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The historic Omeo Post office by night
|Population||452 (2006 census)|
|Elevation||685.0 m (2,247 ft)|
|LGA(s)||Shire of East Gippsland|
|State electorate(s)||Gippsland East|
Omeo (// OH-mee-oh) is a town in Victoria, Australia on the Great Alpine Road, east of Mount Hotham, in the Shire of East Gippsland. At the 2006 census, Omeo had a population of 452. The name is derived from the Aboriginal word for 'mountains' or 'hills'. It serves as the commercial hub for the Tambo and Omeo Valleys.
The first reported sighting by Europeans of the wide plain that the Aborigines called 'Omeo' was by the naturalist John Lhotsky from the southern alps in 1834. The area was first visited by stockmen who drove stock through the region as early as 1835. In 1845 gold was found around Omeo, and in the 1860s the goldrush reached its peak.
The Post Office near its present location opened on 1 January 1858. However, two earlier offices in different locations named Omeo were open in 1851 and 1856 to 1857.
Earthquakes in 1885 and 1892, and the Black Friday bushfires of 1939, caused damage to Omeo, yet several old buildings remain including the historical Omeo Bank House.
The town today
The town hosts the Omeo Plains Mountain Festival in December and January each year, a market and rodeo and polo match at Cobungra around Easter, and an agricultural show in November.
The town formerly had an Australian rules football team competing in the Omeo & District Football League (ODFL), as well as an affiliated netball team competing in the associated netball competition. They fielded senior and junior football teams, and senior, junior and midget netball teams, and had the club colours of maroon with white trim. With declines in populations, in 2007 the football and netball clubs merged with neighbouring town Benambra, to form the Omeo-Benambra (Alpine Ranges) Club. The new club colours are blue, teal and white, with the logo and jumpers showing teal snow-peaked mountains separated by a blue river under a blue sky.
Golfers play at the course of the Omeo Golf Club on Stanley Drive.
Attractions include the Oriental Claims, the Cuckoo Clock shop, and white water rafting on the Mitta Mitta River. The Cobungra River, Bundara River, Big River, and Mitta Mitta River around nearby Anglers Rest, as well as the Tambo River, all provide good trout fishing.
The Australian thriller Red Hill was filmed in and around the town. "Red Hill" tells the story of a fictional town, Red Hill and an escaped convict returning to the town to seek revenge on those who helped convict him.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Omeo (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2007-10-01.
- Macquarie Dictionary, Fourth Edition (2005). Melbourne, The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd. ISBN 1-876429-14-3
- "Omeo". FilmGippsland. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
- Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Retrieved 2008-04-11
- "Omeo & District Football League". GameDay: The home of grassroots sport. SportingPulse Network Partners. Retrieved 7 September 2010.
- "Omeo-Benambra Football Club". GameDay: The home of grassroots sport. SportingPulse Network Partners. Retrieved 7 September 2010.
- Country Racing Victoria. "Omeo District Racing Club". Retrieved 2011-03-16.
- Golf Select. "Omeo". Retrieved 2009-05-11.
- "History: The Blue Duck Story". The Blue Duck Inn Hotel. Blue Duck Inn. Retrieved 28 December 2010.
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