Eureka Stockade - Ballarat

The Eureka Park in Eureka St.




  
The incident known as the 'Eureka Rebellion', and the stockade where some 150 poorly equipped and ill-trained miners stood their ground against representatives of a corrupt and greedy system, is now a major part of Australia's history.
In 1854 a group of disenchanted Ballarat miners defended their rights and liberties from the scant protection of a log stockade on Eureka Hill. They were protesting against oppressive methods of Gold License fee collection, corruption among goldfields officials, and the brutality and cursory attitude of troopers enforcing the laws. Their dawn stand against troopers, police and cavalry resulted in the deaths of 22 miners and 6 soldiers, and the taking of 114 prisoners, on the 3rd. Dec. 1854.
Details of this historic event will be found at many places around Ballarat. The Eureka Stockade Centre in the park at the site in Eureka Sts. details the events and the battle.
The Eureka Memorial and Park, near where the events occured, features a coin-in-slot diorama and dialogue about the uprising. In the Ballaarat Fine Art Gallery, in Lydiard St. the remains of the Eureka Flag, depicting the Southern Cross, now hangs in its own gallery. At the old cemetery on Creswick Rd, a monument erected in 1856 remembers the fallen miners, and nearby, another in honour of the soldiers who lost their lives. The Sovereign Hill Historic Park operates a laser-light show of an evening 'Blood on the Southern Cross', which takes the audience through a realistic re-enactment of the whole series of events which have become known as the 'Eureka Rebellion', Australia's only organised rebellion against authority in its 200 year history.
An excellent brochure 'Eureka Ballarat' explains the events leading up to the rebellion in detail and is available free from tourism operators and most of the accommodation houses in Ballarat. Maps in this guide will pin-point the major places of interest to visit, including the actual stockade, about 300 metres along Eureka St. towards the city, from Eureka Park.
A major interpretive Centre will be found in the Eureka Park.
by Pete Wilkins.
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