We’ve lived in Victoria for 14 years but, until a few weeks ago, we’d never heard of the small Gippsland town of Yarram. However, this recently changed because Yarram has become quite popular lately, thanks to an initiative from locals to bring more tourism to the town.
The sleepy town of Yarram needed a little boost in tourism, especially after the devastating bushfires earlier this year which stunted tourism in the affected Gippsland area. This was followed by Covid-19, so it’s not been a lot of fun for the region this year.
But what do you do to get tourists to visit a small country town? Well, a handful of locals had the fabulous idea to bring internationally renowned street artist Heesco over, to paint the town. In just 7 weeks, Heesco gave Yarram a colourful makeover, courtesy of 10 street art murals.
So if like us, you enjoy street art then Yarram (now also known as “Heesco Town”) should be your next weekend or day trip destination.
Where is Yarram?
The small township of Yarram is in southeast Gippsland, 221 kilometres east of Melbourne. By car, it’s a two and a half-hour drive down the Princes Highway (M1), a little longer if you take the South Gippsland Highway (A440).
Yarram is close to several other Gippsland attractions, such as the historic seaport of Port Albert, Wilsons Promontory National Park, Tarra Bulga National Park, Agnes Falls, 90 Mile Beach and more. So, be sure to make the most of your trip down that way and explore the rest of the region.
Who is Heesco?
Heesco is a renowned street artist, originally from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. In 2010, Heesco immigrated to Australia and moved to Melbourne. Since then, he’s spent a lot of time painting various walls both in Melbourne and around the country, including some amazing silos in New South Wales.
You can see his portfolio here.
The murals of Yarram
There are currently 10 outdoors murals in Yarram and 5 indoor murals.
Here is a map of all the current murals and the correct address for each of them.
We picked up this map from a lovely groundskeeper at the Yarram Golf Club, where we stopped to see the first painted wall, a mural featuring legendary golfer Gary Player, who visited Yarram in 1956.
The Gary Player mural – Yarram Golf Club
The Yarram Golf Club is about 5 kilometres outside the town.
Address: 42 Golf Links Road, Yarram
The dairy farmer and his dog – MG Trading
This mural is at the northern entrance of the town and depicts Bill McKenzie, a dairy farmer who was also a tanker driver for MG Trading for several years. The handsome Border Collie is Bill’s dog, Toby.
Address: 39 Commercial Rd, Yarram
The shearer – Brown and Wigg Building
This mural is another gem, featuring a farmer shearing a sheep, with his dog beside him.
Address: 191 Commercial Road, Yarram
The dolphins – Wynne’s Building
Beautiful dolphins playing in the waves at the Wynne’s Building. You will not see this one unless you look up; it’s located above the shop.
Address: 200 Commercial Road, Yarram
Thank you, Australia – The Yarram Bakery
Liem, the owner of the Yarram Bakery, came to Australia on a boat as a refugee. He commissioned the mural as a tribute to refugees and to thank the people of Australia for taking him in and giving him the chance of a new life. This was my favourite mural in Heesco Town.
Address: 222 Commercial Road, Yarram (you will find the mural in the alleyway to the left of the bakery.
Kara Healey and local wildlife – Betta Home Living
Both murals are behind the Betta Home Living building.
The first mural features Kara Healey, who became the first female park ranger in Victoria in 1952. The mural recognises her significant role in the history of Tarra Bulga National Park.
The second mural, to the left, depicts some local wildlife.
Address: 262 Commercial Road
Ralph Vale and his bullock team – The Federal Coffee Palace
The Federal Coffee Palace building is a landmark in Yarram. Its mural is on the sidewall facing the BP station. This mural depicts Ralph Vale and his bullock team. Ralph used to walk his bullocks down the main street of Yarram every year during the annual Tarra Festival.
Address: 305 Commercial Road, Yarram
The largest mural in Yarram – The Ship Inn Motel
There are three murals at the Ship Inn Motel. The first one is the Thank You for staying in Heesco Town sign. Don’t forget to write your name inside the boat. Paul, the very friendly owner of the motel, has left markers there just for that purpose!
The second mural is also easy to spot. It’s right on the front wall of the hotel itself and depicts a ship in battle.
To find the third mural, enter the hotel courtyard and turn right. We found Paul, the owner sitting in the garden and he was more than happy to show us the huge mural and told us the story behind it.
This large mural depicts a bar filled with pirates, skeletons, treasure chests and even a Mongolian Warrior Queen! There is a lot to look at in this mural!
Address: 480 Commercial Road, Yarram – The Ship Inn Motel is about one and a half kilometres outside of town. If you are looking for accommodation for the night, the owners are super friendly and their prices are very reasonable.
Old keg and horse cart – Victoria Hotel
This last mural is not actually in Yarram but in Alberton, is about 5 kilometres from Yarram. The mural on the side of the Victoria Hotel depicts a gentleman unloading old kegs by hand, as well as a cart pulled by horses.
Address: 52 Turnbull Street, Alberton
There are some internal murals at the Bull Bar & Gallery and the Bean Peddlar. Unfortunately, we couldn’t see any of the indoor murals due to the Covid-19 restrictions still being in place during our visit. But don’t worry, we’ll be heading back as soon as we can to update this page.
Yarram’s murals are nice to see but don’t forget to enjoy the lovely old buildings around town, the Post Office, Regent Theatre, Yarram Club Hotel and the Court House, to name a few. The majority of the murals are within walking distance of each other, so park your car and walk around to savour both the art and the town’s architecture.
For more information about Yarram/Heesco Town and a location map of the mural, click here.
Accommodation around Yarram
You can use the search box below to find your accommodation in and around Yarram: