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General information

Hamilton is a major centre located in the south-west of Victoria, south of Horsham and north of the coastal towns of Portland and Port Fairy.

Hamilton features attractive tree-lined streets and a commercial centre which is mainly confined to the areas around Thompson Street, Gray Street and Brown Street. Hamilton boasts a couple of impressive churches which can be found at "Church Hill" which is at the western end of Gray Street.

Hamilton offers a number of attractive parks, gardens and recreation areas. The 4 hectare Botanical Gardens were established in 1870 and feature a significant collection of pine and oak trees. There is also a rotunda, fountain, caretaker's cottage and an animal enclosure. Apex Park, on the corner of the Glenelg Highway and Apex Drive, is a linear stretch of parkland along Grange Burn and has BBQ and picnic facilities as well as a preserved steam locomotive. The 221 hectare Community Parklands, located at the northern end of town, are an important recreation and conservation asset and include a sporting complex, lakes, and fields of native wildflowers.

Lake Hamilton is located at the eastern end of town and is surrounded by 25 hectares of parkland. The lake's main sandy beach is located at the end of Rippon Road, adjacent to BBQ and picnic facilities. A smaller beach is also located near the boat ramp off Mill Road. A walking and cycling track circles the entire lake.

Other attractions in Hamilton include the Sir Reginald Ansett Transport Museum, located within one of the airline's original hangars on the shores of Lake Hamilton. The Hamilton Pastoral Museum, accessed via Hiller Lane, displays historic farm machinery, horse drawn vehicles and other relics depicting early rural life in the area. The Big Wool Bales, on Coleraine Road, are a tribute to the local wool industry which regards Hamilton as the wool capital of the world. The Hamilton Art Gallery, in Brown Street, includes collections of paintings by Australian artists as well as ceramics, tapestries and relics from India, China and Japan.

A short drive west of Hamilton on the Glenelg Highway are the Nigretta Falls and the spectacular Wannon Falls, both of which lie on the Wannon River. South of Hamilton, on the road to Port Fairy, is the Mt. Napier State Park which features the volcanic cone of Mt. Napier - the most recently active volcano in Victoria.

Hamilton is a good base for exploring the Grampians National Park, with the southern end of the park around a 20 minute drive north-east via Dunkeld. Just west of Dunkeld is a lookout allowing visitors to view the park's southern peaks of Mt Sturgeon and Mt Abrupt.