15 things to do in Horsham (Australia)

On the plains of western Victoria, Horsham is a well-preserved agricultural city on the Vimeira River.

The waterway crosses southwards, is surrounded by a park, and is crossed by a new suspension bridge to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

As a regional city, Horsham has a healthy selection of shops and restaurants, as well as great cultural venues within the multi-million dollar Horsham City Hall.

From Horsham, in a few minutes you can reach the breathtaking Grampians, the small wildlife-rich desert or the foothills of the Arapiers, one of Australia’s most popular rock climbing locations.

1. Public Art and Heritage Trail

Horsham Public Art and Heritage Trail

Horsham has some 180 years of European history, and it shows itself in the CBD’s cityscape and its leafy riverfront just south of it.

In keeping with the city’s justice, you can take this 29-stop trail that runs through the city center and down to the Weimera River in two different areas.

Along this route, restored historic buildings such as the Horsham Theatre (1926), the Old Methodist Church (1912, now the Wesleyan Center for the Performing Arts), and Jubilee Hall (1924) are scattered about the past 25 years of commissioned and thought-provoking public art.

Route maps are available from the Horsham & Grampians Visitor Information Centre.

2. Horsham Botanic Gardens

Horsham Botanic Gardens

William Guilfoyle (1840-1913), the botanist and landscape gardener behind the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne, arranged this beautiful space close to the banks of the Wimmera River.

At Horsham Botanical Gardens you are greeted by tall mature trees, delicate flower beds, public artwork, beautiful rose gardens and carpeted lawns, lush all year round.

Take a gentle stroll along the gravel and brick paths, and you’ll never be far from the shade, sanctuary or old-fashioned gazebo where you can book a party.

A quirk that kids will love is the giant version of snakes and ladders, while Sawyer Park next door has a miniature railway.

3. Horsham Town Hall


For Horsham culture, check out this multidisciplinary complex, which opened in 2016. Horsham Town Hall is a converted and extended municipal building originally designed by renowned Melbourne architect Charles Neville Hollinshed (1899-1993) and completed in 1939. By 1980, the wonderful Art Deco building had outgrown its original purpose, and the regional art gallery soon moved into its former offices.

After years of planning, the entire heritage-listed complex has been transformed and is now an entertainment and cultural hub that attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year.

In this modern space there is a 500-seat theatre for live music, dance, comedy, musicals and lectures, as well as a superb regional art gallery, which we discuss below.

4. Horsham Regional Art Gallery

art gallery

Preserving the fine Art Deco façade on Wilson Street, this highly regarded regional gallery has been around since 1973 and has amassed an extensive collection over the past 50 years.

The gallery specialises in Australian photography and houses more than 1,000 works by Olive Cotton, Tony Albert, David Moore and Nicolas Claire, among others.

There is also a catalogue of work by artists from the Wimmera area, and a collection of paintings and works on paper by Mack Jost.

With four temporary exhibition spaces, there’s always something new to see, and in June, the gallery will host the 10-day ‘ART IS…’ festival, one of Australia’s best community arts events.

5. Weir Park

Will Park, Horsham

As we’ll see, the Wimmera River is a real asset to Horsham, and this riverside park in the city’s southwest is a great place to spend an afternoon.

This is especially true if you have young children in the clan as there is a great playground by the water but is safely fenced off.

After all the fun, families can have a picnic together in one of the modern shelters, which also have BBQ facilities.

True to its name, the park is located on the site of an urban weir, and it’s worth checking to see if the gates are open.

If you want more walks, you can either follow the banks (more on the next) or cross the river to the Yanga track, which meanders through the wetlands.

6. Horsham Weir to Baillie Street River Walk

Wemmera River in Horsham

The banks of the Wimmera River in Horsham are a continuous park, so you can spend an hour or two of peace and quiet under the shade of Red River gum.

The channel is more beautiful due to the weir downstream of the eastern end, creating a wide, slow-moving water belt.

This produces lots of greenery and attracts lots of birds.

Follow the trail and you’ll come across informative signs telling stories of long-forgotten structures along the river, such as bridges, lost pumping stations, streetcars, front weirs, breweries and swimming pools.

7. Anzac Centenary Swing Walk Bridge

Anzac Centennial Swing Bridge

As you stroll along the banks of the Wimmera River in Horsham, you will reach this magnificent pedestrian bridge connecting the north and south banks with a span of 100 metres.

Completed in 2017 in honor of all Horsham and area residents who served in World War I, the Anzac Centennial Bridge is a suspension bridge with 30-meter-high supports for each bank.

