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Commercial Street, the main street of Merbein
|Population||4,681 (2014 census)|
|Elevation||56 m (184 ft)|
|LGA(s)||Rural City of Mildura|
Merbein is a town outside Mildura, Victoria, in the Sunraysia region of Australia. It is on the Calder Highway between Mildura and the Murray River crossing on the Abbotsford Bridge to Curlwaa. At the 2011 census, the town had a population of 4681. Merbein is located 12 km from Mildura, 553 km from Melbourne and 392 km from Adelaide.
It is the home of Mildara Wines, which W B Chaffey founded in 1911. The Mildara Blass Winery still stands on the cliffs towering above the Murray River and is open to visitors for a tour and wine tasting. Until 2012 The CSIRO Plant Research Division had a facility at Merbein South focused on the grape and citrus growing industries.
A spectacular Murray River view from the cliffs, a great boat ramp and allocated camping areas along the river also make Merbein very popular. A diverse range of shops along with excellent recreational and sporting facilities, such as football, cricket and soccer ovals, a swimming pool, bowling greens, tennis courts, croquet greens, rodeo ground, golf club and formed walking tracks on the Merbein Common and along the river all contribute to making Merbein an ideal place to live or visit. The excellent schools and kindergarten, the new aged care facility and the many historical sites also ensure that Merbein is 'Top of the State'
Merbein is the most northern Victorian town and celebrated 100 years as an irrigation settlement in 2009.
Merbein was originally identified as White Cliffs when the town established because of its impressive river white cliffs. The post office opened on 16 August 1909. The town's name was intended to be "Merebin", which is the Aboriginal word for "white sandcliffs", but an error made when registering the name corrupted it to "Merbein". In 1912 the irrigation settlement's name was officially changed to Merbein, reputedly an aboriginal name of a local sand hill.
E.J. Kenny was the first Officer in Charge of the State Rivers & Water Supply Commission of Victoria Irrigation Area established in 1909. The hot climate and the distance from markets saw the settlement quickly change from dairying to the growing of the less perishable crops of citrus and grapes for drying and spirit making.
W.B Chaffey, built a winery and distillery, later known as Mildara, at Merbein in 1914. Dried vine fruit packing sheds were also quickly built in the town. Soldier settlement blocks were established in Birdwoodton and Merbein West during and after WW1 and many streets were named after local soldiers who died in WW1. The district's horticulture and viticultural industries also attracted many European immigrants to the area.
Kenny, known as the 'Father of Merbein', died suddenly in 1925 and his contribution to the success of the settlement was acknowledged with the naming of Kenny Park. Today, Merbein continues to be an irrigation district, diversifying from the growing of dried grapes and citrus to a wide variety of wine and table grapes, asparagus, almonds, mushrooms and vegetables. As well as a wine bottling and packaging industry and a vegetable juicing facility, Merbein has also developed as a regional transport hub for the export of district products.
Sporting clubs include the Merbein Football and Netball Club (Magpies) based at Kenny Park, the Merbein South Cricket Club and Saints Baseball Club both based at Chaffey Park.
Other sporting groups are located in the area including, Tennis, Swimming, Tae Kwon Do, and Soccer.
Golfers play at the Merbein Golf Club course on McEdward Street.
Students from Prep through to year 10 attend Merbein P-10 College. The school has undergone significant improvements after it was converted in 2013 from a High school ranging year 7 to year 10, into a Prep to year 10. Prior to the redevelopment there were three small primary school campuses, located at Merbein West, Merbein South and Merbein. These sites have since been abandoned, and all students are located at the old Merbein Secondary College Campus.
In 2012 the Great Vanilla Slice was moved from Ouyen to Merbein after the Merbein Development Association submitted a successful proposal to host the event. The event is held on the main street of Merbein in the middle of August. Since its move the event has attracted many visitors to the area.
The third Sunday every month is Market day. Stalls line the main street full of local produce and handmade goods.
In September Merbein holds the Merbein Community Rodeo at Kenny Park. The night is a family friendly event with children's entertainment throughout the night.
- Adam Goodes - Sydney Swans footballer
- Matthew Knights - Richmond Tigers footballer
- Colin Sylvia - Australian Rules Footballer
- Tania Zaetta - actress and TV personality
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Merbein (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
- Merbein History http://merbein.vic.au/history. Retrieved 2015-04-25. Missing or empty
- Roads, ports and freight - Intermodal terminals, www.doi.vic.gov.au, retrieved 2008-08-01
- Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 2008-04-11
- http://www.bustout.co.nz/Australia/Victoria/merbein.htm. Retrieved 2015-04-25. Missing or empty
- Full Points Footy, Sunraysia Football League, retrieved 2009-04-15
- Golf Select, Merbein, retrieved 2009-05-11
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