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Warracknabeal (/ˈwɒrɪknəbl/) is a wheatbelt town in the Australian state of Victoria.[2] Situated on the banks of the Yarriambiack Creek, 330 km north-west of Melbourne, it is the business and services centre of the northern Wimmera and southern Mallee districts, and hosts local government offices of the Shire of Yarriambiack. At the 2011 census Warracknabeal district had a population of 2,745,[3] of which 2,340 lived in the urban town centre.[4]

Warracknabeal War Memorial & Post Office.JPG
Post office and war memorial
Warracknabeal is located in Shire of Yarriambiack
Coordinates36°15′0″S 142°25′0″E / 36.25000°S 142.41667°E / -36.25000; 142.41667Coordinates: 36°15′0″S 142°25′0″E / 36.25000°S 142.41667°E / -36.25000; 142.41667
Population2,438 (2016 census)[1]
Elevation113 m (371 ft)
LGA(s)Shire of Yarriambiack
State electorate(s)Lowan
Federal Division(s)Mallee
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
22.2 °C
72 °F
8.6 °C
47 °F
397.4 mm
15.6 in



The original inhabitants of the area around Warracknabeal were the Wotjobaluk tribe of Aboriginal people. The town's name is believed to derive from an aboriginal expression meaning "place of big gums shading the water hole". The earliest European settlers in the area included Andrew and Robert Scott, who established the first run of the name.[5]

The Post Office opened on 1 September 1861 and was known as Werracknebeal until 1885.[6]

Amongst the historical buildings are an 1872 prison cell built from red and yellow gum, a Tudor-style post office, several 19th century hotels and pubs, and a four storey water tower from 1886. There is also an agricultural machinery museum housing pieces from the history of farming in the Mallee and Wimmera districts.


The Warracknabeal bounded locality includes the rural neighbourhoods of Batchica 36°11′10″S 142°23′54″E / 36.1862°S 142.3982°E / -36.1862; 142.3982 (Batchica) (whose post office opened as Yellanghip South in 1908, was renamed Batchica in 1909 and closed in 1931), Challambra 36°14′46″S 142°31′53″E / 36.2460°S 142.5315°E / -36.2460; 142.5315 (Challambra) (whose post office opened as Challamba Dam (sic) around 1902, was renamed Challamba in 1905 and closed in 1918) and Mellis 36°17′47″S 142°28′57″E / 36.2963°S 142.4824°E / -36.2963; 142.4824 (Mellis) (whose post office opened around 1907 and closed in 1954).[6]

Traditional OwnershipEdit

The formally recognised Traditional Owners for the area in which Warracknabeal sits are the Wotjobaluk, Jaadwa, Jadawadjali, Wergaia and Jupagik Nations.[7] These Nations are represented by the Barengi Gadjin Land Council Aboriginal Corporation.[8]


As of the 2016 census, 2,438 people resided in Warracknabeal. The median age of persons in Warracknabeal was 50 years.[9] Children aged 0-14 years made up 16% of the population.[9] People over the age of 65 years made up 27.8 percent of the population.[9] There are slightly more females than males with 50.2% of the population female and 49.8% male.[9] The average household size is 2.1 persons per household.[9] The average number of children per family for families with children is 1.9.[9]

82.6% of people were born in Australia.[9] Of persons living in Warracknabeal, 1.5% (36 persons) were Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.[9] This is higher than for the state of Victoria (0.8%) but lower than the national average (2.8%).[9] The most common ancestries in Warracknabeal were Australian 33.0%, English 30.6%, Scottish 7.7%, Irish 7.2% and German 7.1%.[9]

Of the people aged 15 and over 10% reported having complete year 12 as their highest level of educational attainment.[9] This is lower than the state average 15.9% and the national average of 15.7%.[9]

In the 2016 census just over half (54.0%) of the population of Warracknabeal reported being employed full time, 34.9% part-time, 6.1% were away from work and 5% were unemployed.[9] Of those people over the age of 15 and employed 40.4% work 40 hours or more per week.[9] The hospital industry employs the largest number of people in Warracknabeal (15.0%).[9] The median total family income was $1,194 per week, and median household income was $870.[9]

