Stawell

Stawell Gift, Tourism Victoria

Population 5879

Pastoral runs were established in the Stawell (rhymes with ball) region in the 1840s, but it was the discovery of gold in 1853 by a shepherd at nearby Pleasant Creek that was the catalyst for creating a town. Stawell remains a goldmining centre with Victoria's largest mine. However, it is actually better known as the home of the Stawell Gift, Australia's richest footrace, and is the gateway to the Grampians.

Visitor Information

Central Park, 6 Main St; (03) 5358 2314 or 1800 330 080

www.ngshire.vic.gov.au

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

  • Halls Gap

    The little village of Halls Gap is set in the heart of the Grampians. It was named after Charles Browing Hall, who discovered the gap and...more

  • Ararat

    Ararat is a city with a vibrant history. Once inhabited by the Tjapwurong Aboriginal people, the promising lands soon saw squatters move...more

  • Avoca

    Avoca was built during the gold boom of the 19th century and is renowned for its wide main street, divided by a stretch of park with trees...more

In Town

Stawell Gift Hall of Fame Museum In 1878 the Stawell Athletic Club was formed by local farmers and businessmen who were keen to have a sports day each Easter. The club put up the prize pool of £110, and the race was on. The annual Stawell Gift has run almost continuously since and is now one of the most prestigious races in the world. The race has been run at Central Park since 1898. Visit the museum to discover the glory and heartbreak of the race since its inception. Open 9–11am weekdays; Main St; (03) 5358 1326.

Big Hill Lookout and Stawell Gold Mine viewing area: the Pioneers Lookout at the summit of this local landmark presents magnificent 360-degree views of the surrounding area. Continue down Reefs Rd to Stawell Gold Mine viewing area to hear about the daily operations of Victoria's largest gold-producing mine.

Casper's Mini World: miniature tourist park with working models of famous world attractions such as the Eiffel Tower and including dioramas and commentaries; London Rd.

Fraser Park: displays of mining equipment; Main St.

Pleasant Creek Court House Museum: local history memorabilia; Western Hwy.

Stawell Ironbark Forest: spring wildflowers, including rare orchids; northern outskirts of town, off Newington Rd.

Nearby

Bunjil's Shelter This is Victoria's most important Aboriginal rock-art site. It depicts the creator figure, Bunjil, sitting inside a small alcove with his 2 dingoes. Bunjil created the geographical features of the land, and then created people, before disappearing into the sky to look down on the earth as a star. The site is thought to have been used for ceremonies by the local Djab Wurrung and Jardwadjali people. Off Pomonal Rd; 11 km S.

The Sisters Rocks: huge granite tors; beside Western Hwy; 3 km SE.

Great Western: picturesque wine village with Seppelt Great Western Winery, est. 1865, featuring National Trust–classified underground tunnels of cellars and Champagne Picnic Races in Jan; 16 km SE.

Tottington Woolshed: rare example of a 19th-century woolshed; road to St Arnaud; 55 km NE.

Great Grape Rd: circuit through Ballarat and St Arnaud, stopping at wineries, including Best's and Garden Gully; details from visitor centre.

Fishing spots near town

Lake Wartook 29 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


Lake Bolac 75 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


Eco-friendly activities around town

Indigenous tours, Grampians National Park 25 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


Grampians National Park 42 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


Campsites around town

Lake Lonsdale camping area 13 km

Signposted on the Western Hwy about 4 km north of Stawell, just before Deep Lead, is the turn-off to Sandbar Rd. This road winds its way along the northern edge of compact Lake Lonsdale, providing access to a number of... Find out more


Plantation camping area 24 km

The Plantation area is the Grampians’ biggest campground, providing around 30 sites in a pine forest at the northern edge of the national park (technically, just outside of it), at the foot of the Mt Difficult... Find out more


Bomjinna camping area 28 km

Secluded Bomjinna, accessed via Mitchell Rd, has only three campsites, making it a peaceful place to rest up for the night. From here, loop back around to Grampians Rd and then head down Mt William Rd to tackle the hike... Find out more


Borough Huts camping area 28 km

Borough Huts is 11 km south of Halls Gap, just off Grampians Rd. In between these 2 places you’ll find lovely Lake Bellfield, which makes for a fantastic canoeing trip, due in no small part to the grand views of... Find out more


Troopers Creek camping area 32 km

The forested campground at Troopers Creek can be used as a base camp by those who want to rest up before tackling the precipitous but highly recommended climb up Mt Difficult. If you’d prefer something less... Find out more


Greenhill Lake Reserve camping area 32 km

The campsites here on the shoreline of Greenhill Lake are relatively flat, and there’s reasonable shade. From the centre of Ararat, drive for 4 km along the Western Hwy towards Beaufort and turn north on Greenhill... Find out more


