The town of St Arnaud is a small former gold rush settlement, roughly 2.5 hours drive North-west of Melbourne, but for us it’s just a quick 30 minute trip from our hometown of Donald. If you have read our blog before, you’ll know we love exploring street art and the Silo art trails around the state. While we live so close to St Arnaud, we had yet to stop in and check out the growing art scene there, until now!
St Arnaud Silo Art
The Wimmera/Mallee region’s silo art trail has a new beauty in its gallery. In 2020, St Arnaud added to the growing number of Silo art projects in the region.
It took much planning, public consultation, community fund raising, and grants for this wonderful artwork to finally come to life.
The community chose the images from a selection of sketches prepared by local artist Kyle Torney. Kyle spent several weeks going up and down in a cherry picker to create his work spanning 2 huge Silos. (You can watch a video of the process here.) The piece is entitled ‘Hope’, and is a nod to the town’s Gold Mining history of the 1800s, were the hope of gold, also gave individuals and their family the hope of survival and prosperity.
The Silos are located at 3 McMahon Street.
St Arnaud Rail Station Raillery Hub Gallery
The former Railway station has been renovated for use as a community art Hub and Gallery. Regular exhibitions are on display, as well as a permanent collection, with a variety of local and regionally produced goods for sale. Workshops and events are held regularly.
The Gallery is open from Friday-Monday 11am-4pm.
St Arnaud Street Art
Artist Kyle Torney has also been busy creating murals around the town over the past few years. The murals feature well know local faces as his inspiration, and like the Silo art, are stunning monochromatic portraits.
You can pick up a brochure from the Tourist Information Centre (4 Napier Street) which will give you the location and background information on each of the murals. Or simply go for a walk around town and see how many you can discover!
And while you are walking around checking out the murals, why not check out the town’s historic buildings. Many of St Arnaud’s buildings express the beautiful architecture of the gold rush era.
The St Arnaud Historical Society has produced a self-guided tour booklet (walk or drive) of the Historical Buildings around town. For $5 this booklet can be purchased from the Tourist Information Centre, and is also available in various shops around town. If you are interested in architecture or history, it’s well worth exploring.
There are so many great shops here to get your retail therapy hit, or find a gift for someone special. Take a stroll along the street and see what you can discover. There are also some great cafés, bakeries and pubs in which you can grab a bite to eat, or get your coffee fix. Stop and ask a local to point you in the direction of their favourite place!
Parks and Bushland
St Arnaud is surrounded by bushland, and there are many great little walks. The St Arnaud Regional Park features several threatened species of flora and fauna. Lovely views can be obtained by walking up to View Point, or Bell Rock. Drop into the Tourist information for tips, or brochures on walking and bike trails in the area.
The areas surrounding St Arnaud are also a hotspot for gold detecting enthusiasts, and have some interesting relics of the gold mining activity.
Around town there are a number of beautiful gardens. Queen Mary Botanic gardens opposite the Tourist Information Centre is a popular spot for travellers to take a break. There are also many playgrounds located around town for little ones to expel some energy.
Where to stay
There are quite a few accommodation options in town, to suit different tastes and budgets.
- St Arnaud Caravan Park – overlooking the township, the park has both powered sites and cabins available. Close to the shops, and offers the usual amenities.
- Kings Avenue Motel – recently renovated, the motel offers lovely rooms with kitchenette, and has laundry facilities available. Across the road from the Six2Six bakery and café, and is within easy walking distance to the shops.
- Country Road Motel – offering queen, twin and family rooms, spotless facilities, and only 900m to the town centre.
- Old Post Office Apartments – The former post and telegram office is a more historic option (although not suitable for children under 15 years). It offers a quiet atmosphere, roof top terrace, fully equipped kitchen, and is a short walk to the shops.
- Motel St Arnaud – able to accommodate a range of group sizes. The motel also boasts a fully licensed Chinese restaurant . A short drive to the town centre.
- La Cochon Rose Motel – located in northern end of the shopping strip, the motel features accommodation units at the rear, which are pet friendly, clean and quiet.
St Arnaud has many grand old buildings, beautiful murals, lovely park spaces, and plenty of great retail places; it’s a great little town to explore. Why not make it the first stop on your tour of the region’s silo art trail!
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