Mansfield, Victoria

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Main street
Population: 4052 (2006)[1]
Postcode: 3722
Coordinates: Coordinates: 37°03′S 146°05′E / 37.05°S 146.083°E / -37.05; 146.083
LGA: Shire of Mansfield
State District: Benalla
Federal Division: Indi
Mean Max Temp Mean Min Temp Annual Rainfall
20.9 °C
70 °F
5.1 °C
41 °F
706.6 mm
27.8 in

Mansfield is a small town at the base of the Victorian part of the Australian Alps. It is about 180 km (112 mi) north-east of Melbourne. In 2006 there were 4052 people living in Mansfield.

Mansfield is the centre of a large shire; it was made to join with the nearby town of Benalla 60 km (37 mi) away, to form Delatite Shire. Many people did not like this change and Mansfield became the first de-amalgamation in Victoria. Mansfield was once mainly a farming and logging town, but is now a tourist-centre. It is the support town for the large Australia ski resort Mt Buller. It is well known for the High Country tradition of alpine grazing, made famous in the movie The Man from Snowy River. This was made around Mansfield, based on the poem by Banjo Paterson.

History[change | change source]

Mansfield, first known as Mount Battery, was at the boundary of a number of pastoral runs (very large farms). A township was surveyed in 1851 and named after Mansfield in Nottinghamshire, England.[2] People came to live in the town after the discovery of gold nearby and the Post Office opened on January 1, 1858.[3]

The Mansfield railway line, reached the town from Tallarook in 1891, and was closed on November 18, 1978.[4] The last passenger train was on May 28, 1977.[5]

The area round Mansfield named as Banbury was also the location of the novel The Far Country by Nevil Shute. It was about logging on Mount Buller and previous forest fires, which having burnt through Howqua, removed almost all evidence of an older settlement.

John Pearson Rowe[change | change source]

Dr. John Pearson Rowe (1810–1878) was a physician and squatter (farmer) who owned the 'Loyola Run' (also known as Mt Battery) near Mansfield. He is said to be the first catholic person to live in the district. It is recorded that the nearby town of Rochester was named after J.P.Rowe, as he owned land on the Campaspe River.[6] Rowe was a principal founder of the University of Melbourne. He fired a shot at a 14 year old bushranger, Ned Kelly and Harry Power on 27 May 1869.[7] Rowe stood for parliament, in the Upper House seat of the Murray District in 1859 and was defeated.[8] In October 1878, Rowe gave information to police Sergeant Kennedy about where Ned Kelly was hiding. Using Rowe's information, Kennedy and three other policemen rode into the Wombat Ranges to find him. Three of them were killed at Stringybark Creeka, and the Kelly Gang was born.[9]

Recreation[change | change source]

Mansfield is very close to two large lakes, Lake Eildon and Lake Nillahcootie. During the summer many people go to the lakes to water ski.

The nearby mountains, Mount Buller and Mount Stirling offer attractions all year round. During winter they are visited for skiing, both downhill skiing and cross country skiing. In the summer hiking and mountain biking are popular. Ski lifts work year-round at Mount Buller which help bike riders to easily get to the top of downhill mountain biking runs.

The bush around Mansfield is used for horse riding, trail biking and four wheel driving on the many tracks throughout the region.

In past years, the "Mansfield Balloon Festival" celebrated hot air balloons, and many people came from from across the state. The Balloon Festival has not been held in Mansfield for several years.

Mansfield has a football team, the Mansfield Eagles, an Australian Rules team which plays in the Goulburn Valley Football League.[10]

Mansfield has a horse racing club, the Mansfield District Racing Club, which holds two race meetings a year in November and December.[11]

Golfers play at the Mansfield Golf Club on Kidston Parade.[12]

Famous people from Mansfield[change | change source]

aerial view

References[change | change source]

  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Mansfield (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2007-10-01.
  2. Monash University Arts, gazetteer Mansfield,, retrieved 2008-04-11
  3. Premier Postal History, Post Office List,, retrieved 2008-04-11
  4. Sid Brown (March 1990). "Tracks Across the State". Newsrail (Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division)): pages 71–76.
  5. Chris Banger (March 1997). "Rail Passenger Service Withdrawals Since 1960". Newsrail (Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division)): pages 77–82.
  6. Ebsworth, Walter (1973) (in English). Pioneer Catholic Victoria. pp. 489.
  7. Jones, Ian (1995). Ned Kelly: A Short Life. pp. 34.
  8. O'Brien, Antony (2005) (in English). Shenanigans on the Ovens Goldfield: The 1859 Election.
  9. McQuilton, John (in English). The Kelly Outbreak: 1878-1880: The Geographical Dimension of Social Banditry. pp. 95.
  10. "Mansfield Eagles Football and Netball Club". 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
  11. "Mansfield Vic See and do". 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
  12. Golf Select, Mansfield,, retrieved 2009-05-11