Hamilton Botanic Gardens, Tourism Victoria

Population 9379

Hamilton is a prominent rural centre in the heart of a sheep-grazing district. This industry is such an important part of the town's economy that it has been dubbed the 'Wool Capital of the World'. It is both the geographical and business hub of the Western District. A thriving country city, Hamilton is filled with cultural experiences, whether gazing at botanical, artistic or architectural beauty, browsing through great shops or putting in a bid as part of a 50 000-head sheep sale.

Visitor Information

Cnr Lonsdale St and Glenelg Hwy; (03 5572 3746 or 1800 807 056


Nearby national parks

  • Mount Eccles National Park

    Mount Eccles National Park is Victoria’s first co-managed national park, being managed by the traditional owners,...more

  • Brisbane Ranges National Park

    In Brisbane Ranges National Park low mountains are dissected by rugged gorges and hidden gullies with basalt grasslands and woodlands. An...more

  • Wyperfeld National Park

    In the state’s arid north-west, Wyperfeld is a vast park of open plains and spreading mallee eucalypts. The usually bone-dry bed of...more

Nearby towns

  • Dunkeld

    Dunkeld is considered the southern gateway to the Grampians, and its natural beauty has long been recognised since the explorer Major Thomas...more

  • Coleraine

    Situated in Victoria's Western District, Coleraine is a small, picturesque town supported by wool and beef industries. A chocolate factory,...more

  • Casterton

    Casterton is a Roman name meaning 'walled city', given to the town because of the natural wall of hills surrounding the valley where it...more

In Town

Art Gallery This gallery is said to be one of regional Australia's finest, featuring a diverse collection of fine arts and museum pieces dating back to the earliest European settlements in Australia. Many trinkets and treasures of the region's first stately homes are on display, as well as English and European glass, ceramic and silver work. There is also a good collection of colonial art from the Western District. Guided heritage tours of the gallery and district are available. Brown St.

Botanic Gardens First planted in 1870 and classified by the National Trust in 1990, these gardens have long been regarded as one of the most impressive in rural Victoria. Designed by the curator of the Melbourne Botanic Gardens, William Guilfoyle, the gardens feature his 'signature' design elements of sweeping lawns interrupted by lakes, islands, and contrasting plant and flower beds. Keep an eye out for the free-flight aviary, enormous English oaks and historic band rotunda. French St.

Lake Hamilton: attractive landscaped man-made lake used for swimming, sailing, yachting and rowing, and featuring an excellent walking/bike track; off Ballarat Rd.

Sir Reginald Ansett Transport Museum: birthplace of Ansett Airlines, the museum tells the story of Ansett and our aviation history in one of the airline's original hangars; Ballarat Rd.

Pastoral Museum: features farm equipment, tractors, engines, household items and small-town memorabilia; Ballarat Rd.

Big Wool Bales: built in the shape of 5 giant wool bales and surrounded by native red gums, the Wool Bales tell the fascinating story of Australia's wool industry; Coleraine Rd.

Mt Baimbridge Lavender: set on 12 acres. Wander through gardens and browse the gallery; Mt Baimbridge Rd; tours available by appt (03) 5572 4342.

Hamilton History Centre: features the history of early Western District families and town settlement; Gray St.


Mt Eccles National Park The key feature of this park is a large volcanic crater lake. A range of walks let visitors explore the scoria cones and caves formed 20 000 years ago by volcanoes. The 3 main craters hold a 700 m long lake, Lake Surprise, fed by underground springs. Excellent walking trails and camping is available. Contact Parks Victoria on 13 1963; near Macarthur; 40 km S.

Grampians National Park See Halls Gap. 35 km NE.

Tarrington: established by German settlers and originally named Hochkirch, this area is fast becoming a well-known 'pinot noir' grape-producing area; 12 km SE.

Waterfalls: Nigretta Falls has a viewing platform; 15 km NW. Also Wannon Falls; 19 km W.

Mt Napier State Park: features Byaduk Caves (lava caves) near the park's western entrance, part of a giant, 24 km lava flow stretching to Mt Eccles. They  are a wonderland of ropey lava, columns, stalactites and stalagmites. Only 1 cave is accessible to the public; 18 km S.

Cavendish: a small town en route to the Grampians, notable for the 3 beautiful private gardens open during the Southern Grampians Open Gardens Festival each Oct; 25 km N.

Penshurst: a lovely historic town at the foot of Mt Rouse. Excellent views from the top of the mountain, where there is a crater lake. Country Muster each Feb; 31 km SE.

