Several roads run west from the Goldfields to the South Australia border through the seemingly endless wheatfields of the Wimmera region. To the west of the farming centre of Ararat is the major attraction of the area, the Grampians National Park, the southwestern tail-end of the Great Dividing Range. Stawell and Horsham – the latter regarded as the capital of the Wimmera – are good places to base yourself, but Halls Gap, in a valley and surrounded by national park, is even better. North of Horsham is the wide, flat Mallee with its twisted mallee (a type of eucalyptus) scrub, sand dunes and dry lakes. This region, Victoria’s small “Outback” and with several state and national parks, extends from Wyperfeld National Park in the south, right up to Mildura’s irrigated oasis on the Murray River. South of the Grampians is sheep country; following the Hamilton Highway from Geelong you’ll end up at Hamilton, the major town and wool capital of the western district, also accessible via Dunkeld on the southern edge of the Grampians.

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