Shepparton

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Shepparton is a major commercial center, located between Nagambie and Numurkah on the Goulburn Valley Highway which is the main inland road route between Melbourne and Brisbane. Shepparton is situated within the rich dairying, fruit growing and agricultural region of the Goulburn Valley, with the area responsible for producing around 25 percent of Victoria's rural output. Major food companies in the area include SPC Ardmona and Campbells Soups. SPC Ardmona have a factory sales supermarket open to the public, located 5 kilometres west of Shepparton and across the Goulburn River in Mooroopna. The large commercial center of Shepparton is based around the main thoroughfare of Wyndham Street and the mall along part of Maude Street. A communications tower, located off the Maude Street Mall, is open weekdays from 9am to 3pm and offers visitors spectacular views over the city and surrounding countryside from a public viewing platform. Shepparton's cultural precinct is located in Wellsford Street and consists of an art gallery featuring Australian ceramics and paintings, and a major war memorial located next to the council offices. On the corner of Wellsford Street and High Street is the Paul Gribben Historical Precinct, consisting of the Shepparton Heritage Centre which contains thousands of items tracing Shepparton's history housed in the old Forester's Hall (built in 1873) and farming equipment displays in the surrounding parkland. A network of parks, reserves and forests follow the paths of the Goulburn and Broken Rivers through Shepparton, offering good bushwalking tracks and picnic spots. There is a dense state forest between Shepparton and neighboring Mooroopna along the river, with the Peter Ross Edwards Causeway (Midland Highway) cutting through it to link the two communities together. Victoria Park Lake, constructed in 1920 from a swamp, is located just south of the heart of Shepparton, frontin the main highway and featuring walking tracks, bike paths, a skate park and boating facilities. Adjacent to the lake is the Aquamoves health and fitness centre which has both indoor and outdoor pools. The town of Ouyen is located just over 100 kilometres south of Mildura in the far north-west of Victoria. Ouyen is situated within a vast area of wheat fields and sheep grazing land. Wheat loading facilities and massive grain silos are a feature of the town, located along the railway line. The Big Mallee Root, located on the Calder Highway, is the largest Mallee stump in Australia and serves as a tribute to early settlers who cleared the land of drought-resistant eucalypt trees to make way for agricultural activities. The commercial center of Ouyen is located in Oke Street and includes the council offices and the Local History Research Center which houses a collection of books and historical records in the old court house. Ouyen is located in the heart of the vast national parks of the Mallee region. To the south-west is the Wyperfeld National Park with its network of lake beds. In the north-west is the Murray-Sunset National Park, characterized by its wide open landscapes and isolation. And to the north is the Hattah-Kulkyne National Park which borders the Murray River and features native woodlands and lakes.

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