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Weekend Wanderings – Woomelang, Land Worth Saving

That is what all the signs say when you come into Woomelang.  There is a fight here to save the place, to keep it going.  It is not the town it once was, but there is still a community here.  It is a small community and everyone knows everyone.  I come to Woomelang a bit, mainly to visit my mother, but I also love coming here because I think it is a fantastic place to take photos.  For a photographer Woomelang does have a lot to offer.

LeanneCole-mallee-20140124-7249This is the sign as you enter the town.  I go past this sign every time I come to visit and you can see the silos in the distance.

I went out to take photos this morning, I first went out at 6 for a while then I went out a couple of hours later.  No one was around, it was like I had the place to myself.  Though you can pretty much photograph Woomelang at anytime of the day and have the same experience.

LeanneCole-mallee-20140124-7259The old shearing shed is possibly the most photographed building in Woomelang.  It is an interesting building, though no longer used for shearing.  If you do go inside it, be it at your own peril.  It probably isn’t very safe and you need to be very careful.  I did go inside, but I didn’t explore it much.

LeanneCole-mallee-20140124-7250One of the things I love about Woomelang is how they haven’t got rid of a lot of things just because they are no longer used.  These power poles were for railway workers, and I assume caravans could be hooked into them.  You wouldn’t get any power from them now I would think.

LeanneCole-mallee-20140124-7272There is a small free caravan park on the main road.  You can get power and there are toilets there as well with a free shower.  Unfortunately this is the only place in Woomelang where you can get accommodation.  If you don’t have a caravan and you want to come and take photos, then you would probably need to go to Hopetoun, there are places to stay there.  It is only 30 kms away and doesn’t take long to drive here.

LeanneCole-mallee-20140124-7266There isn’t much open, but the local shop, above, is very busy and the people who run it are very friendly.  Tina makes a nice coffee.  I must go and get one.  They also do really good chips, as I found out last night.

I think Woomelang has a lot to offer photographers, and think it would be great for the town if people came to explore what is here.  I am going to put photos in a gallery now with explanations under each one as to what they are.

65 Comments
  1. Al #

    Looks like such a quaint place

    January 25, 2014
    • It is Al, very quaint. Thank you.

      January 25, 2014
      • Al #

        You’re welcome 🙂 I hope they can keep the town on the map. It would be a shame to lose somewhere like that

        January 25, 2014
      • I think they hope the same, but I think if the shop closes it could be the end. We need to get people to start coming and visiting.

        January 25, 2014
      • Al #

        Not an easy thing to do

        January 25, 2014
      • That’s for sure.

        January 25, 2014
  2. Wow neat town, I would love to see it in person too! Hugz Lisa and Bear

    January 25, 2014
    • Thank you Lisa, it is a pretty cool place, so many things to photograph.

      January 25, 2014
  3. Wow. Absolutely fascinating, Leanne. To actually see through you parts of Australia has been so wonderful for me, especially coming from one who has always wanted to travel. Thank you so much for sharing this with us!!

    January 25, 2014
    • Thank you Amy, that is lovely to hear, I am very happy to show you my place and where I come from.

      January 25, 2014
  4. Like these very much. That shearing shed is fantastic, well done. Should be able to get a game of bowls reasonably easily. Getting a partner might be more difficult 🙂 Great Mallee images

    January 25, 2014
    • I think they work the partners out for you, so no problems there. It is easy to get a game. I love that shearing shed, I’ve been taking photos of it for about 20 years now. Thank you Andy, so glad you liked the photos.

      January 25, 2014
  5. You do such beautiful work.

    January 25, 2014
    • Thank you, what a lovely compliment.

      January 25, 2014
  6. Really nice images. We are lucky to have these little gems in our country – just have to hope they survive.

    January 25, 2014
    • I totally agree, we are very lucky, and I hope they survive too. Thank you.

      January 25, 2014
  7. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez #

    I like the shearing shed too; it is quite charming. And the angular church. The signs and rails are interesting as well. 🙂 I like them all.

    January 25, 2014
    • Thank you Jackie, I love many things in this town too.

      January 25, 2014
  8. A lovely place to take photos. I hope it’ll survive. Love the new church building, from the front it looks a bit like a ship…or maybe it’s my imagination that makes that funny association.

    January 25, 2014
    • I like that description of the Church, it could be like that. Thank you Tiny.

      January 25, 2014
  9. Great photos Leanne, love the rail closeups and the v-shape church. Is the entire town closing down? After you mentioned this town yesterday was it, I looked at it on Google Earth. Nothing but farm land for miles. I suppose everyone has moved to the cities.

    January 25, 2014
    • There are still about 200 people living there, but it is pretty bad. This part of the country has been pretty much like this ever since settlement and there has always been lots of farmland, they grow crops here, and many of them have sheep as well. The young people leave because there is nothing here for them, unless they get the property from their parents, but even the properties are changing, they are becoming bigger and bigger as large corporations buy up the smaller farms. This part of the country has had it bad for a long time, many, many years of drought have really taken a toll.

      January 25, 2014
  10. You did a nice job documenting this quaint town. I think its great they are trying to keep it alive.

    January 25, 2014
    • Thank you Nora, I think many towns around here are just trying to survive, I hope they succeed.

      January 25, 2014
  11. The old shearing house photos, in particular, are stunning.

    January 25, 2014
    • Thank you Kate, I do love photographing it.

      January 25, 2014
  12. Reminds me a bit of the show ‘Rain Shadow’ . . . where I first heard The Audreys.

    January 25, 2014
  13. beautiful and desolate, very rare these days

    January 25, 2014
    • Not rare around here unfortunately, thank you.

      January 25, 2014
  14. Absolutely love the photo of the early dun rays hitting the side of the shearing shed. Love the grain pile photos too with the different positions of the sun 🙂 I suppose this is a very cozy town and as you did, you can wander around like you own the whole town without being afraid someone would come rob you. It looks like a dry town, though.

    January 25, 2014
    • I was really happy when I noticed those on the shearing shed, I am glad I waited before heading there. It is a cozy town, and while I was taking the photos I saw no one. It was great. It really was like I was the only one there. It is a very dry town, the whole Mallee is like that.
      Was taking photos of where the fires were last week, thought I might put them up tomorrow for Australia Day, do you think it will be too much?

      January 25, 2014
      • The fires have been a very sensitive issue all around Australia. I personally don’t mind seeing photos of where the fires were, but others might. However, the fires are a part of Australia’s story today…

        Hope you have a happy Australia Day, Leanne. Last year this holiday I went out all day, this year I’m not doing too much as I’ve been tired all this week 🙂

        January 25, 2014
      • That is what I am thinking, they are part of who we are, and they are part of summer whether we want them to be or not. The photos are of parklands, so nothing personal.

        Happy Australia Day to you too, take it easy. I think I am going out to take more photos, don’t know what of yet. Take care.

        January 25, 2014
  15. Lovely photos of a country town Leanne. You always seem to capture the heart of a place in your photos. I can tell you love being there.

    January 25, 2014
    • Thank you Carol, what a lovely thing to say, I do love photographing towns, I like to try and capture them in photos. Of course the more you know the town, the better.

      January 26, 2014
      • You do realise I am trying to copy what you do when I take photos now. I have similar photos of the train station at Cooma, but they’re probably not as good as yours.

        January 26, 2014
      • I didn’t realise that, that is such a nice thing to say Carol. I am sure they are as good if not better, I look forward to seeing them.

        January 26, 2014
      • Not better that’s for sure. I am trying to see places through your eyes, and when I was taking the photos I actually had the thought “What would Leanne photograph here?” and I took lots of close ups and shots from different angles.

        January 26, 2014
      • I am not good on the close ups, but I have been making myself take more when I remember. The different angles definitely something I do, you never know what angle will work best. I have had other people tell me they do the same, it is very interesting.

