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Langtree Avenue, Mildura
Mildura is located in Victoria
Population 31,361 (2011 census)[1]
Established 1887
Elevation 51 m (167 ft)
Time zone AEST (UTC+10)
 • Summer (DST) AEDT (UTC+11)
LGA(s) Rural City of Mildura
Region Sunraysia
State electorate(s) Mildura
Federal Division(s) Mallee
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
23.8 °C
75 °F
10.3 °C
51 °F
290.3 mm
11.4 in
Localities around Mildura:
Birdwoodton Dareton Buronga
Cabarita Mildura Nichols Point
Koorlong Irymple Irymple

Mildura is a regional city in northwestern Victoria, Australia and seat of the Rural City of Mildura local government area. It is located in the Sunraysia region, and is on the banks of the Murray River. The population was just over 31,000 in 2011.[1]

Mildura is a major agricultural centre notable for its grape production, supplying 80% of Victoria's grapes.[2] Many wineries also source grapes from Mildura.

Its name is taken from the Mildura homestead, an early sheep station which covered most of the area.


  • History 1
    • Toponomy 1.1
    • Prehistory and European settlement 1.2
    • Irrigation settlement 1.3
    • Growth 1.4
    • Nowingi toxic waste proposal 1.5
  • Geography 2
    • Topography 2.1
    • Urban structure 2.2
  • Climate 3
  • Economy 4
    • Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone 4.1
    • Mildura Central 4.2
    • Development proposals 4.3
    • Tourism 4.4
  • Culture 5
  • Demographics 6
  • Notable residents 7
  • Media 8
  • Sport 9
  • Transport 10
  • Education 11
    • Mildura Senior College 11.1
    • Chaffey Secondary College 11.2
    • Sunraysia Institute of TAFE 11.3
    • La Trobe University 11.4
  • In popular culture 12
  • See also 13
  • References 14
  • External links 15


Mildura has a long history of orange and grape farming.


There are several theories as to the origin of the name Mildura. While it was the name of the sheep station, without precedent in the English language, most historians believe it to have originated from Indigenous Australian words. However, the etymology of Mildura is not entirely certain as in several of the local dialects the words have different meanings. The word dura is generally thought to mean "earth", "sand" or "rock", at least in Latje Latje language. However, usage of the word mill can vary in dialect and is used to mean "red" or "water",[3] and thus, interpretations of the name can vary from "red earth" to "water rock".

Prehistory and European settlement

William Blandowski's 1857 depiction of Jarijari (Nyeri Nyeri) people including men hunting, women cooking and children playing near Merbein, Victoria. A form of kick and catch football is apparently being played in the background.[4]

Many Aboriginal people lived around the site of Mildura because of the abundant food. Local tribes included the Latje Latje and Yerre Yerre.

The first Europeans in the area arrived in 1857 and brought sheep to graze the rich pastures.

Irrigation settlement

A major William Chaffey.

In 1886 George Chaffey came to Australia and selected a derelict sheep station known as Mildura as the site for his first irrigation settlement signing an agreement with the Victorian government to spend at least £300,000 on permanent improvements at Mildura in the next twenty years.[5]

After much political wrangling, the settlement of Mildura was established in 1887. The Post Office opened on 23 January 1888.[6]


The bar of the Mildura Working Man's Club was noted in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest bar in the world until 1995 when it was removed during renovations.

The nearby towns of Wentworth, Gol Gol, Curlwaa and Yelta sprang up in the mid-to-late 19th century. In the 1890s came the scourge of the rabbit. This devastated the sheep farmers, especially south of the Murray. There was also a financial recession at this time. Combined, these factors restricted growth of the new settlement.

After this period, the new settlement grew and grew. It was soon the main town of the district. Suburbs and new satellite towns sprang up. From the 1920s, a number of 'suburban' train services were established to Merbein and Red Cliffs.[7] These were operated by railcars.

Post war Mildura experienced a large influx of migrants particularly from Mediterranean countries including Italy and Greece. Many of these migrants were attracted by the unskilled labour offered by the fruit picking industry.

In 1934 Mildura was officially proclaimed a city.[8]

Langtree Avenue, 1950

Nowingi toxic waste proposal

In 2004 there was a controversial proposal by the Victorian Government to build a state-level Long Term Containment Facility (LTCF) for Industrial Waste in Nowingi, approximately 50 km south of Mildura. The site is a small enclave of state forest surrounded by national park, and contains habitat important to a number of threatened species.

