Have you ever tried prospecting for gold or just wanted to visit areas rich in Australian history. These gold mining towns of old are full of history both good and bad.
Some towns started in the boom times and have gone on to prosper where there are others that are no longer. Yet the stories are preserved in our rich history, it is these stories of boom times and dispair, the bush rangers or rebellion that make it worth the drive you will love digging around the old working's.
Ballarat is only 60 minutes West of Melbourne on the Western Highway. Ballarat is famous as a gold mining town. It is also famous for the Eureka rebellion that took place at Eureka Stockade.
The town of Ballarat is one of the largest in Western Victoria, you will see many examples of the rich history in the building from the 1800's. There are some truly grand buildings with beautiful detail.
Sovereign Hill is a tourist village and a working replica of the time. The kids will love Sovereign Hill they can take a horse and cart ride or go underground in a old gold mine.
You will also find many shops selling goods from the time, many of these are made on site. Make sure you have a whole day set aside to visit Sovereign Hill.
Ballarat Gold Museum
The Ballarat Gold Museum houses some very interesting gold nuggets found around Ballarat and surrounding areas. It also houses the Hand of Faith a huge gold nugget found in the Ballarat area.
You will find many informative displays that explain the history of gold prospecting in Ballarat.
There are also interactive maps that explain where gold nuggets where found and by who, this will give you an idea of just how much gold was found.
Clunes in Victoria has a rich history of gold mining. The area did not fare so well after the gold boom and reverted to farming. Clunes Is a historic gold mining town located in the heart of Victoria's Central Goldfields region, just north of Ballarat and about 20 minutes drive west.
Clunes is an great destination for the gold prospecting weekend getaway, or just a country drive and day trip. Clunes is Dotted with antique and collectable stores, the odd vineyard and some wineries, you will also find bed & breakfasts and even a peppers resort in the scenic country.
The Victorian Goldfields area is a hidden treasure trove for the adventurous gold prospector and family adventure. All this makes Clunes a popular weekend destination for bushwalkers, gold prospectors, treasure hunters, collectors, vintage car clubs, history buffs and families seeking to escape to the country.
Clunes is also host to the annual boomtown weekend, held on May 14th - 15th, which brings together thousands of booksellers, writers and speakers from all over the nation and overseas. Booktown is staged right across the town, inside heritage bluestone buildings, on the quartz streets, under charming old awnings. The town population increase by a huge factor over the weekend.
A short 50 minute drive from Melbourne along the Western Highway is the town of Daylesford where you will find another historic Gold mining town there is also some great scenery, solid old buildings and plenty of new and interesting food.
There are a number of historical wonders, natural mineral springs and a number of spa retreats and holistic health services. Whether you visit for the gold prospecting history or a of relaxing massage at one of the many retreats, Daylesford and Hepburn Springs has plenty for a good fun weekend away.
Kalgoorlie, known as Kalgoorlie-Boulder, is a historic Western Australia town in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia, and is located 590 kilometres east of Perth. The town was founded in 1893 during the Yilgarn-Goldfields gold rush, and is located within stone throw of the "Golden Mile".
Kalgoorlie is a great weekend away from Perth and has plenty of family adventures.
Mansfield, at the foot of the Great Dividing Range in Victoria's High Country, is a a very old gold prospecting area. Today you'll find it the gateway to the popular ski resort of Mt Buller and other ski resorts.
There is some spectacular scenery, walking tracks, horse riding tracks, old buildings from the gold mining times, you will find wide tree lined streets and a range of adventurous things to do for the family. There is plenty of accommodation for the travelling family and for skiers in winter or for those looking for a scenic escape.