Charlton is a charming tree lined town situated on the banks of the Avoca River. At three hour’s drive from both Melbourne and Mildura, it’s a perfect place to break up a long drive. With excellent accommodation, Charlton is also the perfect place to stay for a few days and explore the local and surrounding areas. So, whether it’s for five minutes, a couple of hours or overnight, enjoy the river’s natural beauty, our heritage style buildings, vibrant shopping precinct and the town’s friendly hospitality.
Enjoy the tranquility of the Wooroonook Lakes located 14 km west of the town on the Borung Highway. The lakes have powered sites, a toilet block and playground.
The Charlton Weir located 1 km to the north of the town provides water in the river for fishing, canoeing or just a relaxing walk along the banks of the River. The River frontage through Charlton Park is a natural wonderland of serenity and beauty, its river red gum and native bird life are probably Charlton’s best kept secret.
Use Charlton as your base to visit the Silo Art Trail, the largest outdoor gallery in Australia. Currently stretching for over 200 kilometres, it links the six towns of. Rupanyup, Sheep Hills, Brim, Rosebery, Lascelles and Patchewollock. The silo art acknowledges the area’s ancient indigenous roots as well as its history as one of Australia’s most important grain growing areas.
The Travellers’ Rest complex, situated on the Avoca River in the centre of town, provides excellent toilet facilities, a children’s playground, bocce court, picturesque picnic area with ample parking for cars, caravans and coaches and eight self contained caravan sites. Here you will also find river heights of Charlton’s worst floods recorded beside the viewing platform. View the “Big Fish”, (a Kenya Broadbill), a memento of the 2006 Commonwealth Games and the Premier Harvester manufactured at the Charlton Foundry in the early 1900’s.
Walk through the Travellers’ Rest, across the swing bridge over the Avoca River to Gordon Park which contains another large playground, skatepark, the Charlton Swimming Pool and a statue of a swagman, carved by chain saw artist Kevin Gilders from a stump of a pine tree. A 500 metre paved walking track will lead you along the water’s edge amongst the river red gums. Along the way read the interpretive signs detailing the local birdlife.
Charlton’s High Street has many delightful shops and eateries to enjoy. Café’s, pubs, clothing, antiques and giftware are in abundance. Walking along the street you will find displays and plaques illustrating the history of the township, as well as a bronze bust and audio history of former Charlton resident, Prime Minister John Curtin.
The heart of Charlton’s High Street is The Rex – an original Art Deco cinema that has been community owned since 2007 and is fully run and operated by dedicated volunteers. As well as weekly screenings of current films and other special events and live performances throughout the year, The Rex hosts the annual Charlton Film Festival in February. See what’s screening this week at www.rextheatre.org.au.
At the western end of High Street, you will find war memorials for the Boer War, WW1, WW2 and the Vietnam War. In the Elliott Gardens a bronze bust and information on Major General Harold ‘Pompey’ Elliott is located. Pompey was one of WW1s most famous and loved generals and was born and raised in West Charlton. Also located in these gardens is the Golden Grains Museum, housed in the former Mechanics Institute. This award-winning museum has a large collection of memorabilia and photographs dating back to Charlton’s early pioneering days. For opening hours visit www.charltongoldengrasinmuseum.com.au.