"Maldon & Surrounds" Maldon by leffe3
Maldon Travel Guide: 25 reviews and 53 photos
Maldon is the ultimate in terms of 'time standing still' - it was the first Goldfields town listed as Heritage way back in 1966. As a result, time has forced it to 'standstill'.
Its a lovely little town (population of 2000+) that attracts casual day trippers as well as tourists using it as a base to explore the Goldfields.
The main, wide, street is 2kms of a mixed bag of tourism (particularly antiques), cafes and 'The Old Lolly Shoppe' through to more practical newsagents, a small supermarket, Sadly, the working blacksmiths has now closed down, but there is the most bizarre 'Garden Gnome' shop/museum.
At its height (mid-19th century), some 40,000 people lived in Maldon and surrounds. Initially settled in 1840 (known as Tarrangower), gold was first discovered in 1853. But the rush did not last long - one problem being that lack of water meant that the panning had to wait until it rained! So the casual miners moved on to pastures greener (or yellow:)). The second problem for Maldon was the gold bearing quartz was too difficult to extract the actual gold. So after a short while, the individuals were replaced by companies, with mines dug deeper and deeper into the surrounding countryside to extract the solid rock.
Over a period of time, the 'shanty town' of the gold prospectors was replaced with a planned town. Incredibly, at its peak, Maldon contained 60 hotels, 3 theatres, 10 churches as well as any number of service buildings. But as the gold started to run out at the beginning of the 20th century, so the mines closed - the North British being the last of the large mines (closed 1926). With the onset of the Depression, so people moved out, the population dropping to 1000 at one point, and the great Australia tradiiton of upping and leaving, taking your home with you, was put into serious practice! But not too much - the National Trust listed the
town and now Maldon is strictly controlled by planning conditions.
The town and surrounds are ideal for exploring the relics of the now distant mining 'industry' and there's plenty to see - including shafts, equipment, mullock and tailing heaps, cyanide vats, dams, tunnels and a dredge. There are remnants of the old mines themselves - North British Mine to the south of the town one of the best preserved.
The surrounding countryside is one of gentle, undulating landscape rather than anything overly dramatic (although there is Mount Tarrangower which overlooks the town and which provides great views)
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