At Western General Insurance, we’ve been looking after clients in the Horsham, Wimmera and greater western Victoria region for more than 30 years – so it’s no surprise we’re a big fan of this town and the region. In the spirit of Christmas, and potentially staying local this summer, we’ve put together a ’12 days of Christmas’-esque list of the things we love about this area. So here it is – the 12 days of Christmas, Horsham edition!
On the first day of Christmas, Horsham gave us a rich history. According to the Horsham Historical Society, the district of Wimmera was originally known by the Aboriginal word bogambilor, meaning place of flowers, due to its “dense scrub of wattles at the time”. The Traditional Owners of this area are the Wotjobaluk, Jaadwa, Jadawadjali, Wergaia and Jupagulk peoples.
In the late 1840s settlers first came to the region, but it wasn’t until 1932 that Horsham was officially declared a town, with 5,000 residents. It’s grown to around 15,000 residents now and is considered the capital of the Wimmera.
Wheat and wool
On the second day of Christmas, Horsham gave us a thriving agricultural industry. The region is well known as part of the Victorian wheat belt, and for producing wool. It’s also a popular area for barley and canola farming.
Our famers are an integral part of our community. We’re proud to support so many of our local farmers, helping to manage their risks and financially protect their assets and generations of hard work.
An outdoor playground at our doorstep
On the third day of Christmas, Horsham gave us an outdoor wonderland. Whether you stay in town, or take a small drive – your outdoor options are plentiful. The botanical gardens in town are a beautiful spot to spend some time in nature, and the Grampians National Park, Western Grampians and Black Range State Park are only a stone’s throw away. Mt Arapiles is arguably one of the top rock climbing areas in Australia. A portion of the area has been closed since the discovery of significant Aboriginal rock art, so do some research before you go. The raft of surrounding parklands are popular areas for hiking, camping, fishing, water sports and four wheel driving – just make sure to follow the signs and any safety instructions.
On the fourth day of Christmas, Horsham gave us artistic trails, big and small. Horsham’s reputation for its artistic community has grown over the years. You could take a 1.5 hour walk around town to follow the art heritage trail to view the wonderful public artworks. Or you could jump into your car and head to the start of the famous Silo Art Trail – starting in nearby Rupanyup. The trail heads north and totals 200km, but there’s only about 20-35 minutes’ drive time between silos.
A day at the races
On the fifth day of Christmas, Horsham gave us a day (or two) at the races. A country race event is a wonderful way to spend a day frocked up with friends – and we’re so glad to be able to get back to the track this summer.
On the sixth day of Christmas, Horsham gave us a feast of culture at the Horsham Regional Art Gallery. The curators rotate displays from their permanent collection, and have a schedule of touring exhibitions so there’s always something new to see.
Spoilt for food choices
On the seventh day of Christmas, Horsham gave us a figurative buffet of food options. Whether you’re after a bakery, café, pub or restaurant – Horsham has plenty of great options. We’ll leave it up to you to decide which bakery has the best vanilla slice and sausage rolls, but rest assured you won’t leave hungry if you have a feed at the Bull & Mouth hotel.
Vineyards to visit
On the eighth day of Christmas, Horsham gave us picturesque wineries to spend a leisurely day. Take a winery tour, or nominate a designated driver, and hit the road to visit the local wineries for lunch or a cellar door tasting.
Horsham, or Hollywood?
On the ninth day of Christmas, Horsham gave us a spot of fame. In 2015, Hollywood came to town for the filming of ‘The Dressmaker’ which starred Kate Winslet alongside Aussie actors Liam Hemsworth and Hugo Weaving. The wedding reception scene was filmed at Longerenong Homestead. A portion of ‘Where the wild things are’ was also filmed at Mt Arapiles in 2009.
A claim to fame
On the tenth day of Christmas, Horsham gave us a wonderful community of talented people. As a community, we’ve proudly played a part in producing some stars including former AFL superstar Adam Goodes, current South East Melbourne Phoenix forward Mitchell Creek, and rising netball star Sacha McDonald who plays for the Melbourne Vixens. Hollywood star, Portia de Rossi, was also born in Horsham.
Sporting clubs and communities
On the eleventh day of Christmas, Horsham gave to us more sports and clubs than we can count! We couldn’t write a list of our favourite things about this town without noting the rivalry between the Horsham Saints and the Horsham Demons Football and Netball Clubs. Not to mention the plethora of other sporting clubs and codes around town.
Our team members are involved with the local footy, bowls and pony clubs – so we know all too well the hard work and countless hours that hundreds of volunteers across our town put in to make our sporting clubs an invaluable part of our local community.
On the twelfth day of Christmas, Horsham gave to us a Giant Koala by the roadside – which is actually, technically in Dadswells Bridge, but you’ve likely passed it at some point if you’ve travelled in or out of Horsham. What’s not to love about Australia’s ‘big things’ – and we got a national treasure, the humble koala, as our neighbourhood resident! But it’s more than just a place to take a quick snap while you stretch your legs, there’s a restaurant, souvenir shop and even a native and farm animal zoo where the kids can feed the animals.
So whether you’re visiting our town, or staying local and looking for something to new to do this summer, you’ve got plenty of options to keep you entertained.
Community focused, national capability
At Western General Insurance, we pride ourselves on being truly part of the communities that we service. We’re locally owned and operated – which gives us a competitive advantage because we understand better than anyone the opportunities and challenges facing our clients and their businesses.
We’re a proud local business, but we also have national and even international capability as we are part of the Steadfast and Community Broker Network brokerages. So, if you’re looking for insurance for your business (big or small), your home, contents, car, boat, caravan or motorcycle, contact us for your free, no-obligation quotation.