Do you want to get away from crowded routes that lead to coastal towns and instead enjoy a relaxing time at interesting inland towns? Then Edenhope is one of the places that you should visit, as this town has been fast gaining in popularity among caravanners. This wonderful town is mid way between Melbourne and Adelaide and is built on the shores of Lake Wallace.
The Lake attracts many birds, so birdwatchers can revel in the myriad species of birds, watching as the birds swoop down to catch their prey. Apart from being a popular destination for caravanners, it is a great base town to explore the wondrous attractions that are present nearby.
The English sounding name of this town can be traced back to the ‘Hope’ family, who were the first settlers, while ‘Eden’ is the name of the river in the Scottish town from where the Hope family originated from.
A bit about its history:
The town was built in 1862, with the Lake Wallace as the central point and with the Victorian outback setting up the perfect landscape. The waterbirds that frequent the lake attract many caravanners who are often seen walking along the trails to spot Great crested Grebes and black swans.
If that isn’t enough to wet your appetite for adventure , then there is more of it when you go fishing for trout and redfin.
The first all aboriginal Cricket team
To add to the trivia about Edenhope, it is believed to be the place where the all aboriginal cricket team trained in 1868. There is a cairn in the Lake street that honours the team till date as a reminder.
This town has a bank, post office, restaurant and plenty of shops.
Little Desert National Park
Little Desert National Park is a 132,000-hectare park that is to the north of Edenhope. Though it has desert in its name, this park has a semi-arid landscape, and the wildflowers and animal life bring to life the beauty of animal life. The tranquility of this park is broken only by the sound of animals as they move in the comfort of all the fauna. One-fifth of the fauna of Victoria is present in this park.
This park is home to a variety of lizards, kangaroos, possums and even sugar gliders. There are more than 220 species of birds that you get to see here, and if you are really lucky, then you will get to see the rarely spotted malleefowl.
This park has many camping sites, so you get to watch the night sky amidst these serene settings. If you want to explore the park, there are interesting trails like the stringybark, sanctuary- keith hateley and the Pomponderoo Hill walk.
Jilpanger Flora & Fauna Reserve
The Jilpanger Flora & Fauna Reserve is a sandy haven that is filled with brown stringybark and yellow gum trees. Situated 40 km from Edenhope, it attracts a lot of birdwatchers every year, with birds like golden whistler, bush stone- curlew and grey currawong.
Another interesting place to visit while you are at Edenhope is the World heritage listed fossil site, Narracoorte caves. These caves, which are just about an hour’s drive from Edenhope, have more than a 100 fossils. These caves are a live fossil deposit locker, that have trapped in the history of Australia for 500,000 years, with even fossil deposits of megafauna that existed more than 60,000 years ago.
There are other interesting stuff that you could do while you are at Edenhope like visiting the Coonawarra wineries, or taking a walk at Mount Arapiles or even going fishing at Lake Charlegrark.
Former Court House
A court house that was functional till 1878 brings back images of lives that once lived here. The pews, the magistrates bench, the suspects dock and even the public gallery have been maintained well, attracting scores of visitors.
To help you understand the history of the town, there are plaques that are put up on significant buildings across the town. All it takes is to go out on a walk and to read all the signs that have been put up to find out more about the building and its once significant role.
The great Lake Wallace
Lake Wallace is the main focus of Edenhope and it is about 200 ha. Just five minutes walk from the main street, this lake was named after William Wallace, the Scottish revolutionary, after whom the movie Braveheart was directed.
There are many activities here like water skiing, swimming, boating and even fly-fishing. The lake is not always full though, it dries up during extreme drought, like in 2016.
Dergholm State Park
This park is located about 49 km from Edenhope and is about 10,400 ha in size. It has Bailey’s rock campground where the natural rock formation that consists of the 500 million years old gigantic granite rocks. These rock formations are named after John Bailey who had a property of 1200 acres above the rocks.
Camping at Edenhope is a great way to spend a wonderful holiday which is sure to be filled with plenty of activities and a great connect with nature.