The small Mallee town of Birchip is on the Melbourne-Mildura rail line. Birchip lies near the junction of two major irrigation channels installed in the early part of the 20th century and the town still draws its water from the Wimmera-Mallee domestic channel system.
You will also find the relics of history 20km to the north of the town in surviving sections of the Dog Fence. Designed to curb the spread of rabbits and dingoes, the fence ran from Swan Hill to the South Australian border.
The blame for the rabbit scourge has been sheeted home to Thomas Austin, squire of Barwon Park near Geelong. Fancying a bit of sport, Austin arranged for his brother in England to send him 24 wild rabbits, 72 partridges and five hares.
The Pioneers Fountain, which stands guard over the council chambers, pays tribute to the settler-farmers who campaigned so long for the irrigation channels that funnel life-giving water hundreds of kilometres from The Grampians. The same water source maintains the aquatic playground of Tchum Lake, 8km to the east.