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Ararat is a city in south-west Victoria, Australia, about 198 kilometres (120 mi) west of Melbourne, on the Western Highway on the eastern slopes of the Ararat Hills and Cemetery Creek valley between Victoria's Western District and the Wimmera. Its urban population according to 2016 census is 8,297 and services the region of 11,752 residents across the Rural City's boundaries It is the largest settlement in the Rural City of Ararat local government area and is the administrative centre.
The discovery of gold in 1857 during the Victorian gold rush transformed it into a boomtown which continued to prosper until the turn of the 20th century, after which it has steadily declined in population. It was proclaimed as a city on 24 May 1950. After a decline in population over the 1980s and 90s, there has been a small but steady increase in the population, and it is the site of many existing and future, large infrastructure projects, including the Hopkins Correctional Facility development project.It is named after Mount Ararat 10 kilometres south-west of the town which was named by Horatio Wills in 1841.