The DSWAA was founded in Victoria at Ballarat in 2002. Victoria has members in many parts of the state.
See our ‘upcoming events’ for Field trips and dry stone walling workshops in Victoria.
If you would like to be involved with the DSWAA, you can join as a member and receive our journal, The Flag Stone, or sign on as a subscriber so you receive notices of upcoming events. We will let you know about:
- walling workshops – we run them for beginners and for those who are more advanced
- field trips in Victoria and interstate which are often combined with walling demonstrations
- progress on our advocacy for conservation of walls
- new discoveries of interesting and beautiful walls
- how you can help with mapping walls
Victoria’s rich history of walls
In the vast basalt plains of Victoria, dry stone walls were built mostly in the 1870s and 1880s after 1862 legislation divided up large squatter holdings and when unlucky prospectors returned from the goldfields.
They thread across the western district from the SA border to Gippsland and the Yarra Ranges, east of Melbourne in 23 local government areas. See here for maps of the 23 Victorian municipalities that have dry stone walls.
Conservation of Victoria’s walls
Our long term aim is to see that walls of significance are recorded and mapped in each state and afforded statutory protection. See our Victorian conservation page here.
What to see in Victoria – walks and trails
- Corangamite Dry Stone Walls Heritage Trail
This walk and drive trail, established in 1997 by Corangamite Arts, takes you to some of the most significant walls in the region, at Pomborneit in the Stony Rises on the Princes Highway east of Camperdown, at Derrinallum in the shadow of Mount Elephant on the Hamilton Highway and at Kolora on the west of Mount Noorat on the Terang Mortlake Road and Terang Darlington Road. The trail has good onsite interpretation and a viewing platform at the massive consumption dyke at Kolora. Trail maps are available at any information centre in the area.
Here’s what historian Josie Black had to say about these walls:
The walls, most of which are on private property, are beautifully crafted and have functional, aesthetic and heritage value. They provide a blend of the natural and cultural history of the region and contribute to its special look and atmosphere.
Few could pass through the region without realizing their impact on the landscape. In some places, in the Stony Rises at Pomborneit and at Kolora north west of Mount Noorat, they dominate it. In fact some of the walls look as though they have always been there; looking so natural and in harmony with the environment. The walls in the Stony Rises are of national significance in terms of quantity, style, heritage, skill and empathy with the landscape.
The western plains of Victoria comprise one of the world’s great basalt plains. The volcanic activity which has shaped the landscape, that is generally flat except for the volcanic cones, occurred in the relatively recent past, between 20,000 and 4,000 years ago. These volcanic cones as well as crater lakes were the result of volcanic activity which provided the natural materials for the walls.
Yendon Road, Innes Lane, Hastie and Nettingbull Streets have excellent examples of the unique style of walls in this area – see here for more details. The stone in the Buninyong walls comes from the volcanic activity of Mt. Buninyong, which is part of the vast volcanic plain extending from Melbourne in the east to the South Australian border in the west. The stone is relatively small and of uniform size. Consequently the walls are wider and lower than many other dry stone walls and generally do not have a copestone. The walls in Buninyong can be defined as ‘consumption dykes’ because, as well as dividing the land, they were often built to consume the vast amount of stone lying in the landscape.
- Melton dry stone walls are some of the oldest in Victoria and are distinctive in the oval and rounded shape of stones used there.
The Melton City Council developed a Dry Stone Wall Driving Trail and the brochure for this can be downloaded here. It has maps, navigation instructions and good illustrations of five distinctly different types of wall construction.
Melton is on the fringe of Melbourne and urban development is a threat to its dry stone walls however, The Melton City Council now has the most comprehensive protection for its dry stone walls of any local government in Australia. See here for more detail.
The City also provides services to the owners of dry stone walls, including free advice on repair and maintenance, literature on walls, Heritage Assistance Funds for wall repairs and free workshops to teach dry stone walling. Council has also prepared a brochure(PDF, 256KB) to assist landowners in keeping their dry stone wall in good repair.