LangreeAvenueMildura 2007.jpg
Langtree Avenue, Mildura
Population: 30,016(2006 ABS)[1]
Established: 1887
Elevation: 51 m (167 ft)
Time zone:

 • Summer (DST)



LGA: Rural City of Mildura
Region: Sunraysia
State District: Mildura
Federal Division: Mallee
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
23.7 °C
75 °F
10.3 °C
51 °F
282.3 mm
11.1 in

Mildura is a regional city in northwestern Victoria, Australia and seat of the Rural City of Mildura local government area. It is located in the Sunraysia region, and is on the banks of the Murray River. The current population is estimated at just over 30,000.[2]

Mildura is a major agricultural centre notable for its grape production, supplying 80% of Victoria's grapes.[3] Many wineries also source grapes from Mildura.

Its name is taken from the Mildura homestead, an early sheep station which covered most of the area.



Mildura has a long history of Orange farming.


There are several theories as to the origin of the name Mildura. While it was the name of the sheep station, without precedent in the English language, most historians believe it to have originated from Indigenous Australian words. However the etymology of Mildura is not entirely certain as in several of the local dialects the words have different meanings. The word "dura" is generally thought to mean "earth", "sand" or "rock", at least in Latje Latje language. However usage of the word 'mill' can vary in dialect and is used to mean "red" or "water",[4] thus interpretations of the name can vary from "red earth" to "water rock".

Prehistory and European settlement

Many Aboriginal people lived around the site of Mildura because of the abundant food. Local tribes included the Latje Latje and Yerre Yerre.

The first Europeans in the area arrived in 1857 and sheep to graze the rich pastures.

Irrigation settlement

Rio Vista, former home of William Chaffey.

A major drought in Victoria from 1877 to 1884 prompted Alfred Deakin, then a minister in the State Government and chairman of a Royal Commission on water supply to visit the irrigation areas of California. There he met George and William Chaffey.

In 1886 George Chaffey came to Australia and selected a derelict sheep station known at Mildura as the site for his first irrigation settlement signing an agreement with the Victorian government to spend at least £300,000 on permanent improvements at Mildura in the next twenty years.[5]

After much political wrangling, the settlement of Mildura was established in 1887. The Post Office opened on 23 January 1888.[6]


The bar of the Mildura Working Man's Club was noted in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest bar in the world until 1995 when it was removed during renovations.

The nearby towns of Wentworth, Gol Gol, Curlwaa and Yelta sprang up in the mid-to-late 19th century. In the 1890s came the scourge of the rabbit. This devastated the sheep farmers, especially south of the Murray. There was also a financial recession at this time. Combined, these factors restricted growth of the new settlement.

After this period, the new settlement grew and grew. It was soon the main town of the district. Suburbs and new satellite towns sprang up. From the 1920s, a number of 'suburban' train services were established to Merbein and Red Cliffs.[7] These were operated by railcars.

Post war Mildura experienced a large influx of migrants particularly from Mediterranean countries including Italy and Greece. Many of these migrants were attracted by the unskilled labour offered by the fruit picking industry.

In 1934 Mildura was officially proclaimed a city.[8]

Langtree Avenue, 1950

Nowingi toxic waste proposal

In 2004 there was a controversial proposal by the Victorian Government to build a state-level Long Term Containment Facility (LTCF) for Industrial Waste in Nowingi, approximately 50 km south of Mildura. The site is a small enclave of state forest surrounded by national park, and contains habitat important to a number of threatened species.

The abandoning of the LTCF proposal was received with jubilation by opponents of the LTCF not only in the Mildura area and elsewhere in Victoria, but also across the border in South Australia where there were fears that in reputation, if not in substance, the toxic waste could effect the water supply via the Murray River and thereby the fruit-growing industries of the Riverland and Murraylands.

