There are plenty of hidden gems to discover across the Central Goldfields, sleepy country towns and unassuming villages full of stories waiting to be unearthed. Here are a handful that like the Welcome Stranger nugget, are rich and just waiting to be discovered.
Take Timor for example. Once a thriving gold town with a population in excess of 27,000, Timor had 38 hotels, three butcher shops, two banks, three bakeries, a police station and several cells. The last hotel closed its doors in the 1960s. Now less than 200 people call this once booming town home. The Grand Duke Arch stands tall in the landscape. Between 1869 and 1896 this mine produced 216,054oz of gold worth £885,821 (about $281 million in today’s value).
A little up the road Moliagul has a timeless feel about it. Best known as the home of Welcome Stranger, the largest gold nugget ever unearthed, the Mt Moliagul Hotel, stone Church of England, Mechanic Institute, State School and general store are a legacy of past wealth and prosperity. These are just two of the many stories that you can discover while exploring the Central Goldfields.
A history steeped in gold mining, cultivation, timber and farming, enjoy the peace of country living in this north-west gateway to the Gold Rush Centre of Victoria. Visit the beautifully restored Railway Station that proved a boon to local agriculture when it arrived from Dunolly in 1878. Grab a jar of some famous Cooper’s Capers to take home your own little piece of the region. Walking and driving tours of Bealiba are available and take you through the Red Ironbark forests of the neighbouring Bealiba Ranges and Tunstall State Forest. Bealiba Reservoir is fantastic for a quiet spot of fishing with free camping and amenities.
Majorca is another bijou goldrush village, including interesting sites such as the restored Public Hall. The white mullock heaps of the Hanoverian Deep Lead run across the paddocks just behind the town famous for its mines and hotels. Hundreds of wooden poppet heads once dotted the landscape. The historic Majorca Cemetery and close by Tullaroop Reservoir are worth a visit.
For more ideas and information call in to the Central Goldfields Visitor Centre, corner Alma and Nolan Streets, Maryborough VIC 3465 or phone 03 5460 4511.