Smith Mill camping area 32 km

This pine tree-fringed old mill site is just south of Wartook Reservoir. It has over 2 dozen campsites but not much allowance has been made for compact vans and camper trailers. East of here is the Boroka Lookout, which... Find out more


Boreang camping area 35 km

For those who want to camp right in the middle of the national park, this is the place for you. Nearby are the Balconies, a pair of sandstone shelves that jut out spectacularly from a sheer cliff – the views are... Find out more


Stapylton camping area 38 km

This large campground has a mixture of sheltered and open sites, and is situated in the far north of the national park. You can take a short, self-guided walk to Ngamadjidj Shelter, a one-time Aboriginal campsite where... Find out more


Caravan parks around town

Lake Fyans Holiday Park 16 km

This is a spacious waterfront park on the shores of Lake Fyans, a popular watersports area to the south-west of Stawell. The park has a cafe and canoes for hire. It is just a short drive to nearby Halls Gap and is an... Find out more


Big4 Grampians Parkgate Resort 24 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


Halls Gap Caravan and Tourist Park 25 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


Wimmera Lakes Caravan Resort 61 km

This is a spacious park on the fringe of Horsham, 4 km south-east of town on the Western Highway. It has a range of facilities including a tennis court and spa. It is a good base for exploring the local area. Bookings... Find out more


Horsham Caravan Park 64 km

Located on the banks of the Wimmera River, close to the town centre, this good quality park is council owned but operated by the YMCA. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay applies.... Find out more


Eco-friendly places to stay around town

Grampians Eco YHA 25 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

Canadian Gully Bushland Reserve rest area 9 km

57km SE of Horsham (L) or 10km NW of Stawell (R)

Just off the highway under some large trees on the edge of a lagoon.


Great Western rest area 11 km

At Great Western

Just off the highway among a few trees. On the north side of town.


Plantation camping area 24 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.


Borough Huts camping area 28 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. 


Troopers Creek camping area 32 km

T/O to Halls Gap

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


Greenhill Lake camping area 32 km

4km E of Ararat (L) or 40km W of Beaufort (R)

Well off the highway on the shores of the lake.


Smith Mill camping area 32 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.


Langi Ghiran camping area 38 km

T/O 13km E of Ararat (L) or 31km W of Beaufort (R)

Secluded area 5km (unsealed) north of the highway in a natural bush setting in Langi Ghiran State Park.


Stapylton camping area 38 km

T/O to Halls Gap

Large area in Grampians National Park. Located 48km (partly unsealed) north-west of Halls Gap via Northern Grampians and Olive Plantation rds.


Mount Langi Ghiran rest area 42 km

17km E of Ararat (L)

Just off the highway among a few trees. For eastbound only.


Teddington Reservoir camping area 49 km

T/O at Stuart Mill

Secluded in the forest 6km (partly unsealed) south-west of Stuart Mill via Teddington Rd.


Buandik camping area 50 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.


Bailes camping area 50 km

T/O 32km SE of Ararat (L) or 12km NW of Beaufort (R)

Secluded area 9km (unsealed) north of the highway in the forest of Mt Buangor State Park.


Middle Creek camping area 51 km

T/O 32km SE of Ararat (L) or 12km NW of Beaufort (R)

Secluded in the forest 8km (unsealed) north of the highway in Mt Buangor State Park.


Lake Green rest area 53 km

12km SE of Horsham (R) or 55km NW of Stawell (L)

Adjacent to the highway and overlooking Lake Green.


Cherrypool rest area 53 km

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

Just off the highway on the banks of a river. 


Stuart Mill South rest area 54 km

28km S of St Arnaud (R) or 34km N of Avoca (L)

Adjacent to the highway among a few trees.


Burnt Creek rest area 58 km

7km SE of Horsham (L) or 60km NW of Stawell (R)

Just off the highway among a few large trees.


No. 2 Creek rest area 60 km

59km S of St Arnaud (L) or 3km N of Avoca (R)

Just off the highway among a few trees.


Hynes Reservoir camping area 63 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.


Nine Mile Creek rest area 70 km

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

Just off the highway under some large trees.


Wickliffe park area 71 km

At Wickliffe

Adjacent to the highway. In the middle of town.


Lake Bolac rest area 72 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 72 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.


Lexton South Rest Area 73 km

27 km S of Avoca (L) or 43 km N of Ballarat (R)

Large area just off the highway. Only limited shade.


Picnic Point camping area 74 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.


East Beach camping area 74 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.


Donald park area 78 km

At Donald       

Adjacent to the highway on the banks of the Richardson River.


Cavendish camping area 83 km

At Cavendish

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


What's on around town

SES Market: Drill Hall, Sloane St; 1st Sun each month.

Farmer's Market: Harness Racing Club, Patrick St; last Sun each month.

Stawell Gift: Easter.

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