"On golden soils let us rejoice..." certainly these words of the Australian national anthem were not intended to be a direct reference to Australians golden fields, but much of Australia's history has been enriched by the discovery of gold.
There are few better ways to really understand and connect with Australia than by taking a tour through some of Australias favorite golden towns of Ballarat, Bendigo and Castlemaine. All of these towns have something unique to offer and visitors are sure to leave loving Australia even more.
How to get thereThe beautiful historic goldfields of Ballarat are only 115 km or approximately an hours and a half's drive from Victoria's capital city of Melbourne.
Although Ballarat is a small city by Australian standards, it has carefully preserved its heritage and proudly offers a great deal of insight into Australian history.
Getting there is easy by taking the Westgate freeway taking the exit onto the Western Ring Road and finally a left onto the Western highway.
From there it's all straight ahead.
Ballarat is known for the fifth largest goldfield productions to date.
It was found in 1838 by William Cross Yuille and Henry Anderson.
Ballarat was first know as Ballaarat meaning "resting place" from the Indigenous Australians first known to come to Australia.
In 1851, gold was reported to be found in the rivers bedding streaming down the side of the hills in Ballarat.
Till 1917, the goldfields in Ballarat were mined significantly.
Until 1984, most of the mining was sporadic.
A visit to the recreated mining town of
Sovereign Hill should not be missed.
Ballarat is also known for the armed civil war once known as the Eureka Stockade and now referred to as the Eureka Rebellion.
December 1854, during the Eureka Rebellion, 22 miners were killed making history in Australia.
Today the area is a historical park for the memorial event.
You are treated with a particularly emotional display in the evenings called "Blood on the Southern Cross".
As part of WWII, Ballarat was part of Air Training as the aerodrome was established in 1930.
The USAF bomber squadrons used this area for a base with the RAAF Wireless Air Gunners School.
Ballarat houses the oldest and most extensive works of art in all of Australia.
Performing arts has been established in the theatrical community within the city.
Ballarat even has a night life with a variety of themed restaurants, dance clubs, wine bars, hotels, and a large cinema complex.
Check out some Ballarat accommodation suggestions.
BendigoOver an hour from Ballarat is Bendigo. Getting from Ballarat to Bendigo is simply a matter of heading along Daylesford Ballarat Road for a country drive. Don't pack your camera away, there are some pretty farm lands along the way. Keep on going on to Midland Highway, continue on to Calder Highway eventually you will meet Mclivor Highway.
For travellers wanting to go straight to Bendigo from Melbourne, the trip will take hardly any time at all. Depending on traffic you can get there in an hour, hour and a half.
Bendigo is a place of heritage arts, cultures, food and wine.
The gold rush of the 1850s helped produce ornate buildings that were built with a Victorian style, contributing to a picturesque French cityscape.
Tourism in Bendigo is largely based on its gold industry.
The central Deborah Goldmine is certainly worth a look.
Bendigo houses the third largest cathedral in Australia.
Sacred Heart Cathedral built of sandstone is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.
Chinese miners in 1860 built the only surviving place of worship in regional Victoria.
The Joss House, a one of a kind building, is a historic temple.
Bendigo is worth a weekend-stay. Check out some Bendigo accommodation suggestions for your visit to Bendigo.
You could, for example, decide to visit during the annual Bendigo Heritage Uncorked. This event is normally held in October. Local wineries and restaurants present you with wines and gourmet food throughout the heritage buildings in Bendigo. It's always a great weekend and not to be missed if you are a wine, food or culture-lover.
CastlemaineOnly 40 minutes away from Bendigo is Castlemaine.
From Bendigo take the Calder Highway turning right onto the Midland Highway.
Visitors coming straight from Melbourne will only find themselves on the road for about an hour and a half.
Castlemaine is a former gold mining town, located between the cities of Ballarat and Bendigo.
Castlemaine is now an agricultural and tourism city, located at the junction of three creeks in a valley.
Historical streets, 1860s Botanical Gardens and historical gold mines are just some of the tourist attractions Castlemaine has to offer.
Taking a ride on a steam train through the Victorian Goldfields is certainly and positively an ideal way to truly experience the Australian gold fields. A trip with the Victorian Goldfields railway will take you through the historic towns of Castlemaine and Maldon, and along Box-Iron Bark forest, a region that saw some of the richest gold mining in Australia.
Castlemaine also offers a galleries, museums, and old Castlemaine Goal.
Kalimna Tourist Road offers bushwalking and scenic views of the park and countryside.
Wish to stay at Castlemaine for a night or two? Then check out the following Castlemaine accommodation ideas.
ClunesClunes is another name in Australia's golden history. A steep valley surrounded by hills and exotic volcanoes, a 19th century town, golf and national parks, it is all there. Sandstones, bluestones, and brick buildings are characteristic for Clunes and other Goldfield towns.
Aside from being an attractive center for artists, authors, historians and photographers, the area also offers a charming selection of cafes, shops galleries, wineries and antique and collectible shops.
Take an opportunity to visit these places when you come visit Melbourne, Victoria. You will not be disappointed as you create your own golden memories.
Want to stay in Clunes? Then check out some Clunes accommodation suggestions.
MaldonMaldon is one of Australia's most charming Gold Rush Towns. Maldon is situated about 140km north-west of Melbourne. This fascinating small town is a fascinating mixture of traditional, cultural and historical and you are going to be quite attracted to all its different aspects like 19th century cottages, shop fronts with old fashion designs, European architecture with wide verandas and flagstone pavements.
Do remember to be here in October, April, July, and November when fairs and folk festivals are held. It is worth a visit just to get a taste of Australia's golden history.
Maldon offers some great accommodation.
Every region of Victoria has got a range of annual events and the Goldfields area is not any different. I already highlighted the annual Bendigo Heritage Uncorked, a great weekend in Bendigo if you are into wine, food and culture.
Another great event which is held in October as well is the Heathcote Wine and Food Festival. This is another annual festival that celebrates the region's fabulous wines.
Cities and towns such as Ballarat, Bendigo, and Castlemaine hold historical memories of gold mining fields.
Some of the fields are still being mined for gold today, with historical memories rich with Australian flavor.
To truly appreciate Australia, a gold mine tour is absolutely recommended.
Wish to know more about the beauties of my Melbourne and the wonderful state of Victoria ?
Subscribe to the Melbourne XPress or to my site blog
Go from Goldfields Page to I Love Melbourne Homepage
Accommodation: Ballarat | Bendigo | Castlemaine | Clunes | Maldon
Events: Bendigo Heritage Uncorked | Heathcote Wine and Food Festival
Subscribe now to the