The Mallee region, Victoria travel guide and things to do: Nine highlights

THE ONE LAKE

In 2014, a photo of sunset reflections on Lake Tyrrell, a salt lake that turns pink after spring rains, went viral on Chinese social media, sparking a flood of foreign, then domestic, tourists beating a path up the Calder Highway from Melbourne. Julie Pringle now runs three tours a day to the most photogenic spots on the lake, a multi-million dollar tourist installation has just been completed, and a fully fledged Visitor's Centre will soon open along the highway. See sealaketyrrelltours.com.au

THE ONE ART TOUR

SatAug25ArtVictoria - Silo Art - Tim Richards Brim silos, art by Guido van Helten. CREDIT: Nicole Reed Supplied by Visit Victoria for use in TRAVELLER pr@visitvictoria.com.au

Photo: Visit Victoria

Victoria's first silo art in Brim prompted grey nomads from all over to stampede towards one of the least visited regions in Victoria. The same treatment was then given to silos in Patchewollock, Sheep Hills, Rupanyup, Lascelles and Rosebery, creating the nation's first Silo Art Trail. In late 2019, silos in Sea Lake and Nullawil added to the trail, followed by St Arnaud, Kaniva and Goroke this year. See siloarttrail.com

THE ONE VIEWPOINT

The views over the flat, open plains from the top of Mt Wycheproof are well worth detouring off the Calder Highway to see. A road leads to the diminutive summit, where you can see silos that rise above the trees and highways stretching to the horizon. Time it right and you might even see the grain train that runs straight down the middle of the main street. See wycheproof.com.au

THE ONE SCENIC WALK

The Mallee is blessed with salty pink lakes and the most concentrated collection is found inside the southern border of Murray Sunset National Park. Much of the park is strictly 4WD country, but the four lakes – Hardy, Crosby, Becking and Kenyon – are easily accessible via a graded track from Linga, on the Mallee Highway. A 1.7 kilometre walking track circles the pinkest of the lakes, Lake Hardy, and it is particularly popular with photographers aiming to capture the brilliant light over the landscape around dawn or dusk. See parks.vic.gov.au

THE ONE LODGE

Surrounded by Wyperfeld National Park and located 20 minutes by car west of Patchewollock, the timber and stone Pine Plains Lodge is suitable for weddings, family gatherings, wildlife-watching weekends or 4WD trips, accommodating up to 23 people in seven rooms. It has a communal kitchen, two living areas, open fireplaces, barbecue areas and fire pits, an astronomical observatory, and a wrap-around veranda where you can watch the shadow play over the grassy dunes for hours on end. See pineplainslodge.com.au

THE ONE HOTEL

Sea Lake's Royal Hotel is unrecognisable from the country pub that was struggling to survive only a few years ago. In 2018, a local investment cooperative embarked on an ambitious project aimed at once again making it the town's social hub. The result is nothing short of amazing and it must now rank as one of Victoria's best country pubs, offering clean and affordable accommodation, delicious meals and that welcoming, small-town atmosphere. See sealaketyrrelltours.com.au

THE ONE SHEARING SHED

Following World War Two, a shortage of building materials led to the construction of the Woomelang Shearing Shed using flattened egg tins. Now rusted and worn, the historic shed is a much-photographed landmark that has been used as target practise for shooters and is said to have hosted countless bucks' parties over the years. See woomelang.com.au

THE ONE BAKERY

If you're looking for a tasty vanilla slice or roast coffee, do not go past the Bakery on Broadway in Wycheproof. The brainchild of local farmers, teachers, truck drivers and community leaders, it's housed inside the heritage-listed Shire Hall building and is one of the best bakeries in Victoria's north-west, offering disabled access, indoor and outdoor seating and a tasty selection of breads, pastries, cakes and sandwiches. See facebook.com/bakeryonbroadway

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THE ONE FENCE

When it was completed in 1885, the Dog Netting Fence stretched from Tyntynder, on the Murray River, to the South Australian border – a distance of more than 300 kilometres. It was meant to prevent wild dogs and other vermin from entering farmlands to the south, and rabbits from venturing north. Sections of the fence remain along Dog Netting Road, south of Culgoa, and alongside Lalbert Lake Road, north of Lalbert.

ONE MORE THING

Organisers of the Patchewollock Music Festival hope to revive the event in 2021 after the coronavirus pandemic caused its cancellation in October 2020. Expect similar hi-jinx to previous years in and around the Patchewollock Hotel, including headline music and dance acts, comics and storytellers, and for something different, sheep races.

See patchewollockmusicfestival.com.au

Mark Daffey travelled with assistance from Volkswagen Australia ( and Sea Lake Tyrrell Tours.

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