Join us on a captivating journey through the timeless goldfields towns of Maryborough and Dunolly. Immerse yourself in the history, unique architecture and stunning natural beauty.
Maryborough and the Central Goldfields towns embody a rich history, evidenced by their majestic structures, historic cottages, and elegant homes. The Central Goldfields region also has abundant Box-Ironbark forests, teeming with wildlife.
This tour takes you straight to the heart of the Goldfields – Maryborough, and through an array of quaint, timeless towns in the Central Goldfields, where the largest gold nuggets were discovered.
As the most prominent town in the Central Goldfields, Maryborough boasts a wealth of gold rush heritage, observable in its government structures, private residences, and verdant parks and gardens.
We’ll traverse a diverse range of unique towns in the Central Goldfields, including Creswick, Clunes, Talbot, Timor, Moliagul, and Dunolly, each possessing its own distinctive charm.
Paddy’s Ranges State Park and Maryborough Regional Park offer the delightful spectacle of golden wattle blossoms in spring, interspersed within the Box-Ironbark forest. Many fauna, including kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas, and various bird species, inhabit these forests.
Our tour commences with a drive through the gold rush town on our way to Maryborough, stopping first at Creswick. Here, we’ll visit the Woollen Mill, Australia’s last of its kind, and the charming main street dotted with heritage buildings. The former Creswick Hospital, now the administrative hub of the Creswick School of Forestry, is also on the itinerary.
Journeying through the Rivers of Gold mines, we’ll reach Smeaton to view the historic flour mill before reaching the storied town of Clunes, the first site where gold was discovered. Preserved shopfronts harken back to a bygone era. Next, we’ll visit Talbot’s tranquil gold rush town, featuring picturesque brick and bluestone structures and charming cottage gardens.
We’ll have our first encounter with wild nature at Paddy’s Ranges State Park, Maryborough Regional Park, and Craigie State Forest, situated on the outskirts of Maryborough. These parks house gold mining relics, remnants of a once-thriving Eucalyptus Distillery, and evidence of the Jajawurrong people’s Aboriginal culture, including rock wells and scar trees. Amid the Box-Ironbark forest, the spring bloom of Golden Wattle is a sight to behold, with over 230 species of wildflowers and a variety of wildlife to encounter.
In Maryborough, we’ll tour the town’s impressive heritage buildings, including the Town Hall, Post Office, and Courthouse, all overlooking McLandress Square. We’ll also visit Worsley Cottage Museum & Squatter Slab Hut, where you can view period artifacts, photographs, and mining relics.
A must-see in Maryborough is the historic Railway Station, featuring a stunning polished timber ceiling and a beautifully tessellated floor. Bristol Hill lookout provides sweeping views of the town, named after Bristol Reef, a source of gold mining from the late 1850s. Leaving Maryborough, we’ll journey to Timor, a former thriving gold town and home to the Grand Duke Mine, which once yielded gold worth $281 million.
Finally, we’ll reach Dunolly, a town nestled between picturesque Box-Ironbark forests and fertile farmland. Once a bustling hub during the gold rush, only a few enduring structures remain, such as the Post Office, Town Hall, and Hotels. Known for its prolific gold nugget discoveries, Dunolly and its surrounding districts are steeped in gold history.
Maryborough Civic Centre – McLandress Square: The centrepiece of Maryborough, featuring an impressive collection of heritage government buildings around a well-maintained square.
Worsley Cottage (subject to availability): A charming, restored cottage housing period artifacts, photographs, and mining relics, providing a glimpse into the city’s past.
Maryborough Historic Railway Station: An architectural gem featuring a polished timber ceiling and tessellated floor, this station speaks volumes of Maryborough’s rich history.
Bristol Hill Lookout: Offering panoramic views over Maryborough, this lookout point is named after the gold-mined Bristol Reef.
Paddy’s Ranges State Park: This natural oasis is a haven for wildflowers and wildlife, showcasing the stunning beauty of the Box-Ironbark forests.
Dunolly Heritage Boulevard & Buildings: Time stands still in Dunolly, with its well-preserved historical buildings reflecting the town’s prosperous gold rush era.
Moliagul – ‘Welcome Stranger’ Discovery Site: The very location where the world’s largest alluvial gold nugget, ‘Welcome Stranger’, was discovered.
Goldfield Towns of Creswick: Home to the Interpretative Centre of the last Woollen Mill in Australia and the picturesque St. George’s Lake.
Clunes: Maintaining its original streetscape, Clunes is the first gold town of the Victorian Goldrush and exudes a nostalgic charm.
Talbot: A quaint town with winding streets lined with brick and bluestone buildings, Talbot is a living testament to the gold rush period.
Timor – the Grand Duke Mine: Site of the once prosperous Grand Duke Mine, which yielded gold worth millions, adding to Timor’s intriguing history.
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