Kerang is a rural town on the Loddon River in northern Victoria in Australia.
- Area:146.608 km2
- Elevation:82 m
- Local Government Area:Gannawarra Shire Council
Kerang is a rural town on the Loddon River in northern Victoria in Australia. It is the commercial centre to an irrigation district based on livestock, horticulture, lucerne and grain.It is located 279 kilometres (173 mi) north-west of Melbourne on the Murray Valley Highway a few kilometres north of its intersection with the Loddon Valley Highway, elevation 78 metres (256 ft). At the 2016 census, Kerang had a population of 3,893. Kerang is believed to be an Aboriginal word for Cockatoo. It is home to the largest solar and battery farm in the country which was opened in June 2019. The 50-megawatt battery system is located outside of Kerang and stores 100 per cent renewable energy. The 2,000 solar panels have become a tourist attraction and are drawing many businesses to the town.
The Wemba-Wemba Aboriginal people are the original owners and the area's first occupants. Thomas Mitchell was the first European to visit the area, in 1836. Squatters began to settle in the area in 1845 and in 1848 Richard Beyes opened a public house at a river crossing near the future townsite. This was followed by a saddlery and a church. In 1857 Woodford Patchell built a bridge upriver from the settlement which drew traffic from the earlier settlement. He built a store, house and hotel that became the center of what was to become Kerang. Patchell was the first farmer in the state to use irrigation and experimented with oats, barley, maize, millet, tobacco, beet, cotton and sugarcane. The Post Office opened on 29 July 1858; the current Kerang Post Office building dates from 1886 and is heritage-listed. An earlier Kerang office, quite distant, was renamed Wedderburn on the same day.Kerang was declared a shire in 1871; at the time the settlement's population was 109. The arrival of the railway from Bendigo in 1884 and the construction of a tramway to Koondrook in 1888 led to expansion; by 1891 the population had increased to over a thousand.The spread of Patchell's irrigation ideas improved local productivity and the town continued to expand.
## Burke and Wills
The Burke and Wills expedition passed through Kerang on their journey to cross Australia from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria. On Sunday, 2 September 1860 the expedition camped at Booth & Holloway's Tragowel Station to the south of Kerang. On Tuesday, 4 September 1860 they passed through Kerang, crossed the Loddon and camped at Mr. Fenton's Reedy Creek Run, making Camp XIII, (their thirteenth camp since leaving Melbourne).
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