All roads lead to Omeo, the business centre for the Omeo Region and a pioneering farming town known for its gold rush history and high country cattlemen. Omeo is the historic town of the high plains and is steeped in history with many impressive 19th century historic buildings including the Omeo Post Office 1881, Courthouse 1893. The Omeo Historic Museum and Justice Precinct is the most intact example of a nineteenth century police and court complex known to survive in Victoria.
Must See & Do
- Meander along the main street which is part of the Great Alpine Road but named Day Avenue as it passes through town. Interpretive signage provides an insight into the historic buildings and the history of the town
- Take a step back in time and visit the Historical Park and Justice Precinct lovingly maintained by the historical society and something not to be missed. Five heritage listed buildings make up the Justice Precinct, with the collection housed in and around the Historic Park. The police cookhouse and stables were built in 1883 and the original courthouse, now a Museum, built in 1862. The grounds are always open, the buildings 10am-2pm daily.
- Visit the 1858 log goal, where the last prisoner was held in 1981, and sit in the docks of the Courthouse.
- Check out The Zulu Waterwheel moved to Omeo from the Goldfields near Gibbo River.
- The western car park is a great starting point to explore Livingstone Park and walk the trails of the Oriental Claims. Interpretive signage provides a wonderful insight into the town at its peak.
- Adjacent to Omeo is the Heritage listed Oriental Claims, the highest alluvial gold fields in Australia and one of Australia's largest alluvial gold sluicing operations, a mining method banned in 1904. Looming cliff faces and underground mazes set alongside the beautiful Livingstone Creek provide an ideal setting for bird watching and the discovery of wild flowers and orchards. Walking tracks and interpretive signage guides you through the history of the area and the stories of the Chinese and European miners and their families.
- Retail Therapy? Visit quality shops which offer gifts, home wares, local produce, cuckoo clocks, high country paintings, local books and treasures that you would not expect to find in a high country town
- Omeo Golf Club, try your hand at the 9 hole course.
- Scenic Lookouts such as the Kosciusko Lookout, Mc Millians Lookout (on the way to Benambra) offer great views of townships, rolling hills, open plains and High Country backdrops.
- Omeo Pioneer Cemetery was classified by the National Heritage Trust in 1966 being the first official burial site in East Gippsland. Its first burial was in 1857 and there are several graves of historical interest including Chinese miners pioneers.
- Spoil the senses and the taste buds at the restaurants, cafes and pubs.
Bits of Interest
- The name Omeo is derived from the Aboriginal word for 'mountains'.
- The Golden Age Hotel has survived six lives with the most elaborate three-storey hotel burning down in the 1939 fires. The Omeo Hospital and many other buildings were also tragically taken in the 1939 fires.
- The Golden Age Hotel appears in the first known photo of Omeo taken 1857.
- The regions population peaked at approximately 10,000 during the gold rush period in the late 1890s. At times, two police constables were needed to "keep the crowds moving".
- Omeo has been the setting for a number of interesting books involving scandal, murder and intrigue.
- The historic 1893 Courthouse holds sittings throughout the year.