Prior to Brenden being offered work in Dimboola, we had not even heard of it. A quick check on Google revealed that it was a small town located in the south-west of Victoria, right in the heart of the Wimmera wheat belt region. As we quickly discovered, it is a gorgeous little town. We loved our time living in and exploring Dimboola.
We also think it is the perfect spot to base yourself when exploring the local area. It has the beautiful Wimmera River flowing through, plus it is an easy drive to the nearby Silo Art trail and the many other small towns located throughout the area.
The town itself has plenty to offer for such a small place and we loved the relaxed pace of the area. We also discovered a couple of surprises there too.
This place was definitely my biggest surprise of all. The Dimboola Imaginarium is a gift wares shop like no other. It has the most divine and eclectic collection that makes it really hard to know where to look first. Located in what was originally the National Bank of Australasia it is a must see when in Dimboola.
Owners Jamie and Chan bought the property in 2019 and started renovating it straight away. The building was first opened as a bank in 1909. Jamie and Chan’s renovations are in keeping with the heritage of the building.
If you are looking for a unique gift (I purchased Miss Oz’s 21st birthday gifts there) or just want to marvel at how they have refurbished the old safe then definitely drop in. Both Jamie and Chan are generous with their time and happy to show you around the property. You can check them out on Facebook, Instagram and on their website – Dimboola Imaginarium.
This was my other unexpected discovery. A gorgeous coffee shop and home wares store with excellent coffee and food. Located in a beautifully refurbished 1930’s shop, Dimboola Store was established in 2019.
Aside from great coffee, they have lovely meals and sweet treats available as well. If you are looking for a special gift for someone, then you might find just what you are looking for there as well. Even if you are only passing through, I highly recommend you drop in, have a browse and grab a coffee.
If you would like to learn a little bit about the history of Dimboola and the surrounding area then I recommend a visit to the Courthouse Museum.
The building itself was saved from being demolished when it was purchased by the local historical society. It was then moved to it’s current location and opened as a museum. The Museum contains a very interesting collection of items from days gone by. If you have a family connection to Dimboola you can also conduct family history research at the museum.
The museum is open on Saturdays from 10.00am or by appointment and entry is via a gold coin donation. You can also arrange to visit the Dimboola Print Museum if that is of interest to you.
If you visit Dimboola, then make sure you stop in at the Victoria Hotel for a beer or a meal. This is one of those great old country pubs that you could literally spend all afternoon at without a problem. With it’s vine covered front verandah and eclectic collection of memorabilia it’s definitely not to be missed.
Most of the collectibles and decorations in the pub formerly belonged to local lady ‘Bim’ Reid and the pub acquired them after her passing. Silver trays adorn the walls as you walk up the stairs to the hotel rooms. The parlour has a collection of books, chesterfield sofas and two pianos.
The meals are enormous and also very tasty. They also have a great selection of wines available as well. The added bonus of this pub is that it is only a very short walk from the Riverside Caravan Park or the local free camp.
OUT OF TOWN
LITTLE DESERT NATIONAL PARK
Dimboola is known as the gateway to the Little Desert National Park. This park covers an area of around 132,000 hectares. It is home to over 200 different bird species and more than 670 native plants.
The section of the park closest to Dimboola is bordered by the beautiful Wimmera River. There are two camp grounds – Ackle Bend and Horseshoe Bend, with Ackle Bend being the most popular.
There are a number of tracks running through the Little Desert National Park, many of which are accessible only by experienced four-wheel drivers. We had a look at the start of a couple of these tracks and they were all deep and very sandy. As we had no recovery gear with us and no travel buddy we did not attempt any of them.
We did walk the short Pomponderoo Hill Nature Walk which afforded us a view over the stunted desert vegetation. The walk is only one kilometre long and easily doable for most abilities. It was certainly a very different landscape to what we are used to.
Just a few short k’s out of Dimboola on the edge of the Western Highway you will find the Pink Lake or Lake Lochiel as it is sometimes called. It is a stunning site and the colours of the lake change depending on whether there is water in it or not. We visited the lake a couple of times and found the colours amazing.
The pink colour comes from a pigment secreted by microscopic algae. Salt is still commercially harvested from the lake and sold under the Mount Zero Pink Lake Salt brand.
There is a rest area at the lake with plenty of parking as well as picnic tables and toilets. If the lake is dry you are able to walk out onto it and around its edges.
WHERE TO STAY
We spent three months living in the Riverside Holiday Park in Dimboola and we can thoroughly recommend it as a great place to stay. If you are watching your budget or maybe just staying overnight there is a beaut free camp in Dimboola. Both spots are easy walks to the main street and the Victoria Hotel.
We highly recommend exploring Dimboola. It is in such a wonderful area of Victoria and you really will find so much to do.