Shepparton VIC: A Concise History and Profile

Never heard of Shepparton VIC? Or maybe you know a little about it, but looking for some quick facts? Perhaps you’re considering Shepparton for a weekend getaway destination? For information regarding things to do in Shepparton during a weekend escape, check out our Ultimate Guide to Shepparton. Alternatively, to learn a little about Shepparton, its history, climate, arts and culture, read on!

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The town of Shepparton VIC

Found 180 kilometres north of Melbourne, Shepparton is a vibrant regional city with a wealth of history, food, drink, culture and nature in every direction. The town is located on the Goulburn Valley Highway which connects Melbourne and Brisbane and also sits upon the banks of the Goulburn River. In June 2018, it was estimated that Shepparton (including neighbouring Mooroopna) had a population of 51,631.

But how did Shepparton come about? Just like all Australian towns and cities, Shepparton VIC started with a longstanding Aboriginal history.

Aboriginal History

Shepparton is found in on Yorta Yorta Country and goes by the name ‘Kanny-goopna’ which means ‘deep waterholes by which people camped’. Before the settlement of Europeans in this part of Victoria in the mid 19th century, Yorta Yorta people occupied the land here. More specifically, the people who inhabited the exact Shepparton area were known as the Kailtheban. Thousands of generations of Aboriginal people lived on the lands here before the arrival of European Australians in the 19th century. Today, the Mooroopna Aboriginal Historical Walk will assist visitors in learning a little about the region’s Aboriginal history.

Info board about shepparton VIC and aboriginal history

Mooroopna Aboriginal Historical Walk – Pic credit: Greater Shepparton City Council

White Settlement History

Shepparton started as a sheep station and river crossing in the mid-19th century and was named Tallygaroopna. In the year 1843, Sherbourne Sheppard began running the sheep station, resulting in the town’s eventual name; Shepparton. In addition to being a sheep station, Shepparton was also a river crossing and was home to a ferry service to travellers.

The Governor of Victoria officially declared Shepparton a township in the year 1860 and in the next ten years or so, a handful of buildings were erected, including a post office. A railway reached Shepparton in 1880 which later helped Shepparton to grow into a city, as did paddle steamers and ferries which floated down the Goulburn River.

Throughout the following century, migrants from other areas of Australia, as well as those from Italy helped to grow the population and make Shepparton into the regional Victorian city that it is today.

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Wollundry Lagoon – Pic credit: Greater Shepparton City Council

Shepparton VIC Today

Found in Australia’s ‘food bowl’, Shepparton VIC is a city famous for its surrounding food production. Fruit, vegetables and cereals are typical agricultural products to this part of Australia, meanwhile a rich dairying region also exists in the vicinity. The Goulburn Valley area actually produces a huge 25% of Victoria’s rural output! However, on top of its agricultural and manufacturing, Shepparton is today also largely known as a cultural city with a temperate climate, diverse community and countryside haven.

Shepparton’s Climate and Location

113 metre above sea-level and 180 kilometres from Melbourne, Shepparton has a fairly cold yet semi-arid climate. The summers here are hot, whilst the winters can be relatively chilly. In the year 2009, the city saw temperatures of more than 46 degrees Celsius, however the average maximum temperature in summer is usually around 32. If you’re planning to take a weekend trip to Shepparton, you can rest assured that the rainfall is quite low throughout the year. However, to be on the safe side, visit in the summer for the best chances, when rainfall is very low.

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Australian Botanic Gardens – Pic credit: Greater Shepparton City Council

Arts and Culture

The scene for Arts and Culture in Shepparton VIC is impressive for a small city, with an art gallery, museum and war memorial found within a cultural precinct on Wellsford Street. Within the precinct Shepparton Heritage Centre can also be found which contains items from the early history of the settlement and from old Forester’s Hall – built in 1873. Meanwhile, the art gallery offers displays of ceramics and paintings made or inspired by the local area.

In addition to the urban culture and arts of Shepparton, it is also home to the Australian Botanic Gardens Shepparton, which amazingly used to be a landfill site. The now beautiful gardens showcases not only native plants but also themed zones which celebrate the history and the diversity of the small yet significant regional city.

Iconic Moooving Art – a project involving local artists – now sees around a plethora of uniquely painted fibreglass cows which are dotted across the city. With a strong dairy industry prevalent in the region, the cows are made to celebrate the agriculture of Victoria and they now also make for a great tourists attraction.

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Mooving Art – Pic credit: Greater Shepparton City Council

What to do in Shepparton VIC

Parks, reserves, forests, riverbanks and a large lake make Shepparton an excellent spot for an outdoor getaway. What’s more, laced throughout the city and its suburbs there are paths which follow the Goulburn and Broken Rivers, offering ideal bushwalking tracks and picnic spots for families.

Victoria Park Lake is another wonderful attraction in Shepparton. Constructed in 1920 from a previous swamp, the lake is located just south of the heart of Shepparton. Walking tracks, bike paths, a skate park and some boating facilities all in the area are ideal for families with young kids.

At Aus Weekend Escapes, we are well-informed about the ins and outs of Australia’s towns, cities, nooks and crannies. For more information about things to do in Shepparton VIC, don’t hesitate to read through our Ultimate Guide to Shepparton. In the guide, we go through a list of activities and attractions in the region, and suggest what you could do during a weekend escape with kids, with your partner or friends, in and around Shepparton.

VIC Weekend Escape’s top hotel pick

Visit Shepparton and you may as well stay some place central, comfortable, with a restaurant and even a pool. Treat yourself to a Shepparton hotel that will welcome you and your family with warmth. Wyndhamere Motel is a beautifully modern, spacious and friendly hotel in the heart of Shepparton, only minutes from the greenery of the park and banks of the river.

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Pic credit: Wyndhamere Hotel

An Angus & Co Bar & Grill offering steakhouse classics is located on site and provides modern favorites, including a signature slow cooked steak, seafood & more. Plus, an outdoor pool is a wonderful way to cool down in summer and will without a doubt excite the kids.

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Pic credit: Wyndhamere Hotel

For more information about the Wyndhamere, click here and start the exciting processes of booking your weekend escape.