Small rural centre in northern Victoria.
Katamatite is a small rural township of 300
people located 229 km north of Melbourne and 50
km north-east of Shepparton.
Canoe trees, old cooking sites and the
discovery of stone implements stand as testimony
to the occupation of this area by Aborigines
prior to white settlement. Indeed the town's
name is thought to derive from an Aboriginal
word ('Catamateet') for the local creek. Sources
suggest that the inhabitants were of the
Bangerang tribe, who have also been called the
Kwat Kwat and Emu Mudjug tribe.
The first white man to visit the area was
Edward Knull who took up the 'Tallygaroopna' run
in 1841. It was on this land that Katamatite
would develop. An early survey noted that the
land was 'moderately covered with box and pine
trees together with prickly scrub'. A
subdivision saw the future townsite become part
of the 'Katandra' run in 1848. However, at that
stage there was probably just a lone shepherd in
The land was surveyed in 1874 and opened up
for subdivision. Settlers (mostly wheat farmers)
began to arrive in 1876. In 1878 a post office
opened within Moore's Hotel and the first school
commenced operations. The following year a
bridge was built over Boosey Creek. In 1881 the
Bank of Australasia began trading and a weir was
built. 1882 saw a police reserve established and
the first Wesleyan church built. In 1884 a
mechanics' institute was erected and Katamatite
was declared a town the next year. In 1890 the
railway arrived and a creamery opened. A butter
factory was built in 1906.
Things to see:
There is a display of local memorabilia in a
mud-brick building in the main street (Beek St).
It is open on Sundays and public holidays from
2.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m or at other times if you
ring (03) 5865 1310.
The town's Uniting Church (1961), also in Beek
St, is worth a look. Unusually, for a small
country town, it is of an unconventional and
impressive modern design.