The abandoning of the LTCF proposal was received with jubilation by opponents of the LTCF not only in the Mildura area and elsewhere in Victoria, but also across the border in South Australia where there were fears that in reputation, if not in substance, the toxic waste could affect the water supply via the Murray River and thereby the fruit-growing industries of the Riverland and Murraylands.

The Mildura Rural City Council and residents spent almost $2 million fighting the Government's proposal for the LTCF at Nowingi. On 10 January 2007 the Victorian Government did not rule out some form of reimbursement for the Rural City of Mildura council's legal and other costs in opposing the LTCF. "The general rule is that people bear their own costs, that is most likely to apply in this case ... but I've indicated and I am prepared to talk to the council and mayor about the whole issue of how Mildura moves forward and I'll do that," John Thwaites said.[9]



Mildura is situated on flat land without hills or mountains on the southern bank of the Murray River and surrounded to the west, north and east by lakes and billabongs including Lake Hawthorn, Lake Ranfurly and Lake Gol Gol. Several towns surround Mildura on the flat plains including Merbein to the west as well as Irymple and Red Cliffs to the south which could be considered suburban areas or satellite towns separated by small stretches of open farmland.

While the land along the river and irrigation channels is fertile, much of the land around Mildura is also dry, saline and semi-arid.[10]

Urban structure

Mildura is a largely low-rise and low density urban area that is overwhelmingly dependent upon private automobiles for transportation. Residential dwellings consist almost solely of single-family detached homes on relatively large allotments. The population has been growing rapidly for several decades and most of the residential growth has occurred in the south-western and southern parts of the urban area.

The central business district is located at the northern end of the urban area, fronting onto the Murray River. The main shopping street of Mildura is Langtree Avenue, which features a pedestrian mall and shopping centre. However, this shopping precinct competes with the Mildura Central Shopping Centre, located at the opposite end of the urban area on the corner of Fifteenth Street and Deakin Avenue. Fifteenth Street is also the main strip of big box stores and other commercial enterprises.

The tallest buildings are the two storey 1934 Old Mildura Base Hospital, two storey Marina Dockside apartments completed in 2010 and the three storey tower/spire of the 1920s T&G building.


Mildura has a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk) with hot summers and cool winters. It is only about 50 metres above sea level despite being several hundred kilometres from the coast.[8]

Rainfall totals are about 280 mm a year and are spread evenly across the months and seasons with Winter and Spring having the most rainy days.[11]

Average maximum temperatures range from a hot 32 °C (90 °F) in summer to a mild 15 °C (59 °F) in winter. Minimum temperatures range from around 17 °C (63 °F) in summer to 4 °C (39 °F) in winter,[12] when frost is common and often destructive to irrigated crops. Mildura experiences some very hot days in summer with temperatures exceeding 40 °C (104 °F) on a number of days per year.[11]

Climate data for Mildura
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 48.4
Average high °C (°F) 32.2
Average low °C (°F) 16.6
Record low °C (°F) 7.6
Average precipitation mm (inches) 20.5
Average rainy days 3.5 3.0 3.5 4.3 6.7 7.9 9.4 8.9 7.4 6.9 5.6 4.4 72.5
Average relative humidity (%) 27 30 33 40 50 56 54 47 40 34 30 27 39
Mean monthly sunshine hours 341.0 288.4 297.6 255.0 204.6 168.0 182.9 222.0 254.2 291.4 297.0 331.7 3,133.8
Source: [12]


Grape vines growing in Mildura during December 2006.

Mildura is also known as the centre of Victoria's Food Bowl and is a major producer of citrus fruits (especially oranges), and wine. It is also notable for its grape production, supplying 80% of Victoria's grapes.[2] Many wineries also source grapes from Mildura.

Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone

Mildura is part of the Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone, in which fruits or vegetables may not be taken into the area (they can, however, be taken out). This is to stop the fruit fly from invading crops and plantations which could have a devastating effect on the economy. Disposal bins into which fruit can be disposed of are located along highways entering the zone.

Mildura Central

Mildura Central’s (Formerly Centro Mildura) extensive redevelopment in 2005 has positioned the centre as the major shopping destination within the Sunraysia region. Mildura Central is also the only fully enclosed, air-conditioned centre in this area and offers a retail mix including representation from a number of national fashion stores. Serving a primary trade area population of 60,000 residents, Mildura Central also receives consumers from beyond the trade area including the Riverland, Swan Hill, Robinvale and Broken Hill. It includes a large Target and an 19 aisle Woolworths.