The Mildura Rural City Council and residents spent almost $2 million fighting the Government's proposal for the LTCF at Nowingi. On 10 January 2007 the Victorian Government did not rule out some form of reimbursement for the Rural City of Mildura council's legal and other costs in opposing the LTCF. "The general rule is that people bear their own costs, that is most likely to apply in this case ... but I've indicated and I am prepared to talk to the council and mayor about the whole issue of how Mildura moves forward and I'll do that," John Thwaites said.[9]



Mildura is situated on flat land without hills or mountains on the southern bank of the Murray River and surrounded to the west, north and east by lakes and billabongs including Lake Hawthorn, Lake Ranfurly and Lake Gol Gol. Several towns surround Mildura on the flat plains including Merbein to the west as well as Irymple and Red Cliffs to the south which could be considered suburban areas or satellite towns separated by small stretches of open farmland.

While the land along the river and irrigation channels is fertile, much of the land around Mildura is also dry, saline and semi-arid.[10]

Urban structure

Mildura is a largely low-rise and low density urban area that is overwhelmingly dependent upon private automobiles for transportation. Residential dwellings consist almost solely of single-family detached homes on relatively large allotments. The population has been growing rapidly for several decades and most of the residential growth has occurred in the south-western and southern parts of the urban area.

The central business district is located at the northern end of the urban area, fronting onto the Murray River. The main shopping street of Mildura is Langtree Avenue, which features a pedestrian mall and shopping centre. However this shopping precinct competes with the Centro Mildura shopping centre, located at the opposite end of the urban area on the corner of Fifteenth Street and Deakin Avenue. Fifteenth Street is also the main strip of big box stores and other commercial enterprises.

The tallest buildings are the two storey 1934 Old Mildura Base Hospital, two storey Marina Dockside apartments completed in 2010 and the three storey tower/spire of the 1920s T&G building.


Mildura enjoys a mostly warm climate. It is only about 50 metres above sea level despite being several hundred kilometres from the coast.[8] Mildura is classified as a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk) as a result.

Rainfall totals are about 280 mm a year and are spread evenly across the months and seasons with Winter and Spring having the most rainy days.[11]

Average maximum temperatures range from a hot 32 °C (90 °F) in summer to 15 °C (59 °F) in winter. Minimum temperatures range from around 17 °C (63 °F) in summer to 4 °C (39 °F) in winter,[12] when frost is common and often destructive to irrigated crops. Mildura experiences some very hot days in summer with temperatures exceeding 40 °C (104 °F) on a number of days per year.[11]

Climate data for Mildura
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 46.9
Average high °C (°F) 32.2
Average low °C (°F) 16.6
Record low °C (°F) 7.6
Precipitation mm (inches) 20.5
Avg. rainy days 3.5 3.0 3.5 4.3 6.7 7.9 9.4 8.9 7.4 6.9 5.6 4.4 72.5
Source: [12]


Grape vines growing in Mildura during December 2006.

Mildura is also known as the centre of Victoria's Food Bowl and is a major producer of citrus fruits (especially oranges), and wine.[citation needed] It is also notable for its grape production, supplying 80% of Victoria's grapes.[3] Many wineries also source grapes from Mildura.

Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone

Fruit disposal bins and warning signs along the Calder Highway, approaching Mildura.

Mildura is part of the Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone, in which fruits or vegetables may not be taken into the area (they can, however, be taken out). This is to stop the fruit fly from invading crops and plantations which could have a devastating effect on the economy. Disposal bins into which fruit can be disposed of are located along highways entering the zone.

Centro Mildura

Centro Mildura’s extensive redevelopment in 2005 has positioned the centre as the major shopping destination within the Sunraysia region. Centro Mildura is also the only fully enclosed, air-conditioned centre in this area and offers a strong retail mix including representation from a number of key national fashion stores. Serving a primary trade area population of 60,000 residents, Centro Mildura also attracts consumers from beyond the trade area including the Riverland, Swan Hill, Robinvale and Broken Hill.