Fishing spots near town

Konong Wootong Reservoir 43 km

Coleraine in the Western District is in the heart of prime wool- growing country. The small town is famous for its chocolate factory, but less well known is the trout fishery in the picturesque 60 ha impoundment just out... Find out more

Lake Bolac 73 km

One of my favourite fishing activities after a hot summer day is to wander along the banks of the Barwon River in Geelong, casting lures for redfin. Redfin are feisty, competitive fish that bite readily and taste great.... Find out more

Port Fairy 74 km

Port Fairy is an unimposing historic seaport between Warrnambool and Portland. While it might come across as a sleepy, seaside resort, Port Fairy always seems to attract exciting piscatorial headlines. During the 1960s... Find out more

Portland 75 km

‘I reckon Portland is Victoria’s best kept angling secret,’ local angler Bob McPherson told me in 2004. At the time, I believed he was right. Within two years Portland was no longer a secret, becoming... Find out more

Warrnambool 83 km

Warrnambool is a big, tidy city. It’s a great place to take the family for a holiday, particularly if you have fishing on your mind. All forms of angling are available, but the most popular water is the Hopkins... Find out more

Lake Wartook 83 km

Drought and changes to irrigation have left dry many of Victoria’s former favourite fishing lakes. Drive through the cropping plains of the Wimmera and you come across once-famous lakes, including Toolondo,... Find out more

Eco-friendly activities around town

Mount Eccles National Park 40 km

At Mount Eccles you can walk for 2 kilometres around the rim of a volcanic crater then descend for a swim in the lake at its heart. It is a great spot for a picnic, with koalas and kangaroos, and the camping facilities... Find out more

Grampians National Park 61 km

There are many, many reasons to go to this remarkable 1680-square-kilometre national park: its spectacular spring wildflowers, its dramatic cliffs and sandstone features, its bushwalking, the stunning views from its... Find out more

Indigenous tours, Grampians National Park 79 km

Brambuk, the Grampians National Park and Cultural Centre, houses an Aboriginal cultural centre explaining much of the history and stories associated with the area. There is also a bushfoods cafe, where you can try emu,... Find out more

Picnicking at Lake Pertobe Reserve 81 km

Lake Pertobe Reserve on Warrnambool’s foreshore is known as one of the best adventure playgrounds around, with plenty for kids of all ages. There are paddleboats and canoes, a maze and flying fox, free barbecues... Find out more

Golf courses around town

Port Fairy Golf Club 72 km

An endearing quality of the great links layouts of Britain and Ireland is their natural setting. Wild, windswept holes rolling between sand dunes that have stood tall for centuries are the norm. The links of Port... Find out more

Cafes & restaurants around town

Darriwill Farm

Although the original farm is a few hours away at Bannockburn, this produce/wine store and cafe champions regional produce – selling through its retail outlet (it has even spawned outlets interstate) and featuring... Find out more

The Roxburgh

Off the main street in a former doctor’s two-storey Victorian home, this welcoming wine-bar-cum-cosy-cafe has evolved into a fully fledged restaurant serving terrific tapas and great pizza. Its intimate, homely... Find out more

Cafe Catalpa

The only business in Tarrington – there’s a church and a school – this former general store has been transformed into a lively cafe just 8 kilometres out of Hamilton. It is named after a 40-year-old... Find out more

Nearby breweries

Flying Horse Brewery 84 km

Whales and ales are now the twin attractions for the pretty seaside Victorian city of Warrnambool, following the development of the sprawling Flying Horse Bar & Brewery complex by joint owners Matt Monk, Matt Stewart... Find out more

Campsites around town

Wannon River camping area 18 km

A short trail connects this campground with Wannon Falls, the end result of ancient lava flows, while another walking track leads to the nearby Thomas Clark Viewing Area, which also has views of the waterfall. The large... Find out more

Lake Surprise camping area 36 km

Set in serene manna gum forest not far from an equally serene crater lake, this is a delightful place to stay. Walking tracks guide you along lava canals, around the rim of a crater and down to Lake Surprise itself.... Find out more

Strachans camping area 46 km

The south-western branch of Grampians National Park is shaped around the curvaceous Victoria Range, and it’s at the foot of these mountains, on the site of an old timber mill, that you’ll find Strachans... Find out more

Henrys camping area 47 km

Henrys is a very basic campground located near the southernmost point of Rocklands Reservoir, where the shoreline of the sprawling water storage makes a ragged U-turn. From Henty Hwy, just south of Victoria Lagoon... Find out more

