|Grain silo in
the distance, a view across the paddocks
at Sea Lake
Wheatbelt town in the heart of the Mallee
Sea Lake is a wheat-belt town of some 900 people
which is defined by the huge grain silo in the
middle of the town and the railway line that
carts away the masses of wheat which literally
surround the settlement. It is located on the
Calder Highway, 369 km north-west of Melbourne.
Tyrrell Downs run was established by W.E.
Stanbridge, the manager of the East Charlton
run, who followed Tyrrell Creek north to Lake
Tyrrell and set up the station in 1847. The
property was bought by E.H. Lascelles (see entry
on Hopetoun) in 1884, as part of his plan to
render the Mallee fit for agriculture. He hired
a hundred men to clear the land then floated a
public company to raise capital, thereby
establishing one of the largest wheat farms in
the world (20 000 ha).
The company went into the black in 1900 but
pests and drought ate away at the venture and
the farm was broken up and sold to smaller
selectors. Among them were the poets John
Neilson and his son John Shaw Neilson.
street of Sea Lake
Things to see:
Sea Lake Neighbourhood House, 200 Best St, tel:
(03) 5070 1448.
The town's Recreation Reserve has an arboretum
of salt-tolerant Mallee plants.
Crafts and Antiques
S & D Country Collectables, at 68-72 Best St, is
an antiques and crafts shop, open from 10.00
a.m. to 5.30 p.m. weekdays and from 9.00 a.m. to
1.00 p.m. on Saturdays, tel: (03) 5070 2048.
Lake Tyrrell Wildlife Reserve
6 km north of Sea Lake on the Calder Highway a
right-hand turn takes you out to Lake Tyrell
which is Victoria's largest salt lake covering
20 860 hectares. There is a viewing platform and
a huge salt lake near Sea Lake
The lake is quite ancient. It may have been
formed by drifting sand blocking the passage of
Tyrrell Creek. Over time it became a giant salt
basin due to the flow of subterranean saline
water and the run-off from Tyrrell Lake.
It is dry most of the year, though, at times,
it may be covered in shallow water. The
evaporation leaves a salt crust which is
commercially exploited by the Cheetham Salt
Works at the northern end of the lake.
Small islands in the lake are used as a
breeding ground by thousands of seagulls. The
saltbush and samphire around the lagoon support
a range of wildlife while the lunette to the
east contains significant Aboriginal relics.
The Mallee Desert Car Rally is held here on
the Queen's Birthday weekend in June.
For further information on the reserve ring
(03) 5022 3000.
Green Lake Regional Park
10 km south of Sea Lake along the road to
Birchip is Green Lake, a small and very
attractive lake in the middle of a wheat-belt
area with sandy beaches, powered camping sites,
showers and lots of picnic-barbecue areas, gum
trees and shade. The lake is ideal for swimming,
fishing, yabbying, windsurfing and boating.
Bushwalking can be pursued in an adjacent
reserve of mallee and pine-buloke woodland