Rainbow is a town in the Shire of Hindmarsh in northwest Victoria, Australia, 400 kilometres (250 mi) from Melbourne.
- Area:865.614 km2
- Elevation:87 m
- Local Government Area:Hindmarsh Shire Council
Rainbow is a town in the Shire of Hindmarsh in northwest Victoria, Australia, 400 kilometres (250 mi) from Melbourne. The nearest large towns are Warracknabeal, Dimboola and Nhill, all to the south. At the 2016 census, Rainbow had a population of 683.
In 1899 the railway line was extended from Jeparit to a projected town site, Rainbow Rise, named after a sand lunette covered with wildflowers in the shape of a rainbow. A post office opened on 2 July 1900 and town blocks in Rainbow were sold in October 1900. By 1910 the township was referred to as the Metropolis of the Mallee.
Robert Riby owned and operated the first newspaper in Rainbow. He married Mary Anne Palethorp.
Rainbow was well known for its wheat. Silos still stand there and are visible from kilometres away.
Many of the town's original settlers were of German descent, and came across country from South Australia. In its early years, names such as Strauss, Petschel, Bretag, Rogasch, Fischer, Schumann, Schulz, Kruger and Heinrich were common, as well as the English names Dunn, Wallis, Smith, Brown, Fisher and Small.
The railway line transported wheat, other grains and passengers. In later years, it was used for freight only.
The Rainbow Magistrates' Court closed on 1 January 1983.Rainbow was part of the Dimboola Shire until 25 January 1995, when the shire was united with the Lowan Shire.
The town was the subject of an episode of the ABC television program Enough Rope, with Andrew Denton, on 31 July 2006.
# Things to do
Rainbow is a small commercial centre for the surrounding agricultural area. To its south is Victoria's largest freshwater lake, Lake Hindmarsh. To its north are Lake Albacutya, which is usually dry but a Ramsar-listed bird habitat; and Wyperfeld National Park. Rainbow is a useful base from which tourists, especially birdwatchers, can explore the surrounding region. It is notable for its unique main street, which incorporates a central strip of parkland.
Despite its remoteness, Rainbow prides itself on community involvement. There are football, netball, cricket, golf, bowls and volleyball clubs, arts groups, a community learning group, service clubs and a proactive town committee. Local businesses include a baker, butcher, chemist, modern supermarket, stock and station agents, a weekly newspaper (the Rainbow-Jeparit Argus) and a service station. There is also a police station.
With its neighbouring township Jeparit, Rainbow has a football team, Jeparit-Rainbow, competing in the Horsham District Football League.
Rainbow has one school, Rainbow P-12 College at 17 Albert Street. Established in January 2015 from the former primary and secondary schools, it serves students from nearby farms and towns, from Years foundation (prep) to 12 (VCE). The former Rainbow Primary School for younger students was co-located to the site of the secondary college in 2011, in a new $3.5 million building. P-12 college was established following a process of community consultation.
Golfers play at the course of the Rainbow Golf Club on Nhill Road.