There’s no better place to measure the full width of Horsham’s Wemmera River and admire the tall mangrove gums on its banks.

8. Grampians National Park

Grampians National Park

Tectonic movements over the years have created a series of five epic sandstone ridges extending from north to south.

It is easy to see from Horsham that these formations have steep and rugged slopes on the east side and a gentle subduction to the west.

Grampians are beloved for their walking trails, which take you into the mountains and their beautiful valleys, where you’ll see stunning displays of wildflowers in spring and early summer.

This environment is heritage-listed for its flora and fauna, and on your adventures you may encounter wallabies, kangaroos, emus and other native birds.

For the Jardwadjali and Djab wurrung people, this land is ‘Gariwerd’ and in the national park you can find one of the richest rock art sites in South East Australia.

9. Mount Arapiles


West of Horsham, the Wemeira Plains are divided by huge rock formations, rising 140 metres above the surrounding countryside and at 370 metres above sea level.

Take a look at the sandstone walls of Mount Arapis and you’ll see why it’s been a rock climbing mecca for nearly two centuries.

There are more than 2,000 climbing routes on its cliffs and crags, and if you need advice or gear, nearby businesses can help.

Several can be found in the lovely town of Natimuk, home to a group of historic buildings, and an off-road bike trail through mangrove gums and bullock trees to Mount Arapiles.

10. Plum Park

Plum Park

In Horsham’s central business district, close to the train station is another green paradise, known for its large swathes of palm trees.

Spotless May Park is on Dimboola Road, a main thoroughfare in Horsham, but it’s so quiet that you wouldn’t know it.

The park is dominated by open green activity spaces, and the east end is an almighty playground.

There are BBQ facilities at both ends, while a string of picnic tables and a wash basin are connected by a walking path.

If you want to bring a takeaway lunch to the park, there are cafes, local and chain restaurants on all sides.

11. Green Lake

green lake

This Liliu Reservoir is located off the Western Highway southeast of Horsham.

Green Lake was originally created as irrigation water, but with the completion of the huge Wimmera Mallee pipeline project in the 2010s, it is now used to help manage water quality in the system.

Head to Green Lake to swim, fish, picnic by the water, and engage in water sports from sailing to water skiing, jet skis and jet skis.

On sunny days, you can find shade to watch the pelicans.

12. Little Desert State Park

little desert national park

As the name suggests, this national park northwest of Horsham protects a deep, sandy soil that runs counter to the fertile farmland that surrounds it on all sides.

The traditional owners of this land are the Waterjo Baruch people who have lived in the area for thousands of years, their shells and furnace mounds are characteristic of the area, and stone tools have been found in abundance.

Amazingly, the little desert is teeming with life as an important bird area, home to more than 200 species.

Try to come here in late spring or early summer, when the temperatures are relatively cool and the bushes are colorful with flowers and wildflowers.

13. Rupanyup Silo Art

Rupanyup Silo Art

Head to the flat and peaceful Weimera Plains east of Horsham and you might be surprised to see what happens to the agricultural buildings.

In Rupanyup, and the nearby settlements of Sheep Hills, Rosebury, Brim, Lascelles and Patchewollock, huge steel granaries have become canvases for stunning works of art.

The artist in charge is Russian mural artist Julia Volchkova, known for her giant portraits that have appeared in places like Indonesia, Siberia and Belgium.

14. Barangaroo Fine Wines

Barangaroo Fine Wines

A friendly vineyard and wine cellar on the ridges of the Norton region, just minutes southwest of Horsham.

The views from Barangaroo Boutique Wines are beautiful, with clear views of the Grampians to the south and the Arapis Mountains to the west.

The winery produces single-variety reds such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz, as well as crisp Vermentino Blanc, and a slightly sweeter sparkling variety.

You can taste these wines in a rustic wine cellar overlooking the wooded creek and the mountains beyond.

On warm summer days there is a pergola, while in winter you can sit comfortably by the fire and learn how the winemakers at Barangaroo Boutique Wines practice their craft.

15. Horsham Golf Club


The town’s 18-hole golf course first opened in 1949, but recently recovered from the 2009 bushfires and required a complete overhaul.

Even so, Horsham Golf Club is often cited as one of the 100 best courses in the country, and is a must for golfers of all standards due to its numerous bunkers, long par 4s and tricky raised greens tested.

For 2020, green fees for non-members are $50 for 18 holes and $35 for 9 holes. The club has Wimmera’s only on-course golf shop and the driving range is open 7 days a week from 08:00 to 17:00 .

Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Horsham, Australia
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