Tandarra is a rural locality in northern-central Victoria, 40 km north of Bendigo. It was named after the Tandarra pastoral run, taken up by John Aitken in 1846. (Aitken came from Tasmania to Port Phillip in 1836, five months after the Batman and Fawkner parties. Settling first at Sunbury, he was a purchaser of several pastoral licences over the next seventeen years.) The name Tandarra is thought to be derived from an Aboriginal word relating to a camping place.
Tandarra is west of Thunder Swamp, just beyond the Whipstick forest and Raywood where goldfields were opened in the 1860s. Hence Tandarra was left for farm selection during the 1870s. The Bendigo to Kerang railway (1883) line provided a station at Tandarra for the transport of produce, mainly grain. The Tandarra village acquired a post office, store, a school (1880-1950) and a mechanics' institute.
After the construction of the Waranga water storage at Nagambie, the Waranga Western Channel (c1906) was laid into the Wimmera, passing just north of Tandarra, providing a livestock water supply. (An irrigation district adjoins the northern side of the channel.) In 1909 the remaining 40% of the Tandarra estate was subdivided for closer settlement.
Tandarra is an important grain receiving point and there are silos at the railway line.
The Tandarra Estate vineyard and olive grove is in Tandarra Road on the New South Wales-Victorian border at Moama, 80 km to the north-east of Tandarra.
Tandarra's census populations have been:
Michael Sharland, These verdant plains: a history of the Shire of East Loddon, 1971