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Guide To Visiting The Silo Art Trail – Amazing Murals In Rural Victoria

Billed as Australia’s largest outdoor gallery, the Silo Art Trail is a collection of 8 decommissioned wheat silos in rural Victoria that have been transformed by international street artists.

Large-scale murals depicting the local culture and community have been painted on the silos by world-renown artists in a bid to inject colour, creativity, intrigue and (hopefully) a bit of tourist dollar into these remote areas.

It’s hard to describe the impact of seeing a ghostly portrait or deep purple night sky rise out of the dry fields, but trust me when I say these murals are amazing and the Silo Art Trail is one of the best road trips from Melbourne.

Why visit the Silo Art Trail?

One of the things I really appreciated about the Silo Art Trail is that each artist has chosen to tell a story about the people of the region – from the sports-mad youth to the hard-working farmers and respected indigenous Elders – and it’s these faces that keep you driving, as much as the unique (and somewhat surreal) experience of discovering such vibrant art in a remote rural setting.

Adnate mural in Sheep Hills, Silo Art Trail
Indigenous children painted by Adnate at Sheep Hills

My husband and I loved our weekend break to the Silo Art Trail in April 2018, which is when I initially wrote this post. As more silos have been added to the trail in Victoria, and they’ve become popular throughout Australia, I’ve updated this post with the latest information.

Where is the Silo Art Trail?

The official Silo Art Trail in Victoria consists of 8 silos spread over 200 kilometres in the Wimmera Mallee region.

The closest silo to Melbourne is The Rupanyup Silo by Julia Volchkova, which is where most people choose to start the trail.

It takes approximately 3.5 hours to reach Rupanyup from Melbourne by car, if you set out early.

You could also stay the night in Horsham (like we did) or Ballarat to break up the driving. Horsham is about 35 minutes from the first silo.

Ultimate guide to Silo Art Trail near Melbourne, Australia

How long does the Silo Art Trail take?

Technically you can drive the whole Silo Art Trail is about 4 hours. To travel the entire length of the original 200 kilometre trail from Julia Volchkova’s work in Rupanyup to Fintan Magee’s mural in Patchewollock takes just over 2 hours. There are also 2 new silos found on the A79 that you’ll need an additional 1.5 hours to reach from Patchewollock.

But, of course, you’ll want to stop, soak up the creativity and take in some of the sights mentioned at the end of the post.

So, while you can visit the Silo Art Trail in a (long) day I recommend taking at least 2 so you’re not rushing it.

Trail maps and regional information guides can be found at each of the silos but you can also download a copy of the visitor map to help plan your trip.

Download a copy of the Silo Art Trail visitor map 

Who painted the silos in Victoria?

Various well-known Australian and international street artists have made their mark on the Silo Art Trail. If you’re familiar with the street art in Melbourne and Sydney, you might recognise the styles of artists such as Rone, Adnate and Kaff-eine.

Below is a little introduction to each of the murals and the artists.

Rupanyup Silo by Julia Volchkova

Rupanyup Silo by Julia Volchkova -Silo Art Trail

Russian artist Julia Volchkova focused on the town’s youth and their love of team sports for her mural in Rupanyup.

Julia’s work has also transformed little-known areas in George Town and Balik Pulau in Penang.

Sheep Hills Silo by Adnate

Adnate mural in Sheep Hills, Silo Art Trail

Melbourne-based artist Adnate is well known for his portraits of indigenous people and their native lands.

At his mural in Sheep Hills he has depicted local Elders, Uncle Ron Marks and Aunty Regina Hood, alongside two young children to signify the important exchange of wisdom, knowledge and customs from Elders to the next generation.

Brim Silo by Guido van Helten

Brim Silo by Guido van Helten, Silo Art Trail

Guido van Helten’s mural in Brim (also pictured at the top of the post) was the first silo artwork to appear in Victoria and its international success inspired the establishment of the Silo Art Trail. (As well as a feature on Masterchef Australia, is anyone remembers that?!)

The mural depicts an anonymous, multi-generational quartet of farmers and represents the strength and resilience of the local farming community.

Rosebery Silo by Kaff-eine

Rosebery Silo by Kaffeine - Silo Art Trail

The only female artist on the trail, Kaff-eine spent some time assisting Rone with his mural in Lascelles before completing her own in Rosebery in late 2017.

Kaff-eine’s artwork depicts the region’s past, present and future and portrays a young female sheep farmer and a horseman enjoying a quiet moment.

Lascelles Silo by Rone

Lascelles Silo by Rone - Silo Art Trail

Rone’s ethereal mural in Lascelles features local farming couple Geoff and Merrilyn Horman, part of a family that has lived and farmed in the region for 4 generations.

Patchewollock Silo by Fintan Magee

Patchewollock Silo by Fintan Magee - Silo Art Trail

Brisbane artist Fintan Magee met the muse for his mural at the local pub. Local (lanky) sheep and grain farmer, Nick “Noodle” Hulland, had the exact spirit (and build!) Magee wanted to portray on the narrow GrainCorp Silos.

