In central Victoria, locals are taking up arms against the invading wheel cactus
Pigeon Hill, a granite outcrop just west of Maldon, in central Victoria, overlooks plains that roll out all the way to the Murray. These can look lovely in early spring. The explorer Thomas Mitchell, casting his eyes over them in 1836, thought them lush: so lush, he called them “Australia Felix”. His report sparked a land rush, followed by a gold rush, but today, a good few droughts later with the promise of worse to come, the territory is close to clapped-out. Dairy, olives and apples have come and gone. Shearing sheds are fewer and farther between.