Best Mountain Bike Trails in the Wimmera Mallee
Australia’s largest outdoor gallery may be seen along the Wimmera-Mallee Silo Art Trail. Moreover, a hundred kilometers long, the path connects such far-flung locales as Rupanyup, Sheep Hills, Brim, Rosebery, Patchewollock, Sea Lake, and Nullawil. It’s possible that the new silo at St. Arnaud is meant to be a part of this path as well.
The route honors and celebrates the inhabitants of the Wimmera Mallee through a series of mural portraits painted onto grain silos, many of which date back to the 1930s and offer a glimpse into the region’s authentic character. After the initial silo artwork in Brim was so well received, the idea for the Wimmera Mallee Silo Art Trail was born in 2016.
Idea Behind the Wimmera Mallee Silo Art Trail
The idea for the path grew out of a modest community initiative that involved the Brim Active Community Group, GrainCorp, Juddy Roller, and artist Guido van Helten. This project received extensive coverage in international media and brought many tourists to the area.
Yarriambiack Shire Council collaborated with the international street art firm Juddy Roller, the state of Victoria, the federal government of Australia, and GrainCorp, who used the trail’s silos as canvases, to construct the trail.
In order to complete the project, a group of well-known artists from Australia and around the world traveled to the area, spent time with the locals, and set about transforming the silos into monumental works of art, each of which tells a different story about the town that provided them with inspiration.
Since then, the North East Silo has been built, and other examples of silo art have appeared and are being built in areas where wheat is grown for human consumption. These areas include not only Victoria, but also South Australia, Western Australia, New South Wales, and the border region of southern Queensland.
Many of us have been spurred on by this to visit rural areas to take in these remarkable pieces of art, and in doing so, we’ve helped sustain those communities in the process. Recently, I went on a trip with my friend Carole (and my dog, Florrie).
Dedicated to the unheralded but vital role that sport and community play in the lives of those living in rural Australia, this mural was painted by Russian mural artist Julia Volchkova and unveiled at the beginning of 2017.
Two members of the local sports teams are shown here: netball player Ebony Baker and Australian rules football player Jordan Weidemann. Visualized on a pair of low, linked steel silos for Australian Grain Export.
Sheep Hills Silo
Designed by Adnate, a Melbourne-based artist, and painted atop GrainCorp’s Sheep Hills silos in 2016. Adnate’s representation of Wotjobaluk Elder Aunty Regina Hood and Wergaia Elder Uncle Ron Marks, with their respective grandchildren Savannah Marks and Curtly McDonald, is a moving tribute to the area’s vibrant indigenous culture.
Elements of local dreaming are represented by the night sky, and the painting as a whole depicts the transmission of valuable wisdom, information, and customs from Elders to the younger generation.
At the beginning of 2016, Guido van Helten finished painting the Brim silos. It wasn’t until the Brim silo complex appeared that Victoria saw its first example of silo art. Having attracted both national and international notice, its success led to the creation of the Silo Art Trail in the Wimmera Mallee.
Four GrainCorp silos from 1939 show an unidentified family of men and female farmers, spanning several generations. The solar lights on the Brim silo make it the only silo along this path that can be seen after dark.
Recently completed in late 2017, Kaff-artwork eine’s shows themes that she claims symbolize the region’s past, present, and future. The left silo represents the resilience, determination, and strength of the young women farmers in the Mallee who endure drought, fire, and other hazards on a regular basis.
The rightmost silo depicts a peaceful moment shared by two good friends. The horseman is dressed as a typical Mallee farmer would be, and the comfortable posture of both he and the horse, with their heads down, conveys an air of mutual confidence, affection, and true connection. The construction of these GrainCorp silos began in 1939.
Fintan Magee, a Brisbane-based artist, constructed this silo in late 2016. Nick ‘Noodle’ Hulland, a local sheep, and grain farmer, is shown on the silo.
Nick’s solemn expression, sun-bleached hair, and squinting gaze speak to the harshness of the environment and the challenges of life in the Wimmera Mallee, and the artist felt that he exemplified the no-nonsense hardworking spirit of the region.
He was also the perfect height and leanness to fit onto the narrow, 35-meter-high canvas of the twin 1939-built GrainCorp silo.
Rone, a Melbourne-based artist, painted this in the middle of 2017. Geoff and Merrilyn Horman, whose family has farmed in the region for four generations, are shown on the silos. To create the ethereal, see-through look, Rone painstakingly painted in the silo’s preexisting raw concrete tones, using this subdued monochromatic palette.
Australian street artist Smug painted this mural in 2019 to celebrate the kelpie and draw attention to the value of working dogs in rural areas. The Aboriginal terms “Nulla,” meaning “killing stick,” and “Wil,” from the Willcock word “Galah,” inspired the name of the city. Embossed on the dog’s collar and ID tag are a galah and a stick, symbols of Nullawil’s past.
St Arnaud Silos
Local artist Kyle Torney finished his “Hope” mural on the St. Arnaud Silos in 2020. The artwork honors the region’s long tradition of gold mining. Kyle has completed a number of murals in the St. Arnaud neighborhood.
In conjunction with the St. Arnaud Community Resource Centre, St. Arnaud ArtSpace spearheaded this project. Ridley AgriProducts is the proud owner of the metal silos. The goal is to use St. Arnaud as a starting point for the already established Silo Art Trail, and this project is a key aspect of that vision.
Sea Lake Silo
The artwork, credited to the duo known only as “Drapl & The Zookeeper,” is a tribute to the peace and quiet of outback Victoria and the sense of completion and independence it inspires.
As she swings from a Mallee Eucalyptus tree over Lake Tyrrell, the little girl thinks about her Aboriginal background. Because the shallow saline basin reflects the colors of sunset and morning, the locals gave it the name Tyrille, which means “space opening to the sky.”
There is a deep cultural tie between the Boorong and the lake, and it is said that they had more astronomical knowledge than any other tribe.
Traveling through the Wimmera and the Mallee regions of Australia will surprise you with its beauty and plenty of attractions. Along the Silo Art Trail, there is a monumental piece of artwork waiting around every bend, and that’s only the beginning of the fun.
It doesn’t matter if you’re here for a few hours, a few days, or a few weeks; there’s no set plan. Make a detour off the main drag and wander the town’s historic core; browse the wares in that quaint rural store and strike up a conversation with the locals. Everywhere you look, there’s something new to learn.
It’s time to embark on a one-of-a-kind road journey unlike any other as you discover incredible sites and activities along the Silo Art Trail. Western civilization has given us these wonderful sights.
When preparing for a long ride with friends, make sure you take supplies in the event of your bike breaking, getting lost or weather turning bad. Pack some food, sufficient water, phone charger and if you are going deep into the bush, a GPS device. The night before, make sure to eat well and don’t drink alcohol if you can avoid it. Get a good nights sleep as it’s proven that a bad night’s sleep can affect performance.