Last weekend we had an overnight stay in Bendigo (Central Victoria) and on the way home to Ballan we drove through the township of Castlemaine.
Castlemaine is the main town, officially a city with a population of 8000, of The Shire of Mount Alexander, in Central Victoria, a 120 km driving distance from Melbourne as you can see by the map here:
It truly was a lovely drive through the Australian countryside, something we had missed in the 5+ years we had lived in Singapore. It is now Autumn, but the leaves have not fully changed as yet ..... the change has started, but will take another week or more before we see those beautiful gold and reds of the autumn.
The historical town of Castlemaine began as the centre of the Mount Alexander gold fields in 1851. It was briefly larger than Melbourne, as that city's population moved to Castlemaine to seek it's fortune.
Castlemaine exists on the traditional lands of the Dja Dja Wurrung people, also known as the Jaara people. In September 1851, three shepherds and a bullock driver discovered gold in Specimen Gully, about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) to the north-east. Within a month the alluvial bed of Forrest Creek was being worked with 8,000 miners on the field by the end of the year and 25,000 by March 1852.
The following images were taken as we entered Castlemaine from the north and of the town itself before we headed south to Ballan:
stay tuned for further blog posts on Castlemaine.