        January 26, 2014
  16. I would be in that shearing too!! we have some hay barns on a nasty lean but they are great images..such a shame that not everyone sees beauty in the old until often it is too late! great shots 🙂 Bev

    January 25, 2014
    • I totally agree Bev, they make some of the best images. I love them. There are plenty to see around here. The shearing shed is great, and so many people take photos of it. Thanks 🙂

      January 26, 2014
      • I don’t blame them 🙂 the past has such an allure! 🙂 Most welcome Leanne 🙂

        January 26, 2014
      • Yes, it does. Thanks Bev

        January 26, 2014
      • 😉

        January 26, 2014
  17. Ah…so I see it’s not only the America West that has town which are or are becoming ghosts…beautiful pictures. Loved the disused church and though it’d make a cool photo prompt for a story. Lovely visiting you as always! 🙂

    January 25, 2014
    • No, it is happening here too, though the town is still populated and there is a community here. Please use the photo for a story, would love to know what you come up with. Thanks Georgia.

      January 26, 2014
      • I guess that’s sort of physiological, in newly colonized countries (I’m using that word in a broad sense by the way and not in the political sense) I’m certain that places grow and then disappear as people decide that the place somehow doen’t suit them. Here in Europe, during the 20th century even places that had been lived in for centuries became abbandoned as people moved to the easier urban areas. It’s interesting to note that some are moving back 😉 Thanks for the permission! And hope you had a great Australian day (forgot to mention it before)!

        January 27, 2014
      • It has been happening a lot here as families grow and the farms can’t be divided too much among brothers, years and years of drought, and no jobs, it all adds up to nothing is there for the people. The land has been overused a lot, and they don’t make the money they used to.
        You’re welcome, I look forward to seeing what you do.

        January 27, 2014
      • Yeah, know the song…even in the 30s in the Mid-West of America thanks to drought and bad methods of cultivation whole areas of the U.S. were abandoned…thanks so much again for the use of your photo, I’m going to use it for Bastet’s Pixelventures and will write either a poem or power short…and naturally I’ll be sending you a link and will be discribing your post.

        January 28, 2014
      • YOu are welcome, I look forward to seeing what you write.

        January 28, 2014
      • 🙂

        January 28, 2014
  18. Looks to be a great spot to visit and shoot – a sort of quasi-ghost town. When was the heyday of the town and when did the decline begin? Happy Australia Day to you!

    January 25, 2014
    • Exactly Robert, I love being here, I hate getting here, it is a long drive, but once I am here, I love seeing what I can photograph. I don’t really know, but it has been declining since the 50’s. The soil here was not meant to be used this way, and the farming practices of old, well, they did a lot of damage. Most farmers now are using better practices, that don’t make the erosion worse. Thank you, Australia in today, have some photos to show for it too.

      January 26, 2014
  19. Reblogged this on dunjav.

    January 26, 2014
  20. My favorite is the shed. The light on that wooden structure is just incredible, not to mention the composition which makes it all the more interesting.

    January 26, 2014
    • Do you mean the shearing shed Laura? It looks wooden, but it is actually made from kerosene tins that have gone very rusty over the years. Gives it a great colour and I love the light on it too, I can’t wait to get home and do something with some of these. Thank you.

      January 26, 2014
      • Yes, the shearing shed. I didn’t realize it wasn’t wooden! That’s amazing. I’m going back to look at it now.

        January 26, 2014
      • How amazing is it, I love how the tin has gone, really adds to the character.

        January 26, 2014
  21. Dennis #

    It is sad how so the populations of so many small communities continue to dwindle until, eventually they cease to exist. They have so much character and charm and try so hard to live on. It is important to capture these scenes for future generations to learn more of their heritage. I applaud you for taking the time to record these scenes – and you do it so very well!

    January 28, 2014
    • Some towns decrease and then increase and decrease again, they are great communities and they do fight to hang on. I love going to places like this and taking photos. Thank you.

      January 28, 2014
  22. Love that shearing shed!

    January 29, 2014
    • So do I, I have photographed it so many times over the years.

      January 29, 2014

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