Irymple, a town in north-west Victoria, is 7 km south of Mildura.
Irymple was one of three pastoral leaseholds in the Mildura district, and the name was retained for a proposed settlement when the Chaffey brothers laid out the Mildura irrigation colony in 1887. It is thought that ‘Irymple’ was derived from an Aboriginal word describing a waterhole.
Farm/orchard blocks were taken up in 1889 at Irymple, also known as Irymple Valley. Kings Billabong, fed by the Murray River and the Billabong pumping station are east of Irymple. In 1893 a school was opened in a Wesleyan church. When the railway was extended from Ouyen to Mildura in 1903 a station was provided at Irymple. Within about ten years there were fruit-packing factories, a distillery, a public hall, several stores and a second school at Irymple South (1911). In 1919 Irymple Packing Pty Ltd was established, and it has sheds at Irymple and Merbein (1998).
In 1926 three fruit packing companies, Mildura Co-op, Sarnia (Mildura) and Irymple Packing formed Sunbeam Foods, dried and snack foods. Its factory is in Sunbeam Avenue, Irymple.
The greater part of citrus growing in the Mildura-Irymple district is on the higher sandy rises at Irymple. Vineyards predominate, however. Vegetables are also grown, and there is some hot house culture. Farmers have diversified into specialised farmers' market items like pickled walnuts and chillies.
There are numerous amenities in Irymple serving the urban and district populations. They include a secondary college (1968), a community leisure centre, basketball, bocce, bowling, cricket, football and tennis facilities, a swimming pool, a public hall and a library. There are also a community hotel/motel, a caravan park and several shops. Flouride was added to the water supply in 2010.
The Billabong pumping station (1889) which supplied irrigation water, and the Irymple railway station (1903), are on the Victorian Heritage Register. The Chateau Mildura winery originated from the Chaffeys planting 150 acres of vines at Irymple in 1887. It became part of Chateau Mildara and came into private hands in 2002. The winery includes a museum.
Census populations have been:
|Irymple and environs||2011||5015|
At the 2011 census, fruit and nut growing accounted for 8.1% of employment, and there are seven wineries east of Irymple township.
School enrolments were: Irymple primary 309 (2014), Irymple South primary 286 (2014), Irymple secondary college 534 (2014), and Henderson college (7DA) 128 (2011).
Robert R.F. Walton and Fay L. Mannes, Irymple primary school No. 3174 – a history, the Book Committee, c1985