The little town of Harrow – population just over 100 – is believed to be the oldest inland settlement in the state of Victoria, Australia,
It is located on the boundary of the West Wimmera and Southern Grampians local government areas, 391 kilometres north west of the state capital Melbourne and overlooking the Glenelg River valley.a map showing Harrow
The first European explorer of the area was Major Thomas Mitchell and a monument marks the spot where he crossed the Glenelg River. A town originally known as Upper Glenelg was established in the 1840s, later renamed Harrow and giving the town its claim as Victoria’s oldest.
The hotel, general store and several other buildings in the town had their foundations laid in the mid to late 40s and are still in use today.
The original Post Office opened on 1 March, 1849, as Upper Glenelg (Harrow from 1854). At its peak, the town included a range of shops and services including two hotels.
Lying on the border between optimum sheep production and cropping regions, Harrow enjoys the best of both worlds, with lamb, wool and grain harvests employing a large percentage of the area’s residents.
Harrow has a different feel to the rest of the West Wimmera. Set along the banks of the scenic Glenelg River, here silos and wheat farms give way to undulating paddocks and red gums. This a town bursting with history: its sleepy quaint streetscape is home to Victoria’s oldest inland pub, its longest continuous licenced store and a 19th-century-listed heritage log lock up. And while it has one foot firmly in the past, the other is planted very much in the present with a dynamic local community passionate in keeping the town’s legacy burning. And boy does this place have some stories to tell.
West Wimmera has produced its fair share of sporting heroes over the years, but none more celebrated than Unaarrimin – better known as Johnny Mullagh. Drop by the Discovery Centre to learn all about this champion Aboriginal cricketer and the incredible story behind Australia’s first international XI. It’s a stunning collection – including a collection of red-gum bats and Sir Donald Bradman’s last ever bat used in his infamous swansong match. But the highlight is the Johnny Mullagh Medal, an award handed to the player of the match in the MCG Boxing Day Test.
For more insight into the Indigenous culture of traditional owners of the land (the Wotjobaluk and Jardwarjali people) take a stroll along the Glenelg River where a signed walk leads you past scar trees, ring trees and, a bit further afield, dugout canoe trees. Down here you can also fish for redfin alongside a sprawling campground among red gums.
SEE & DO Things to See and Do in Harrow
- Johnny Mullagh Interpretative Cricket Centre / Harrow Discovery Centre – Sir Donald Bradman Collection and regular visiting art collections
From the annual cricket game to its theatrical sound-and-light production, Harrow knows how to put on a good show. And for further background on its history, drop in to its museum, where you’ll find some unexpected finds including an original Ned Kelly death mask.
- Historic Bank with original fittings – still in operation today
- Brown’s House of Memories Museum
- Studio Stretch - Art by Ron Penrose. 0488 140 792
- Calico & Candles craft store
- Glenelg River Walk - learn about the relationship between traditional owners
- New Football and Netball Club facilities
- Guided tours of a historical woolshed
- Harrow Sound and Light Show – 03 5588 1242
- Log Gaol, and historical Kalang Cottage
- A brilliant example of a traditional canoe tree
- Bushwalking tracks and bird watching
- BBQ, picnic, playground swimming and fishing
- Golf course operating from April to November. Visitors welcome. 03 5588 1387
SHOP Shopping options in Harrow
STAY Accommodation options in Harrow
Johnny Mullagh Memorial Caravan Park
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34 Blair St Harrow VIC 3317
0455 881 210
82 Blair St, Harrow VIC 3317
08 8390 2326
0408 831 268
950 Mooree Rd, Chetwynd VIC 3312