Launched in 2019, the Riverina Outdoor Art Trail takes you through scenic highways and wide country roads across the Riverina on an artistic journey of discovery. Covering an area of more than 500kms of diverse landscapes the Trail includes vibrant back lane murals as well as many intricately designed sculptures and unique artworks located throughout pretty towns and villages.
Bland Shire is rich in history, culture and art – Bland Shire Council were awarded the NSW Local Government Creative Communities award for the Bland Public Art Trail in 2020. From the stunning Weethalle Silo art to Mirrool’s Horsing Around mural, not forgetting the biggest football in Australia and murals and sculptures in West Wyalong, there is art to be admired for every age group.
Local artists’ work is also on display with glass making, painting, drawing, photography, sculpture and more at different outlets within the Bland Shire. Bland Shire is far from Dull and never Boring!
The Narrandera Water Tower mural used over 120 litres of paint to create stunning images connected by a flowing Murrumbidgee River. Visitors can immerse themselves in a visual collection of landmarks, activities, flora and fauna. The stories behind the design include significant icons for the Narrandera Shire Community with the colours inspired by our local environment including the colours of sunsets viewed from this site.
The Lizard represents the name Narrandera, derived from Narrungdera, the name of the Wiradjuri clan that inhabited the land where the town now rests, meaning ‘place of many lizards’ (Eastern Bearded Dragon).
The Koala represents the reserve established by the community in 1972 on the edge of the town on the Murrumbidgee River. A tiny number of Koalas were introduced and have grown into a healthy population of many hundreds now inhabiting riverside forests more than 100km from Narrandera.
The Tiger Moth Airplane represents the No 8 Elementary Flight Training School established on the site of the present Narrandera airport during World War II while the Paddle Steamer remembers the many steamers which were a frequent sight on the Murrumbidgee River from 1858. The 75 tonne PS Wagga Wagga carried wool and stores between Narrandera and Hay for 40 years.
The landmark Oakbank Brewery Tower stands 30m high on the north bank of Murrumbidgee River. The river has many stories to tell of Wiradjuri survival, colonial settlement, development of farming and irrigation.
In nearby Barellan you can find the Big Tennis Racquet, made to celebrate the 100th year of Barellan and its proud association with Evonne Goolagong-Cawley MBE AO. Local Barellan farmer, David Irvin, was the driving force behind the construction of the 13.8 metre-long structure which stands boldly in the main street.
Evonne Goolagong-Cawley MBE AO (b1951), a Wiradjuri woman, was born in the Riverina and grew up in Barellan. At age 13 she moved to Sydney to live with her tennis coach Vic Edwards & his family. The completed racquet is an exact 20:1 scale model of Evonne’s battered wooden signature Dunlop racquet. This is a mandatory photo stop for those passing through. Just use the hashtag #bigtennisracquet when posting to social media.
Set close to the historic main street of Lockhart, the Lockhart Water Tower Mural, depicting a cascading waterfall surrounded by many of the unique native fauna and flora found in the local landscape, has rapidly become one of the most incredible pieces of public art in the Riverina.
Undertaken by talented Blue Mountain artists, Scott Nagy and Janne Birkner (Krimsone), the artwork reflects the importance of one of the regions most vital assets – water.
The artwork, covering a surface of more than 600 square metres, was created freehand using spray cans in natural hues to complement the Lockhart streetscape and to harmonise with the natural environment.
A stunning rosella, gorgeous willy wag tails, a watchful kookaburra and magnificent mapgies are just some of the birds which feature on the main part of the tower, while soaring brolgas can be seen across the skyline. A cheeky possum, shy echidna and kangaroos lazing under a shady tree are also depicted in their natural habitats.
The mural is easily accessible to visitors and is situated in a pretty park with modern facilities. Several interesting shops, open most weekends, are situated within close walking distance to the mural.