Almost a third (31.8%) of people in Warracknabeal reported doing voluntary work through an organisation or group in the 12 months before the election.[9] This is higher than the state (19.2%) and state averages (19.0).[9]

Median weekly rent was $150, and median monthly mortgage repayments were $758.[9] Almost half (49.4%) own their home outright.[9] Private dwellings in Warracknabeal tend to be separate houses (93.5%). Most of these have three bedrooms (57.2%).[9] Just over two thirds (67.5%) of household have at least one person access the internet from their dwelling.[9] This is lower than the state (83.7%) and national (83.2%).[9]


The town is serviced by three doctors and one pharmacy. Hospital services are provided by Rural Northwest Health.The town also has an Osteopath.[10]


The town has four schools: Warracknabeal Secondary College, Warracknabeal Primary School, St Mary's Catholic Primary School and Warracknabeal Special Developmental School.


The town has an Australian rules football team (Warrack Eagles) competing in the Wimmera Football League.

Warrack Eagles Netball Club competes strongly in the Wimmera Netball Association.

The town has two teams that compete within the Dimboola Tennis Association competition as of 2015: the Warracknabeal Gold and Warracknabeal Maroon.

The horse racing club—the Wimmera Racing Club—schedules around six race meetings a year at Warracknabeal, including the Warracknabeal Cup meeting every Easter Saturday.[11]

It also has the Sheep Hills Race Club, which schedules two race meetings a year, including the Sheep Hills Cup meeting in February.[12]

Golfers play at the course of the Warracknabeal Golf Club.[13]

Warracknabeal also has a cricket team (St Mary's Cricket Club) who have recently won their 3rd consecutive flag in the Wimmera Mallee Cricket Association.

Warracknabeal has three hockey teams: a senior men's team (Hoops), a women's team, and a mixed junior team (Revengers), who were winners of the 2011 premiership.

Warracknabeal also has a roller Derby team called the Wheat City Derby Angels. They participate in tournaments around Victoria.


Former Town Hall

Warracknabeal is the seat of government for the Shire of Yarriambiack. It is also the administrative centre. The council offices are located in Lyle Street.

The former town hall and theatre complex (built 1939-40), added to the Victorian Heritage Register in 2009, is now used for civic purposes.

Easter Y-FestEdit

YFest incorporates an Easter Saturday Street Parade, a 3 Day Vintage Machinery Rally at Wheatlands Museum, 4 Day Golf Tournament, 3 day Art Show, Easter Saturday Race Meeting and Waterski Spectacular. The town of 2400 people swells with many visitors, friends and family and offers many family and rich community events every year.

The Easter Y-Fest is in its twenty-fifth year (2013) and continues to grow stronger as the individual events that make up Y-Fest, benefit from the joint marketing efforts of the Y-Fest Promotions Committee Inc. This Committee, made up of representatives from each of the individual event committees and Council, was formed as a marketing group to promote the Y-Fest concept and has been successful in boosting attendances at all venues.

Notable peopleEdit

Arts and media



Local Eccentrics

  • Harold Boucher (2000), Patrician


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Warracknabeal (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 28 January 2018.  
  2. ^ Worthington, Brett (29 August 2014). "Victorian wheat belt desperate for rain". ABC Rural. Australia. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  3. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Warracknabeal (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 5 July 2013.  
  4. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Warracknabeal (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 5 July 2013.  
  5. ^ Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to Australian Places, 1993.
  6. ^ a b Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 11 April 2008
  7. ^ "Map of formally recognised traditional owners". Aboriginal Victoria. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  8. ^ "Welcome to Barengi Gadjin Land Council". Barengi Gadjin Land Council. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Warracknabeal". 2016 Census QuickStats.  
  10. ^ "Acute Care RNH". RNH Webpage. RNH. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  11. ^ Country Racing Victoria, Wimmera Racing at Warracknabeal, retrieved 7 May 2009 Archived 19 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Country Racing Victoria, Sheep Hills Race Club, retrieved 7 May 2009 Archived 23 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Golf Select, Warracknabeal, retrieved 11 May 2009

External linksEdit