The town of Cowwarr is supported by district farming, including dairy farming, irrigated from the Rainbow Creek, which runs past Cowwarr, and the Thomson River.

Location: 27 km north-east of Traralgon; 174 kilometres east of Melbourne

Sacred Cow field artThe Sacred Cow is an artwork created in January 2001 on two paddock at the Macalister Research Farm, Cowwarr. 300 fesian cows took two days to graze this 80 metre by 800 metre image of themselves. The shape of the cow shows the significance of dairying on the fertile landscape. Artist: Anton Vardy.

The Cowwarr district was part of the “Hayfield” pastoral run, taken up in the early 1840s. With the gold rushes of the 1860s in the Great Dividing Range to the north-west, several supply routes were established from Sale. A route to Walhalla via Toongabbie became popular after 1866 during the Victorian Gold Rush.

Cowwarr marked the point at which this track rose from the plains into the foothills, where supplies were transferred from bullock wagons to pack horses for the arduous journey ahead.

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By 1868 an accommodation house was operating and the township was surveyed. For years the town serviced the area around Walhalla.

Dairying became widespread as land was cleared; a creamery was established in the 1880s and a butter factory in 1897. A new, elaborately designed, factory was built in 1918; this is now a gallery of contemporary art – Cowwarr Art Space.

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