Home / Places To Go / Victoria / Mildura and the Mallee / Ouyen

Ouyen

  • by

South of Mildura and adjacent to the Murray Sunset National Park and the Wyperfeld National Park, this township of some 1,000 people sits in the heart of the Mallee wheat belt. The town is a commercial and transport centre for the local grain farmers, shipping the grain via truck to Portland or Adelaide. 

Ouyen Oke Street Footpath
By Mattinbgn (talk · contribs) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons
Ouyen Court House 004
By Mattinbgn (talk · contribs) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons
Ouyen War Memorial 001
By Mattinbgn (talk · contribs) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons
Ouyen House B 001
By Mattinbgn (talk · contribs) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons
Ouyen Oke Street 001
By Mattinbgn (talk · contribs) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

Ouyen had a rocky start. When the explorer Major Mitchell first entered the area he described it as barren and inhospitable. Nonetheless, soon after squatters had come to the area and by 1870, thousands of cattle and sheep were grazing there.  In 1880, however, the rabbit plague hit the area and decimated the available vegetation and the pastoral runs came to an end.  It was not until the early 1900s, involving enormous effort, that the land was cleared and water carted from Mildura and Hattah Lakes that the area took off as part of the wheat belt.

Water for the area now comes from the Murray River via Northern Mallee Pipeline which is a 3,650 kilometer pipeline that services an area of 890,000 hectares and which was built in 2004, replacing an open air irrigation channel.
Ouyen Roxy Theatre 002
By Mattinbgn (talk · contribs) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

The art deco exterior of the recently restored and community owned Roxy theatre in Ouyen. The heritage theatre was built in 1936 in the ‘tropical style’ (high ceilings and shutters which open along both sides to allow for airflow) but closed in 1971. With tremendous community support the theatre was reopened in 2007 and now is in regular use.

Ouyen Victoria Hotel 001
By Mattinbgn (talk · contribs) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

The distinctive wrought iron balcony of the Victoria Hotel in Ouyen. The hotel is the towns first and only licensed hotel and was opened in 1919.