Numurkah is a town of some 3500 people which is situated on Broken Creek in a rural irrigation district focused principally on dairying, although fruit production, mixed farming and grazing are also practiced. It is located on the Goulburn Valley Highway, 211 km north of Melbourne between Shepparton andCobram at an elevation of 108 m above sea-level.
The area was occupied by the Yota-Yota people prior to European settlement. Squatters moved into the area from NSW in the late 1830s. Selectors followed at the end of the 1860s and a township was surveyed in 1876. Land sales proceeded in 1878 and the railway arrived from Shepparton in 1881. That same year the Chaffey Brothers (see entry on Mildura) were asked to look into the area's prospects for irrigation development but they considered it unsuitable.
The area did not really proceed until Numurkah became the headquarters of the Murray Valley Soldier Settlement Area - one of the largest soldier settlements in Australia - after World War I. Under this scheme 700 ex-servicemen were given land to develop for agriculture.
The Rotary Art Show is held in March, the Agricultural Show in October and the Australian Go-Kart Titles in September (at the Go-Kart Club - 4 km east along Katamatite Rd).
Things to see
Tourist Information is available from the Cobram Visitors Centre, tel: (03) 5872 2132.
The Historical Society Museum is located in a former bank building at the corner of Melville St and Knox St and it is open on Sundays from 2.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m. or by appointment, tel: (03) 5862 2230.
Beside Broken Creek, adjacent Melville Rd, are the Numurkah Rose Gardens and Louis Hamon Gardens, a major focal point of the town's streetscape.
There is an open-air steam and vintage machinery display nearby, in Melville St.
The town's old brick court house (1888-89) is also located in Melville St. It has an highly ornamental facade and is flanked by smaller wings with timber and cast-iron verandahs. Court House Crafts now operate from the premises, selling hand-crafted items from local craftspeople. It is open from Wednesday to Saturday with extended hours in summer, tel: (03) 5862 2249.
A collection of 2000 dolls is located at Marie's House of Dolls at 1 Neiklejohn St, tel: (03) 5862 1969.
Melville Street Market
A vast range of antiques, collectables and wares are available at the Melville St Market in Knox St, tel: (03) 5862 1622.
Glenarron Holiday Farm offers comfortable accommodation on a working dairy farm. Head north-east out of Numurkah along Melville St which becomes Tocumwal Rd after the roundabout. Just north of town Hutchin's Lane heads off to the right, tel: (03) 5864 6246.
8 km north of town via the aforementioned Tocumwal Rd (just south of Katunga), a signpost directs you off to the right into Berrys Rd where you will find Monichino Wines which was established in 1962. They produce chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, orange muscat, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, merlot, port and muscat. The cellar door is open daily from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. There are picnic and barbecue facilities, tel: (03) 5864 6452.
At Wunghnu, 5 km south along the highway, is the Institute Tavern located in the former mechanics institute (1890), tel: (03) 5862 2965.