ballarat Road
Learn about the local wool industry at the Big Woolbales on Coleraine Road.