Development proposals

Mildura's location in Victoria and consistently strong local lobbying[13] has seen the Government of Victoria take an interest in the city as a possible centre for population and industry decentralisation programs.[14] There have been numerous proposals involving the state government for large scale developments and investments,[15] many ambitious and speculative that have been shelved indefinitely. Given the large amount of sunlight the city receives, it has been proposed as the site for several proposals for large scale Solar power in Australia including a massive Solar updraft tower proposals in 2004[16] and 2010[17] which have not yet eventuated. Another large development which has been the controversial proposal for Mildura to be the site for Victoria's second casino.[18] The Mildura region has also been controversially proposed as a site for a toxic waste disposal facility.


Mildura's paddlesteamers, such as the PS Melbourne are popular with tourists

Tourism is a A$210 million industry in Mildura,[19][20] however a large percentage (30%) are domestic tourists visiting friends or relatives.

The city's situation on the Murray River makes it a hub for watersports, paddlesteamers and boat cruises. The still conditions make Mildura ideal for hot air ballooning and the Mildura International Balloon Fiesta attracts many visitors. The Australian Inland Botanic Gardens, located nearby in Mourquong is another popular attraction which draws visitors to the city.


Mildura is host to many annual festivals such as the Mildura Country Music Festival, the International Balloon Fiesta, the Jazz Food & Wine Festival, Mildura Wentworth Arts Festival, Murray River International Music Festival, Mildura Writers Festival, Mildura Palimpsest and the Mildura Show.[8] there is also the annual Mildura masters coarse fishing competition held in November which attracts a number of international and local coarse anglers and the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show


As of the 2006 Census, there were 30,016 people residing in 13,053 households. 82.8 % of Mildura residents are Australian born. Of those born overseas: England (1.5%), Italy (1.4%), Turkey (1.4%), New Zealand (1.1%), Greece (0.5%). English is the only language spoken at home for 86.2% of households.[1]

Notable Residents

Notable people from the Mildura district include:


Local newspapers include the Sunraysia Daily, Mildura Midweek, Mildura Weekly and the Mildura Independent Star, which converted to an online only publication in 2007. Local radio stations include ABC Local Radio, Easymix 1467AM (3ML), 97.9 Sun FM Sunraysia, 99.5 Star FM, and Hot FM.

Local TV stations include ABC Television (ABC1), SBS Television (SBS ONE), Prime7, WIN Television, Ten Mildura, 7Two, 7mate, GO!, GEM, ABC2, ABC3, ABC News 24, SBS HD, SBS Two, One HD and Eleven. Of the three main commercial networks, WIN produces a 30-minute local news bulletin on weeknights, produced from a newsroom in the city and broadcast from studios in Ballarat.

The Sunraysia region, including the city of Mildura, was the first region in Australia to switch off analogue TV broadcast in the implementation of the country's DTV transition process.[21]


Mildura has three Australian Rules football teams competing in the Sunraysia Football League; Imperials, Mildura and South Mildura.[22]

Mildura has a horse racing club, the Mildura Racing Club, which schedules around nine race meetings a year including the Mildura Cup meeting in May.[23]

Mildura Harness Racing Club conducts regular meetings at its racetrack in the city. [24]

Golfers play at the course of the Mildura Golf Club on Twelfth Street.[25]

The Sunraysia Baseball Assocition plays during autumn and winter and has six baseball clubs in the league; Hawks, Saints, Eagles, wanderors, Tigers and Tornadoes formed in 2010.

Basketball also has a large following in Mildura with hundreds of teams in all divisions entered in the Mildura Basketball Association's summer league.

Association football also has a large following in Mildura, with there being a popular junior and senior league played during the winter months. The league consists of six teams, those being Three Colours, Mildura City, Mildura United, Irymple Knights, Cosmos and Nichols Point

Mildura is a very motor sports oriented town. It has several tracks in the region to cater for different types of motor sports including the Mildura Kart Club (Go-Kart racing); Timmis Speedway (Automobile speedway); Olympic Park Speedway (Motorcycle speedway); Sunset Strip (1/8 mile drag racing); and North West Victoria Motorcycle Club (Off road motorcycle racing). The Mildura TT Circuit hosted the Australian TT in the 1950s.


