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Published April 27th 2019
A big surprise in a small town
Fans of big things had better brace themselves... there's a big thing that's flown under your radar! The Big Mallee Fowl is an undiscovered Australian icon situated in the quiet little town of Patchewollock in dry north-west Victoria.
Mallee Fowl (Leipoa ocellata) are unique, not only in managing to survive in the harsh Mallee conditions, but also because of the way they build mounds in which to bury and hatch their eggs. Mallee Fowl are usually about the size of a big chicken and use camouflage to survive.
There's nothing small about these two giant Mallee Fowl structures which were installed here by artist Phil Rigg in 2013. They're made from corrugated iron, painted with feathers and they're big enough that you can sit underneath them for photos.
The Big Mallee Fowl are just one of the things to see on your visit to Patchewollock. The giant corrugated birds stand next to a fine example of silo art by artist Fintan Magee and the well preserved Patchewollock Station Precinct. There's antique farm machinery on display in the same park and the Patchewollock Hotel is just across the road.
There are picnic tables provided but public toilets are in town, just follow the signs.
Let's face it, Patchewollock is bit off the beaten track but if you have the time to take a detour from your trip across the Mallee you'll find some interesting art and history. Patchewollock is 40km south west of Ouyen in north-west Victoria, you can get to it from the Sunraysia Highway to Mildura or the Sturt Highway at Walpeup near Ouyen.