Development proposals

Mildura's location in Victoria and consistently strong local lobbying[13] has seen the Government of Victoria take an interest in the city as a possible centre for population and industry decentralisation programs.[14] There have been numerous proposals involving the state government for large scale developments and investments,[15] many ambitious and speculative that have been shelved indefinitely.

Given the large amount of sunlight Mildura receives, it has been proposed as the site for several proposals for large scale solar power in Australia including a massive Solar updraft tower proposals in 2004[16] and 2010.[17] In 2013, a 1.5 MW demonstration plant was commissioned by Silex Systems and it was expected to be expanded to 100MW by 2017. However, in August 2014, the project was abandoned by Silex, due to lack of commitment to renewable energy by the Abbott government, with plans to scrap the praised Renewable Energy Target (RET) in Australia cited as one of the main reasons for the abandonment of the project.[18][19][20][21] This decision has been extensively criticised by international scientists, who claim Australia risks being "left behind the rest of the world" if it cuts its plans for renewable energy.[22] The decision to not build the plant may also cause electricity prices to rise significantly in the country.[23][24]

Another large development which has been the controversial proposal for Mildura to be the site for Victoria's second casino.[25] The Mildura region has also been controversially proposed as a site for a waste disposal facility at Nowingi.


Mildura's paddlesteamers, such as the PS Melbourne, are popular with tourists

Tourism is a A$210 million industry in Mildura.[26][27] However, a large percentage (30%) are domestic tourists visiting friends or relatives.

The city's situation on the Murray River makes it a hub for watersports, paddlesteamers and boat cruises. The still conditions make Mildura ideal for hot air ballooning and the Mildura International Balloon Fiesta attracts many visitors. The Australian Inland Botanic Gardens, located nearby in Mourquong is another popular attraction which draws visitors to the city.


Rio Vista, the former home of Canadian engineer William Chaffey, built in the Queen Anne style.

Since early settlement Mildura has been home to artists, writers and creative people. Organisations such as the Red Cliffs Musical Society, Eisteddfod, Mildura Ballet Guild and Mildura Country Music Festival have helped grow a reputation for home grown talent and creative community. The hub of this community is the Mildura Arts Centre, which began as a gallery space at Rio Vista House in the 1950s and became fully established in 1956 with the building of a new regional art gallery and performing arts theatre. In 2012, after two years of construction, the new Mildura Arts Centre opened.

Mildura is host to many annual festivals such as the Mildura Country Music Festival, the International Balloon Fiesta, the Jazz Food & Wine Festival, Mildura Wentworth Arts Festival, Murray River International Music Festival, Mildura Writers Festival, Mildura Palimpsest and the Mildura Show.[8] There is also the annual Mildura masters coarse fishing competition held in November which attracts a number of international and local coarse anglers and the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show


As of the 2011 census, there were 31,361 people residing in 14,322 households. 81% of Mildura residents are Australian born. Of those born overseas: England (1.5%), Italy (1.3%), New Zealand (1.0%), Turkey (0.9%), India (0.7%). English is the only language spoken at home for 83% of households.[1]

Notable residents

Notable people from the Mildura district include:


Local newspapers include the Sunraysia Daily, Mildura Midweek and Mildura Weekly. Online news sources include the Mildura Independent Star and Easymix 1467AM News. Local radio stations include ABC Local Radio (National), Easymix 1467AM (3ML)(Commercial), 97.9 Sun FM Sunraysia (Commercial), 99.5 Star FM (Commercial), and Hot FM (Community).

Local TV stations include ABC Television (ABC1), SBS Television (SBS ONE), Prime7, WIN Television, Ten Mildura, 7Two, 7mate, GO!, GEM, ABC2, ABC3, ABC News 24, SBS HD, SBS Two, One HD and Eleven.

The Sunraysia region, including the city of Mildura, was the first region in Australia to switch off analogue TV broadcast in the implementation of the country's DTV transition process.[30]


Mildura has three Australian Rules football teams competing in the Sunraysia Football League; Imperials, Mildura and South Mildura.[31]

The Sunraysia Rugby League is also based in Mildura and has six senior men's teams competing for the annual premiership. Rugby League matches are played from May to September.

The Sunraysia Cricket Association operates its competition between October and March annually. The SCA consists of 8 teams, Coomealla-Wentworth, Merbein South, Irymple, Mildura East, Mildura Settlers, Mildura West, Nichols Point and Workers-Gol Gol.

Mildura has a horse racing club, the Mildura Racing Club, which schedules around nine race meetings a year including the Mildura Cup meeting in May.[32]

Mildura Harness Racing Club conducts regular meetings at its racetrack in the city. [33]

Golfers play at the course of the Mildura Golf Club on Twelfth Street.[34]

The Sunraysia Baseball Association plays during autumn and winter and has six baseball clubs in the league; Hawks, Saints, Eagles, wanderors, Tigers and Tornadoes formed in 2010.

Basketball also has a large following in Mildura with hundreds of teams in all divisions entered in the Mildura Basketball Association's summer league.

Association football also has a large following in Mildura, with there being a popular junior and senior league played during the winter months. The league consists of six teams, those being Three Colours, Mildura City, Mildura United, Irymple Knights, Cosmos and Nichols Point

Mildura is a very motor sports oriented town. It has several tracks in the region to cater for different types of motor sports including the Mildura Kart Club (Go-Kart racing); Timmis Speedway (Automobile speedway); Olympic Park Speedway (Motorcycle speedway); Sunset Strip (1/8 mile drag racing); and North West Victoria Motorcycle Club (Off road motorcycle racing). The Mildura TT Circuit hosted the Australian TT in the 1950s.


The New South Wales

Mildura is on the intersection of the Sturt Highway from Adelaide to Sydney, and the Calder Highway to Melbourne via Bendigo. Deakin Avenue, the main street of Mildura, is known as the longest straight avenue in Australia, at 12.1 km.[8] Sunraysia Bus Lines, Swan Hill Bus Lines and Dysons Bus Services operate V/Line bus services that connect Mildura to various parts of Victoria and southern New South Wales. Greyhound Australia run buses to Adelaide and Sydney via Canberra. NSW TrainLink run buses to Sydney. The Henty Highway Bus Service runs buses to Horsham.

Mildura has a railway connection to Melbourne, which is used for freight transport. In May 2006, it was announced that the Mildura line would receive a $73 million upgrade using gauge convertible sleepers.[35]

Mildura Airport is the third busiest airport in Victoria,[36] serviced by four QantasLink flights daily to Melbourne, four Regional Express Airlines flights to Melbourne, and two Sharp Airlines flights daily to Adelaide. Virgin Australia has one flight per day in each direction between Melbourne and Mildura.


Mildura Senior College

The College has been closely linked with the development of Mildura since the opening of the irrigation settlement by the Chaffey’s in the 1880s. For example, in 1890 the Governor of Victoria, Lord Hopetoun, laid the foundation stone of what was to become the Chaffey Agricultural College, but unfortunately, because of financial difficulties, the College was not built. In 1911, the Education Department of Victoria agreed to erect a high school on the Chaffey College site, and Mildura High School was officially opened in September 1912. The Diamond Jubilee of the school was celebrated on the 8 and 9 September 1972. We celebrated our 75th birthday in August 1987 and in 2012 celebrated our centenary over the weekend of September 14-16th.

As part of a strategic plan by the Ministry of Education in 1990, Mildura High School changed its name to Mildura Secondary College to reflect the changing nature of educational delivery in secondary schools. Again as a result of restructuring in education provision since 1995 the College has been known as Mildura Senior College, catering exclusively for the final two years of secondary education.

Mildura Senior College has a long and distinguished history of providing quality educational pathways to thousands of young people living in Sunraysia.

Mildura Senior College caters exclusively for Year 11 & 12 students. In 2013 there will be approximately 500 students in Year 11 and 400 in Year 12. Entrance to Year 11 is open to all students living in the Sunraysia District who have successfully completed Year 10. The decision regarding the satisfactory completion of Year 10 is the responsibility of the 7-10 College. Enrolment at the College is also dependent on factors such as age, behaviour record and other achievements. Please see the section on enrolment for further information.

Chaffey Secondary College

Chaffey Secondary College is a Victorian State Government secondary school catering for students in Years 7 to 10 located in Deakin Avenue. In 2012 the college had 640 students enrolled. The college offers 120 to 140 different courses each term as part of its modular learning program. Students and families participate in a program of course counseling and student-led presentations each term to help students create the most appropriate course for their ability, pathway and interests. The college has a double-court gymnasium which it operates as a joint-use facility with the Mildura Regional City Council. The college operates a small theatre with seating for up to 220 persons.

