Stawell is a town in the Wimmera region of Victoria, Australia. The town is located in Northern Grampians Shire Local Government Area, 237 kilometres (147 mi) west north west of the state capital, Melbourne. At the 2001 census, Stawell had a population of 6,134.
The site was first settled during the gold rush of 1853 and named Pleasant Creek but was renamed to honour Sir William Foster Stawell (1815-1889), the Chief Justice of Victoria. The town was created a borough in 1869. Stawell is famed for the Stawell Gift, a professional foot race.
Stawell is also known as the gateway to the Grampians National Park.
Stawell is a former goldmining town of some 6700 people located just off the Western Highway, 32 km north-west of Ararat, 235 km north-west of Melbourne and 231 m above sea-level. It is a service centre to the surrounding district and supports a number of industries such as brick-production, goldmining, a substantial and very successful fabric upholstery concern and an abattoir, as well as more traditional grazing and farming.pursuits. With the Grampians close by Stawell has a growing tourism sector.
The original town centre and administration buildings were established near the Pleasant Creek goldfields. However, as the alluvial gold began to diminish in the 1860s, the population and economic activity began to shift north-east to the Big Hill area where a new settlement, known as Quartz Reefs, developed around the quartz gold found at the foot of the hill. Thus the original townsite became known as Stawell West. The two areas were amalgamated into the borough of Stawell in 1869.