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The Chaffey Trail is the story of how Mildura became an irrigated oasis in the midst of an arid land and Australia's First Irrigation Colony.

Trace Mildura's rich irrigation history by following The Chaffey Trail - a self-guided tour of key heritage sites and buildings of the region. Named in honour of Canadian brothers George and W.B. Chaffey, The Chaffey Trail provides an insight into the vision and spirit of the area's early settlers. Their legacy lives on at numerous buildings and sites throughout the region, and comes alive along The Chaffey Trail.

In 1847 the Jamieson brothers took up the pastoral lease which was later to be named Mildura.

George and W.B. Chaffey were developing an irrigated settlement in Ontario, California when they met the Australian Cabinet Minister Alfred Deakin. Deakin was appointed by the Victorian Parliament to visit America on a fact finding mission.

The Chaffey's model irrigated settlement impressed Deakin who in turn impressed them with the potential for irrigation from the Murray River in Australia.

The Chaffey brothers subsequently came to Australia and, after protracted negotiations, on 31 May 1887, purchased the then defunct pastoral lease and created the Mildura Irrigation Colony.

The Chaffey's adapted the plan of Ontario to the present site of Mildura.

They developed a series of steam driven pumps to life the water from the Murray River, first into Kings Billabong, then subsequently to various heights to irrigate up to 33,000 acres.

The Chaffey Brothers wanted to make Mildura a vibrant community. Their plans included many visionary concepts that ended up making Mildura the success it is today.

Now you can trace the developments and concepts of Mildura through the Chaffey Trail.

Content: The Chaffey Trail

Price & booking


Type Entry cost
Various entry costs per site
Entry to various sites along the trail varies.

More info

Local directions:

Cureton Avenue West is located from Mildura city, west along 7th Street until T intersection (note signage) turn right and travel around past Rio Vista and down about one kilometre, seeing Mildura Station Homestead on the right.

  • Car park
  • Public toilet
Opening hours:
  • Mildura Station Homestead
    10:00am - 4:00pm
    This site is open to the public each day by gold coin donation.

Access is available to all but two sites:Chateau Mildura has access to the winery cellar door sales, but the museum is downstairs . Many items of historic significance are available at ground level. Rio Vista access is limited at present to ground level.For each of their nine sites, Auslan is available for downloading (QR codes) for deaf or hearing impaired and a Braille booklet is available -both accessible from the Mildura Visitor Information Centre