"Reason for being" Top 5 Page for this destination Ballarat by iandsmith
Ballarat Travel Guide: 207 reviews and 492 photos
When Thomas Livingstone Learmonth and a party of young squatters climbed Mount Buninyong in April 1837 and looked down on the hills and valleys which today form the City, they little realised what the place would be like in 15 years time.
Next year William Cross Yuille and Henry Anderson brought their flocks and formed a sheep station with its headquarters by the dark reedy swamp which is now the landscaped and pretty Lake Wendouree. An obelisk near the Pleasant Street State School now marks the site of their first camp.
Learmonth and Scott took up land near Buninyong, and Waldie and Pettit around Blowhard and Rowan. For the next thirteen years this district was like any out-back of Australia today. Twice every year the bullock waggons travelled to Geelong with supplies of flour, sugar, tea, clothing, tools and other needs of the small community consisting of about seventy families, scattered about and living in bark huts and mud cabins. It was a significant and time consuming journey in those days.
Buninyong was the centre of the district. Here was Mrs Jamieson's Inn, Campbell and Woolley's General store, the Smith of Scotty McLachlan, and the only church in the district. This was a mud Presbyterian Kirk conducted by the Rev Thomas Hastie, who spent most of his time visiting the neighbouring stations and holding services at the homesteads.
In August 1851, Dunlop and Regan discovered gold at Poverty Point in Ballarat East. In a fortnight there were 400 people from Melbourne and Geelong digging for gold around Golden Point, at the foot of Black Hill, and on both sides of the Yarrowee - and finding plenty of it.
When the news reached the Old World, gold fever struck.
"In fifty-one a tale was told
In many a town in Europe old,
Of a new found pasture shown with gold.
Ho! Ho! Have ye heard of Ballaarat?
Then bid farewell and sail away
Sail and sail for a hundred day,
Across the seas to Hobson's Bay,
To the golden fields of Ballaarat."
Tens of thousands of adventurous young men left their homes and set out to seek their fortunes in the golden holes of Ballaarat. By the middle of 1853 there were 20,000 men of all nationalities feverishly at work with pick and spade. In that one year - 1853 - 319,154 ounces of gold worth more than a million pounds, went to Melbourne under Police Escort.
- Pros:Lots to see, plenty to do
- In a nutshell:One of Australia's great historical towns
Here is a town that has a rail service that can actually get to Melbourne faster than a car. Amazing. One day Australian... more travel advice
This isn't just a shop, rather obviously, it's a whole couple of blocks of shops. With the majority of old style fronts... more travel advice
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