The George Chaffey Bridge over the Murray River, leading to New South Wales

Mildura is on the intersection of the Sturt Highway from Adelaide to Sydney, and the Calder Highway to Melbourne via Bendigo. Deakin Avenue, the main street of Mildura, is known as the longest straight avenue in Australia, at 12.1 km.[8] Sunraysia Bus Lines, Swan Hill Bus Lines and Dysons Bus Services operate V/Line bus services that connect Mildura to various parts of Victoria and southern New South Wales. Greyhound Australia run buses to Adelaide and Sydney via Canberra. Countrylink run buses to Sydney. The Henty Highway Bus Service runs buses to Horsham.

Mildura has a railway connection to Melbourne, which is used for freight transport. In May 2006, it was announced that the Mildura line would receive a $73 million upgrade using gauge convertible sleepers.[26]

Mildura Airport is the third busiest airport in Victoria,[27] serviced by four QantasLink flights daily to Melbourne, four Regional Express Airlines flights to Melbourne, and two Sharp Airlines flights daily to Adelaide. Virgin Australia has one flight per day in each direction between Melbourne and Mildura.


Sunraysia Institute of TAFE

Sunraysia Institute of TAFE's main campus is located in Benetook Avenue. In 2008, the Institute had 6592 students enrolled.[28]

La Trobe University

La Trobe University operates a regional campus in Mildura, with 322 students enrolled as of 28 May 2008.[29]

In popular culture

Two Australian Navy boats have been named after Mildura, HMAS Mildura and HMS Mildura.

See also


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Mildura (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 6 January 2008. 
  2. ^ "3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2008–09". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 
  3. ^ a b Mildura, Department of Planning and Community Development Mildura Rural City Council, Accessed 27 September 2007
  4. ^ Mildura Homestead – Mildura Arts Centre. Retrieved on 18 August 2011.
  5. ^ Westcott, Peter (1979). "Chaffey, William Benjamin (1856–1926)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University / Melbourne University Press. Retrieved 22 February 2007. 
  6. ^ Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Retrieved 11 April 2008 
  7. ^ The Mildura Suburban Train Service McLean, Bruce Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, September, 1978 pp189-205
  8. ^ a b c d "Mildura". Sydney Morning Herald Travel. Retrieved 8 February 2004. 
  9. ^ "City seeks compo for dump fight". News Limited. 10 January 2007.,22606,21038063-5005962,00.html. Retrieved 10 January 2007. [dead link]
  10. ^ Mildura – Wyperfeld NP. (18 June 2007). Retrieved on 18 August 2011.
  11. ^ a b "Climate of Mildura". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 7 August 2010. 
  12. ^ a b "Monthly climate statistics". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 7 August 2010. 
  13. ^ Iles, Kieran. (16 August 2010) New voice for Mildura growth – Local News – News – General. Sunraysia Daily. Retrieved on 18 August 2011.
  14. ^
  15. ^ [1][dead link]
  16. ^ [2][dead link]
  17. ^ Victorian government may help build a solar power plant at Mildura. (22 September 2010). Retrieved on 18 August 2011.
  18. ^ Mildura casino plans unveiled – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). (26 March 2010). Retrieved on 18 August 2011.
  19. ^
  20. ^ [3][dead link]
  21. ^ "Country Vic first with digital TV switch". The Sydney Morning Herald. 30 June 2010. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  22. ^ Full Points Footy. "Sunraysia Football League". Retrieved 15 April 2009 
  23. ^ Country Racing Victoria. "Mildura Racing Club". Retrieved 7 May 2009 [dead link]
  24. ^ Australian Harness Racing. "Mildura". Retrieved 11 May 2009 
  25. ^ Golf Select. "Mildura". Retrieved 11 May 2009 
  26. ^ "Roads, ports and freight – Mildura Rail Freight Upgrade". Retrieved 4 June 2008. 
  27. ^ Mildura Airport — Flights to Mildura
  28. ^ title=Sunraysia Institute of TAFE Annual Report 2008
  29. ^ "La Trobe University enrolment statistics". La Trobe University. Retrieved 14 October 2008. 

External links

Coordinates: 34°11′S 142°09′E / 34.183°S 142.15°E / -34.183; 142.15

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