Rochester is a small but vibrant town, on the main highway north heading to Echuca. The highway is busy and this gives the town a hectic feeling. Rochester is also a heritage focused town.
The area around the Campaspe River was known as Yalooka, and for thousands of years was home to the Pinpandoor, the local tribe of Aboriginees.
Rochester (via Rowechester) was named after Dr John Pearson Rowe, who had a hotel here before the township was gazetted in 1855. The Post Office opened on 11 May 1863 and the town was reached by the railway line from Bendigo in 1864.
The town is famous as the birthplace in 1904 of Australian racing and endurance cyclist, Sir Hubert Opperman, affectionately known as Oppy. There is a museum dedicated to Oppy in Moore Street, and a statue of him winning the 24-hour endurance race Paris in 1928. On his 90th birthday Oppy donated one of his trusty Malvern Star bicycles to the museum.
Agriculture plays an important part in the economy of Rochester. Primary agriculture includes dairy, tomatoes, cattle and sheep. There are also some grain and seed farms. The Devondale (dairy processing) factory is a large employer, and there are several other smaller industries.