Sunraysia Institute of TAFE

Sunraysia Institute of TAFE's main campus is located in Benetook Avenue. In 2008, the Institute had 6592 students enrolled.[37]

La Trobe University

La Trobe University operates a regional campus in Mildura, with 322 students enrolled as of 28 May 2008.[38]

In popular culture

Two Australian Navy vessels have been named after Mildura, HMAS Mildura and HMS Mildura.

The songs Mildura (Home of Mine) and Come to Mildura – the Land of Winter Sunshine were written by Reg. Stoneham in the 1920s.

Mrs G. H. Ball’s My Old Home Town (Mildura) was recorded on the B side of John Collinson’s first recording of Waltzing Matilda in 1926.[39]

See also


  1. ^ a b c  
  2. ^ a b Mildura, Department of Planning and Community Development Mildura Rural City Council, Accessed 27 September 2007
  3. ^ Mildura Homestead – Mildura Arts Centre. Retrieved on 18 August 2011.
  4. ^ From William Blandowski's Australien in 142 Photographischen Abbildungen, 1857, (Haddon Library, Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge)
  5. ^ Westcott, Peter (1979). "Chaffey, William Benjamin (1856–1926)".  
  6. ^ Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Retrieved 11 April 2008. 
  7. ^ The Mildura Suburban Train Service McLean, Bruce Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, September, 1978 pp189-205
  8. ^ a b c d "Mildura".  
  9. ^ "City seeks compo for dump fight".  
  10. ^ Mildura – Wyperfeld NP. (18 June 2007). Retrieved on 18 August 2011.
  11. ^ a b "Climate of Mildura". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 7 August 2010. 
  12. ^ a b "Monthly climate statistics".  
  13. ^ Iles, Kieran. (16 August 2010) New voice for Mildura growth – Local News – News – General. Sunraysia Daily. Retrieved on 18 August 2011.
  14. ^
  15. ^ [4]
  16. ^ [5]
  17. ^ Victorian government may help build a solar power plant at Mildura. (22 September 2010). Retrieved on 18 August 2011.
  18. ^ "Silex falls victim to erratic policy".  
  19. ^ "Uncertainty over Mildura's solar future after plant shelving". ABC Online. 19 August 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  20. ^ "Solar farm abandoned over uncertainty over renewable energy target".  
  21. ^ Wilson, Iain (19 August 2014).  
  22. ^ "Silex shelves major solar plant on RET uncertainty".  
  23. ^ "Completion of Australia's largest solar plant at risk". RT Business. 19 August 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  24. ^ "Abolishing Renewable Energy Target will increase cost of electricity, company profits: report". ABC Online. 18 August 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  25. ^ Mildura casino plans unveiled – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). (26 March 2010). Retrieved on 18 August 2011.
  26. ^
  27. ^ [6]
  28. ^ Anderson, Hugh. Hill, Edward Fowler (Ted) (1915–1988). Canberra: National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. 
  29. ^ Bolton, G. C.; Morant, Andrew. Wigmore, Alice Ivy (1895–1982). Canberra: National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. 
  30. ^ "Country Vic first with digital TV switch". The Sydney Morning Herald. 30 June 2010. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  31. ^ Full Points Footy. "Sunraysia Football League". Retrieved 15 April 2009. 
  32. ^ Country Racing Victoria. "Mildura Racing Club". Retrieved 7 May 2009. 
  33. ^ Australian Harness Racing. "Mildura". Retrieved 11 May 2009. 
  34. ^ Golf Select. "Mildura". Retrieved 11 May 2009. 
  35. ^ "Roads, ports and freight – Mildura Rail Freight Upgrade". Retrieved 4 June 2008. 
  36. ^ Mildura Airport — Flights to Mildura
  37. ^ title=Sunraysia Institute of TAFE Annual Report 2008
  38. ^ "La Trobe University enrolment statistics". La Trobe University. Retrieved 14 October 2008. 
  39. ^ National Film and Sound Archive: Does your town have its own song?

External links

  • Official Tourism Website – Mildura
  • Murray River info – Mildura
  • Mildura Bureau of Meteorology Field Office
  • Watch historical footage of Mildura and surrounds dating from 1920-2001 from the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia's collection.
  • Mildura - Visit NSW

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