Our caravan club recently toured the Silo Trail in Western Victoria. Because of the distances involved it is wise to base yourself at the caravan park in Warracknabeal like we did or at the well-appointed RV Park in Brim. There is one more silo in this region at Patchewollock which we didn’t visit on this trip due to time constraints.
Northern Silo Trail
With excitement we share cars and set off on the ‘Northern Silo Trail’. Brim is only a short distance up the road and those who are new to this kind of art are gobsmacked at the proportions. Brim RV Park is about a kilometre away on the Yarriambiack Creek. It is well appointed with amenities, a camp kitchen, even a fisherman’s pontoon on the creek. Power is available for early birds.
The Rosebery silos are quite stunning with a pair of young farmhands depicted in red, blue and grey.
At Hopetoun we drive around tiny Lake Lascelles checking out the Bush Retreat freedom camp. We’ve been lucky to stay here before and it is one of our favourites.
The Lascelles silos have soft rather delicate portraits that appear to be fading but to my mind that adds to their charm. Across the road is the big old Minapre Hotel, we’re too cold to eat our sandwiches in the park so Tee does a rather odd deal with the publican to allow us to eat our picnic inside as long as we buy a drink, I told you it was an odd deal. Anyway, there is an enormous high-ceilinged dining room bedecked in agricultural paraphernalia and dozens of tables with vinyl tablecloths. Vee wonders how old the tablecloths are. God she’s practical. We order hot chips through the servery window at the back and coffees from the ‘General Store’ that resides in the front room. It’s a grand old pub and in the end I’m quite sure we more than pay our way but I did hear my Mother’s voice telling me not to take my own food into a pub ever again.
Murtoa Stick Shed and Southern Silo Trail
In 6 cars we take to the road again on the ‘Southern Silo Trail’, but first to pretty little Murtoa where we scare the young caravan park manager by all driving through her lake side gem. With apologies we promise to return one day for a Muster.
We have a tour booked for the Stick Shed and I’m quite sure that most of our group are wondering what on earth I’ve been talking about…”Did you say shit shed?” It’s a 900 foot long corrugated Iron Shed supported by 560 wooden poles and it is a grain shed. In fact it pioneered the concept of bulk grain handling. It was built in 1941 when wheat exports were halted due to the war. Storage was needed to hold the crops. Grain was hauled to the roof and distributed by a conveyor belt. On the walls two more conveyor belts just above ground level carried wheat out of the shed. Today completely empty of all but roosting pigeons and with its soaring roof it resembles a cathedral with perfect accoustics. The pigeons almost sound like chanting monks. With lungs full of dusty pigeon poop we press on to Rupanyup and the next silo.
Rupanyup where the silos are metal and depict two young sporting identities.
Our last silo is at Sheep Hills, you’ve never heard of Sheep Hills? Well neither had I until I started researching these silos. Wheat fields, a derelict pub and a towering group of silos ablaze with colour. Deep purples and star trails and warm brown faces gazing toward the wheat paddocks. I think this is my favourite, or is it Lascelles or what about the one at…