The following 2 silos were painted after our visit so I don’t have my own images to share. (Yet, hopefully I’ll get back there one day!)

Nullawil by Smug

Sydney-born and now Scotland-based artist Sam Bates (a.k.a. Smug) has depicted a local farmer in a classic flannelette shirt with his trusty sheepdog besides him.

Sea Lake by Drapl & The Zookeeper

The newest addition to the trail was painted by Travis Vinson and Joel Fergie, also known as Drapl and The Zookeeper. This work features a young girl swinging from a eucalyptus tree, gazing out over the reflective surface of Lake Tyrrell, the biggest inland salt lake in Australia, which you can also experience for yourself via a viewing platform situated around a ten minute drive from Sea Lake.

Tips for visiting the Silo Art Trail

Now that I’ve whet you appetite for a road trip, here are some tips for your visit to the Silo Art Trail.

  • As mentioned earlier, I’d recommend setting aside at least 2 days to cover the trail and stop at places that catch your eye along the way. There are additional murals by Kaff-eine, for example, found in Lascelles and Beulah, The Mallee Sunset Gallery in Rosebery is worth a visit, and speaking to the locals in the bakeries and hotels will give you more insight into the area. Click here for a list of other attractions along the trail.
  • If self-catering, stock up on basic supplies and refreshments in bigger towns like Horsham or Warracknabeal. There is a small convenience store in Patchewollock, the most remote of the silos, although it was closed during our visit – much to our regret. We did find some much-needed snacks at a tuck shop inside the Lascelles Hotel though.
  • There are clean but basic public loos dotted along the trail. You might want to pack your own loo roll and anti-bacterial hand gel.
  • We visited on a week day – just before ANZAC Day – and there was often just us and one other couple at each silo, so you might want to plan your visit for mid-week in order to get people-free pictures.
  • Please check it’s safe to do so before before launching, but I think you are permitted to fly drones over some of the silos as we saw someone doing so.

Where to stay on the Silo Art Trail

Silo Art Trail Accommodation

Silo Art Trail accommodation - Pound Hill Cottage Miner's Rest
The adorable Pound Hill Cottage in Miner’s Rest

We hired a car and drove from Melbourne, staying in Horsham the first night and in a gorgeous cottage outside Ballarat the second.

We chose these areas as we wanted access to cafes and restaurants and a shorter drive home afterwards, but it did mean doing a lot of driving over the 2 days on the trail.

We stayed at the Comfort Inn in Horsham – clean, basic, did the trick for $150 AUD.

Search for more hotels in Horsham.

If you’d like to stay somewhere on the trail itself, the Lascelles Hotel has built some cabins directly opposite the Rone mural. They are available to book on AirBnb from $80 AUD per night. Check out Wagon Inn self-contained units.

Psst. Get $55 AUD travel credit for Airbnb if you sign up via this link! 

If you don’t mind driving towards Ballarat at the end of the day, I cannot recommend Pound Hill Cottage at Miners Rest enough. This beautifully maintained 3-bedroom property has a roaring log fire, cosy beds and stunning rural views. It made this city girl consider a move to the country! (Priced from $180 AUD per night.)

See also: Quirky places to stay in Melbourne & Victoria

Camping Options

Most people we saw doing the trail were in campervans. There are a couple of basic caravan parks found along the trail and in remote areas like Patchewollock I think you’ll be glad to have your own fridge!

The Mallee Bush Retreat on the shores of Lake Lascelles has some quirky options including 2 Silos, 2 Cow Sheds, Stables and a Limestone Grain Store for rent – you’ll have to bring your own linen – as well as free camping around the Lake perimeter.

Find more information on caravan parks in the Yarriambiack Tourism guide.

Things to do near the Silo Art Trail

Kaffeine mural in Beulah
Kaff-eine mural in Beulah

There are some great places you can visit in the surrounding area before or after your visit to the Silo Art Trail.

We spent the weekend in Daylesford and Hepburn Springs before heading out to Horsham to begin the Silo Art Trail.

Other places you can combine your visit with include:

  • Sovereign Hill – an open air museum set in Victoria’s gold digging era
  • Kryal Castle – come over all Medieval at the bizarre Kryal Castle
  • Eureka Centre – learn about the 1854 Eureka Stockade at the home of the Eureka Flag
  • The Grampians – go wild with bird watching, hiking and rock climbing in the Grampians
  • Bendigo – learn about Bendigo’s gold boom on a vintage talking tram
  • Lake Tyrell – Take stunning photos and enjoy the stargazing at Australia’s largest inland salt lake, just north of the silo at Sea Lake.

I hope you enjoy your visit to the Silo Art Trail as much as I did.

You may also like:

6 must-do road trips from Melbourne

What to do in Daylesford & Hepburn Springs

What to see & what to do in Australia

Is the Penguin Parade on Phillip Island worth visiting?

