Omeo ( OH-mee-oh) is a town in Victoria, Australia on the Great Alpine Road, east of Mount Hotham, in the Shire of East Gippsland.
- Area:591.295 km2
- Elevation:650 m
- Local Government Area:East Gippsland Shire Council
Omeo ( OH-mee-oh) is a town in Victoria, Australia on the Great Alpine Road, east of Mount Hotham, in the Shire of East Gippsland. At the 2016 census, Omeo had a population of 406. The name is derived from an Aboriginal word for 'mountains' or 'hills'.Omeo is affectionately known as the City of the Alps with many historic buildings remaining in the town. The town is still the commercial hub for the Omeo Region and is a service centre for outlying communities such as Benambra, Cobungra, Cassilis, Swifts Creek, and Ensay.
The first reported sighting by Europeans of the wide plain that the Aborigines called 'Omeo' was by the naturalist John Lhotsky from the southern Alps in 1834. The area was first visited by stockmen who drove stock through the region as early as 1835. In 1845 gold was found in the Livingstone Creek which runs through Omeo, this caused the population to boom and by 1901, Omeo was at its peak with a population of 9400. They were prosperous times. The main street, Day Avenue, was packed every night with people out strolling, shopping and enjoying the evening air. Hotels and cafes were doing a roaring trade with free-spending miners, and businesses were booming. Businesses began to establish themselves. Banks arrived. In 1889, the Colonial Bank of Australia. In 1892, the Commercial Bank. A.J. McDonald, one of the colony's leading architects designed the post and telegraph office and new courthouse. They were completed in 1891 and 1892 and remain unique for their architecture to this day.The Post Office near its present location opened on 1 January 1858. However, two earlier offices in different locations named Omeo were open in 1851 and 1856 to 1857.Earthquakes in 1885 and 1892, and the Black Friday bushfires of 1939, destroyed many buildings; many remain including the historical Omeo Bank House as well as the Omeo Coffee House which was built in 1879 and was a temperance boarding house as well as a restaurant, it is a timber building which was condemned in 1990, restored in 1990 and completed in 1995 when it housed its first guests after 25 years. It is now known as Snug
as a Bug Motel.
Due to its location, Omeo has an oceanic climate (Cwb) with four distinct seasons and high diurnal range. It is one of the few Australian places outside the Snowy Mountains to have recorded frost in the summer.
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