Mansfield: High Country, Lakes and Rivers
Mansfield Shire is home to the dramatic landscapes of Victoria’s High Country. It is renowned for its natural beauty and alpine mountains. Visitors and locals agree you can really sense the personality of the place – it’s about lifestyle, farming, all things outdoors and a “can do” attitude.
Less than two hours, or 180kms, north east of Melbourne, our municipality covers 3,843 square kilometres. Our Shire is home to significant landscape features including Mt Buller, Mt Stirling and the Great Dividing Range. Natural environment features within our Shire are the Alpine National Park and Australia’s second largest in-land waterway – Lake Eildon, into which five major river systems (Delatite, Howqua, Jamieson, Big and Goulburn) flow. The valleys of the Howqua, Delatite and Goulburn Rivers are also significant landscape features in our Shire. With Mansfield Shire being a nationally recognised icon location our municipality is high demand for recreation and lifestyle activities.
Due to variations in terrain, there are several microclimates within the Shire. The average annual rainfall is in excess of 700mm in the elevated areas. The major water feature within the area is Lake Eildon, with Brankeet and Fords Creeks, Delatite, Howqua, Jamieson, Big and Goulburn Rivers contributing to the catchment of Lake Eildon.
The alpine resort areas of Mt Buller and Mt Stirling are wholly surrounded but excluded from our municipal district. A significant proportion of our Shire is Crown land.
The most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data (2012) shows our Shire's resident population at 8,067. The major urban centre of our Shire is Mansfield. There are numerous outlying communities throughout the Shire. The populations of communities swell considerably during holiday periods, but have only a small number of permanent residents.
Our Shire’s major transport routes are the Midland and Maroondah Highway linkages which connect to the Hume Freeway.
Mansfield, as the major service centre for the Shire, is central to many unique towns and villages. The development of our Shire owes much to our small towns such as:
|* Ancona ||* ||Barjarg |
|* Bonnie Doon ||* ||Goughs Bay |
|* Howqua ||* ||Jamieson |
|* Kevington ||* ||Macs Cove |
|* Maindample ||* ||Merrijig |
|* Merton ||* ||Tolmie |
|* Sawmill Settlement/Alpine Ridge ||* ||Woods Point |
These settlements are intrinsically linked to key historic industries such as gold, timber harvesting and farming. The very strong sense of community, to this day, positions these communities as a vital component of the overall strength of the Mansfield Shire.
Tourism, agriculture and lifestyle living underpin the viability of these unique, picturesque and desirable location together with our Shire’s strong economy, supported by a diverse range of commercial and service sectors.
Agriculture is one of the Shire’s key economic drivers, contributing $60.7m to the Shire’s economy. Cattle and sheep grazing, along with seed production, are major industries within the Shire. Grape and tomato production are also significant as are many agriculture related service industries.
It is estimated that Mansfield Shire has an employment base of 3,743 and an industry output of $823m. The impact of tourism as an economic driver is estimated as 20% of total industry output and 25% of total employment (RDA Australia - Hume Economic Profile report)