Small town wins big

TOP HONOUR: Halls Gap has topped a list of the best Australian small towns.

TOP HONOUR: Halls Gap has topped a list of the best Australian small towns.

Two western Victorian towns in the Grampians and Wimmera regions have been named in top 50 small towns in Australia.

Halls Gap, in the Northern Grampians Shire and Harrow in the West Wimmera were recognised for their picturesque settings and friendly communities.

The list was compiled by website discountmyflights.com.

Northern Grampians Shire Council candidate for South West Ward Jason Hosemans said Halls Gap was a hidden treasure in Victoria.

”We get a million tourists a year, which is a good number,” he said.

“We have beautiful rock faces, wildlife, waterfalls and beautiful spring flowers at this time of year.

Mr Hosemans said it was not just the town, but also the people, which made Halls Gap an attractive place.

“We have a great local community, exemplified by things like the local garden, things like the new local landcare group,” he said.

“The town has a positive vibe with some new businesses open, a few more in the pipeline and now the buzz of the peak trail with the central stage open.”

West Wimmera Shire candidate and Harrow resident Tom Houlihan said the town was proud to make the list.

“We are very fortunate in Harrow because there are a lot of two, three or fourth generation people involved heavily in the town and farming district,” he said.

”The not town is not only proud, but you get satisfaction from it too.

“It gives satisfaction to volunteers in the community.”

Harrow Bush Nursing Centre administration coordinator Anita McGuigan said the town had been buzzing since news of the award was announced.

“It is an awesome town and we are really humbled by it,” she said.

“There is something really special about Harrow, there is an authenticity.”

Harrow’s profile on the discountmyflights website said visitors could not find a kinder, more community-minded town.

Mr Houlihan said he was punching above its weight to make the list with most community events organised by volunteers.

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