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About Author

Travel blogger and freelancer writer who loves boutique hotels and brunching. I've been blogging for 10 years, visited 60+ countries and called London, Sydney, Melbourne and (oh so briefly) New York home at various points during the last decade. Now travelling with a baby and trying to make it as stylish and stress-free as can be!

19 Comments

  • Michael
    May 31, 2018 at 7:41 am

    I love this! Thanks for introducing me to a part of my home State that I didn’t know existed. I definitely need to do this. On a side note, if you’re ever in Rioja, Spain, the Bodega Solar de Samaniego has more silo art by Guido van Helten (appropriately called ‘The Wine Cathedral’).

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      June 1, 2018 at 6:30 am

      Oh I never knew – good knowledge! And I hope you get a chance to try the trail sometime soon.

      Reply
  • Marcella
    May 31, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    Such an original post! The art on the silos definitely look amazing. I had no idea about his type of art. Thanks for having me dicover this 🙂 Best, Marcella

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      June 1, 2018 at 6:31 am

      You’re welcome Marcella! Hope you get a chance to visit.

      Reply
  • LC
    June 2, 2018 at 1:02 am

    You’ve totally inspired me to go check these out (I think Toni and I are going to go have a look-see in October). It’s such a fantastic and innovative idea!

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      June 3, 2018 at 5:18 am

      Yay! Go do it, we totally enjoyed the experience and I’m sure you will too.

      Reply
  • Annika
    June 23, 2018 at 12:10 am

    these are so beautiful – what a great idea to make an otherwise bleak silo more interesting and also a great way to tell a place’s story. I remember them from Masterchef last year and was – wow! Great idea for a road trip and yes agreed – drone footage would be awesome to see though I really love your images.

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      June 26, 2018 at 1:24 am

      Aw thank you. We have since purchased a drone and I’m toying with going back although the original impact of seeing them for the first time them might be lost.

      Reply
  • Anne Gregory
    October 11, 2018 at 5:54 am

    We are planning a trip at the end of October and I’m looking for dog friendly accommodation? Can anyone recommend a place. We live in Melbourne and would be traveling mid week.

    Reply
  • Pauline
    October 17, 2018 at 6:04 am

    Hi Jane. just found your page, how great to see all your suggestions. My brother is coming from Sydney in Nov so we had planned a trip to the silos so your info has been greatfully received.
    Cheers Pauline

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      October 18, 2018 at 2:01 pm

      Hi Pauline, thanks so much for leaving a comment! Hope you and the family have a lovely trip in November 🙂

      Reply
  • Ruth Robinson
    December 28, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    Thanks so much for the information…. is there a better time of day, with the sun full on the silos to capture the pictures, or perhaps early morning for pictures.. ?

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      October 20, 2019 at 4:02 pm

      I’m not entirely sure Ruth as it takes quite a long time to drive between them we just went with what we could fit in 2 days!

      Reply
  • Sally Yates
    October 20, 2019 at 9:40 am

    Hi all, just done the silo art trail! The artists have done an amazing job! I would just like to add a few more to the list that my partner found by coincidence!
    1. Sea Lake
    2. Nullawil
    3. Rochester
    4. Tungamah
    5. St James
    6. Devenish
    7. Goorambat
    All in Victoria

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      October 20, 2019 at 4:01 pm

      Thanks for this! I can’t believe how much the trail has grown since we visited. We’ll have to go back.

      Reply
  • Jon Scsi
    October 25, 2019 at 5:27 am

    And more coming with a few wins in the pick-my-project for 2019-2020, however if you planned a loop starting from Ballarrat and working from Bendigo and St.Arnaud northward, follow the trail until Hopetoun, divert to Woomelang and on to Sea Lake, then on to Lascelles and Patchewollock, then go north towards Walpeup, but turnoff to Ouyen at the Y intersection (with a little luck and the right time of the year you can see the Mallee Hens around here), visit the walls in Ouyen, then head west along the Mallee Highway through the border into SA (don’t forget to eat your fruit before crossing as there is a checkpoint) visiting a number of painted silos and buildings along the way from Pinaroo through to Talem Bend, turn back into the Dukes/Western Highway after visiting Talem Bend itself ( a lot to see there including the old town a few km. on the Adelaide side) and check out Servicetoun and Kaniva (both soon to be completed), Nhill and Dimboola have walls and cut back through Warracknabeal and Sheep Hills as you needed to miss it before. What started as a weekend trip has somewhat grown to needing at least a week to do properly.

    Plenty of Caravaners are doing it and facilities are along the way at reasonable distances.

    Someone really needs to do a proper guide, however as ther are mall in Halls Gap and coming on the Coast road, I suspect it would be out of date before it was released.

    Reply
  • Clazz - An Orcadian Abroad
    June 26, 2020 at 4:06 pm

    These are so cool! Absolutely love the Sheep Hills one especially. I love that they’ve spruced otherwise dull objects into works of art.

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      June 29, 2020 at 3:47 pm

      It’s such a clever idea isn’t it. And the contrast between the industrial structures and works of art just makes it all the more interesting.

      Reply

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