Aboriginal for “Ashes”, Minyip had its early origins as part of a squatter’s “run” until the township was established in the early 1870’s and the sale of town blocks in 1875 attracted ex-miners and many South Australian farmers to the district. The town flourished as a service centre for this productive wheat growing district and after a century of steady growth, was “re-discovered” by Crawford Productions in 1984 as the town to be featured as “Coopers Crossing” in the long running television series “The Flying Doctors”. Production ceased in 1989 but visitors from around the world still come to enjoy a stroll down memory lane. Minyip is also known for its many picturesque sunsets, a feature often used during Crawford’s filming days in the town. The double story silhouettes of Minyip’s main street facades and the ever present silo’s create a lasting impression of a typical Wimmera township set under clear skies on an expansive flat terrain.
Minyip’s Main Street
Minyip’s Main Street is still much the same as when the series was filmed and viewers will be familiar with many of the buildings such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service Base, Emma’s Garage, Coopers Crossing Memorial Hall and the Majestic Hotel that all featured prominently in many episodes. Minyip has a great range of Victorian and turn of the century buildings all along its main street with many good examples of early country Victorian architecture. The two hotels, although being built in the same era, are strikingly different in their architecture, one Gothic and the other Federation style. Most facades on other buildings remain with Emma’s Garage particularly unusual with its double timber entrances and now used to house Minyip’s Community Enterprise Centre.
St John’s Lutheran Church
Classified by the National Trust in 1974, the church features a striking octagonal belfry and houses a magnificent Fuller pipe organ. The whole structure with organ in situ was moved to its present site in 1935 from Kirchheim, south-west of Minyip, where it was originally built in 1889. The organ can be played by request with sufficient notice.
The Minyip Cemetery
Located to the east of town reflects the strong German influence in Minyip’s beginnings and holds great interest for those involved in genealogy and history.