Glendinning camping area 50 km

This campground is on the south-western edge of Rocklands Reservoir. It’s permissible to collect firewood from the nearby Claude Austin State Forest for use here. Also nearby is the handsome Glendinning homestead,... Find out more

Fergusons camping area 50 km

The only boat ramp on the eastern shoreline of Rocklands Reservoir is at Fergusons, so it’s one of the area’s most popular sites when there’s enough water in the lake to make watersports possible. From... Find out more

Annya Camp camping area 50 km

This quiet spot is nestled in the forest just off the Portland–Casterton Rd, between Drumborg and Casterton. Plentiful shade is provided by the surrounding trees, while an abundance of sites on relatively level... Find out more

Wannon Crossing camping area 53 km

At Wannon Crossing you’ll find a quartet of campsites on a forested patch of turf beside the Wannon River. It’s a good choice for keen hikers as it’s the closest camping area to the trio of invigorating... Find out more

Hiscocks Crossing camping area 54 km

A rewarding nature trail does a 2.5 km loop from this camping area along the Crawford River and through several types of forest. It’s located off The Boulevard. To get here, head north from Hotspur towards... Find out more

Bush camping (walk-in camping) 54 km

Those who want to go further afield than the established camping areas in Rocklands State Forests are permitted to go bush camping in the area. The only exceptions are where signage says otherwise. Contact the local... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Narrawong Holiday Park 64 km

This pretty park is in a fabulous, quiet beachside and riverfront position off the Princes Highway. Offering a range of accommodation, it is close to Portland and has good fishing and swimming, and a range of facilities... Find out more

Henty Bay Beachfront Van and Cabin Park 71 km

This large, spacious park is located on the beachfront 6 km north-east of the centre of town. The park has a well-stocked shop with takeaway food and a good selection of fishing tackle and bait. Bookings are required at... Find out more

Belfast Cove Caravan Park 72 km

This is a lovely boutique park with magnificent gardens. It has very good facilities including a tennis court and a boat parking area. Bookings are required at Christmas, Easter and long weekends, with a minimum-stay... Find out more

BIG4 Port Fairy 72 km

This quality, owner-operated park has large shade trees and informal grassy sites, and is conveniently located alongside the Princes Highway just 1.5 km from the town centre. The park has very good amenities including... Find out more

Port Fairy Gardens Caravan Park 73 km

This is a large council-owned park about 5 minutes’ walk from the town centre and just 200 metres from the beach, with level grassy sites, good amenities and a tennis court. Bookings are required at Christmas,... Find out more

Portland Tourist Park 75 km

Set in a residential area of town about 1.6 km from the town centre, this owner operated park has good facilities and a corner store is conveniently located opposite the park. Bookings are required at Christmas, Easter... Find out more

Halls Gap Caravan and Tourist Park 80 km

We find this large park ideal for a holiday at any time of the year and regularly stay here. Located in the centre of town, it is within easy reach of most of the area’s attractions and makes a good base for... Find out more

Big4 Grampians Parkgate Resort 81 km

This is a very good quality tourist park less than 1.5 km from Halls Gap. With great recreational facilities including a tennis court, this is a popular holiday destination and a great base from which to explore the... Find out more

Fig Tree Holiday Village 82 km

Centrally located about 600 metres from main shopping precinct, this is a very good quality and good value park in a quiet off-highway position. It has a heated indoor pool and a tennis court but cannot fit big rigs.... Find out more

Discovery Holiday Parks – Warrnambool 82 km

Across the road from the beach, this well kept park is ideal for a holiday or just a few days away. With its excellent facilities, including a popular undercover camp kitchen and a movie room, the park can be busy.... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Garland Cottage

This cosy cottage started life as a spacious garage at the side of the owners’ house on the edge of town. Today it has been redesigned to accommodate just one couple with queen-size bedroom, ensuite, kitchen and... Find out more

Seven Palmer Street

This ultra-chic, architect-designed, self-contained, two-bedroom house is minimalist, offering a contemporary environment that is almost Zen. Each bedroom has its own private courtyard, while the bathroom features an... Find out more

Eco-friendly places to stay around town

Grampians Eco YHA 81 km

At this eco-hostel you sleep under roof tiles that are actually solar panels. Any extra power generated is fed back to the electricity grid. The passive solar building, featuring rammed earth walls, also has solar... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Nigretta Falls park area 13 km

T/O 17km E of Coleraine (L) or 18km NW of Hamilton (R)

Large grassed area 9km north of the highway at the falls lookout.

