This area west and north west of Melbourne includes several of Victoria's most popular attractions including
the Convent Gallery, Sovereign Hill and the National Trust registered historic town of Maldon.
It takes its name from the massive gold finds of the 1850s which were the richest ever found and included the
largest nuggett, The 'Welcome Stranger' found at Moliagul.
Much of the history of gold in the area can be seen at Sovereign Hill, a reconstructed Ballarat of the 1860s
to 70s and the Gold Museum directly opposite. There are magnificent buildings throughout the area generated by
the wealth from the goldfields. These will be seen in Ballarat, Bendigo, Maryborough and Castlemaine. the town
list below has links to the main towns in the area with attractions to visit in those towns.
The region also includes the 'Spa Country' north-east of Ballarat at Daylesford and Hepburn Springs. Here you will
find the Convent Gallery, a superb art and craft gallery built in an old convent. At nearby Hepburn Springs the spa
centre offers theapeutic and mud baths and is visited by patients and health buffs from all over the world.
Bendigo is one of Victoria's largest and most attractive cities and south of Ballarat, at Steiglitz, you can
visit a reconstructed mining town much as it was during the gold rush.
The Goldfields area is one of Victoria's most interesting and historic and there is much to see. Allow a few
days for exploring this region which is only an hour west of Melbourne and straddles the Western Hwy between
Adelaide and Melbourne.
THE EUREKA STOCKADE
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 Street 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
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.