Wannon Falls camping area 18 km

T/O 17km E of Coleraine (L) or 18km NW of Hamilton (R)

Large grassed area 9km north of the highway at the falls lookout.

Branxholme park area 24 km

At Branxholme

Adjacent to the recreation area in the middle of town. 

Cavendish camping area 25 km

At Cavendish

Adjacent to the recreation area on the north side of town.

Penshurst park area 27 km

At Penshurst

Just off the highway and adjacent to the caravan park.

Lake Surprise Camp Area 36 km

T/O at Port Fairy

Large campground located 48 kilometres north of the highway (9 kilometres east of Macarthur) in a pleasant open forest setting near Lake Surprise in Mount Eccles National Park. Good facilities and shade.

NOTE: Access road part unsealed.

Nine Mile Creek rest area 42 km

41km E of Hamilton (R) or 33km W of Lake Bolac (L)

Just off the highway under some large trees.

Annya Forest camping area 50 km

T/O 81km E of Mt Gambier (L) or 7km W of Heywood (R)

In the forest 7.5km (partly unsealed) north of the highway.

Casterton park area 57 km

At Casterton

Under shady trees on the eastern bank of the Glenelg River.

Fitzroy River rest area 58 km

23km E of Portland (R) or 48km W of Port Fairy (L)

Well off the highway under trees on the riverbank.

Hynes Reservoir camping area 58 km

T/O 41km N of Cavendish (L) or 64km S of Horsham (R)

Near the reservoir 9km west of the highway via Hynes Rd.

Buandik camping area 59 km

T/O 38km N of Cavendish (L) or 67km S of Horsham (R)

Secluded bush setting 9km (unsealed) east of the highway in Grampians National Park.

Wickliffe park area 61 km

At Wickliffe

Adjacent to the highway. In the middle of town.

The Sawpit camping area 62 km

T/O at Narrawong

In the forest 3km (partly unsealed) north of the highway.

Fort O'Hare camping area 69 km

At Dartmoor

Under shady trees on the east side of town.

Glenelg River park area 69 km

33km SE of SA border (L) or 40km NW of Heywood (R)

Just off the highway among a few trees.

Cherrypool rest area 72 km

55km N of Cavendish (R) or 50km S of Horsham (L)

Just off the highway on the banks of a river. 

Killarney Beach camping area 72 km

T/O at Killarney

Near the foreshore 2km east of the highway.

Picnic Point camping area 73 km

T/O at Lake Bolac

Under shady trees on the shores of the lake 2km south-east of the highway via Mortlake and Frontage rds.

Borough Huts camping area 73 km

T/O at Stawell to Halls Gap

Small area in Grampians National Park located 11km south of Halls Gap via Grampians Rd. Good facilities and shade in a natural bush setting. 

Lake Bolac rest area 74 km

2km E of Lake Bolac (R) or 49km W of Skipton (L)

Just off the highway under trees on the shores of the lake.

Fishermans Point camping area 75 km

T/O 3km E of Lake Bolac (R) or 48km W of Skipton (L)

On the shores of the lake 500m south of the highway.

East Beach camping area 75 km

T/O 3km E of Lake Bolac (R) or 48km W of Skipton (L)

On the shores of the lake 3km south of the highway.

Mortlake park area 78 km

At Mortlake

Adjacent to the highway, in the middle of town.

Smith Mill camping area 79 km

T/O to Halls Gap

In a natural bush setting in Grampians National Park. Located 18km north-west of Halls Gap via Nothern Grampians (Mt Victory), Lake Wartook and Old Mill rds.

Plantation camping area 87 km

T/O to Halls Gap

Large area in a natural bush setting in Grampians National Park. Located 10km (unsealed) north of Halls Gap via Mt Zero Rd.

Troopers Creek camping area 88 km

T/O to Halls Gap

Small area 42km (partly unsealed) north-west of Halls Gap via Northern Grampians  and Roses Gap rds.

Pinnaster rest area 94 km

18km SE of Mt Gambier (L) or 70km NW of Heywood (R)

Just off the highway among the trees.

What's on around town

Hamilton Farmer's Market: last Sat each month.

Harvest Rally: Jan.

Beef Expo: Feb.

Hamilton Cup: Apr.

Promenade of Sacred Music: Apr.

Plough and Seed Rally: May.

Sheepvention: promotes the sheep and wool industries; Aug.

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