The discovery of gold in the 1850s in Australia fired the imagination of people. Victorian towns like Ballarat and Bendigo experienced an abundance of growth and wealth. Currently people do not come to Australia in search of gold. They come to discover the natural wonders of the country and visit some Australian iconic places like the Sydney Opera House or great cities like Melbourne. Melbourne and Victoria have a lot to offer to tourists with a great mix of city life and outdoor activities. If you are in for a little history come to visit the goldfields.
Goldfields Town #1: Ballarat
Ballarat used to be home to one of the most well known goldfields in Australia. Ballarat is only a 90-minute drive from Melbourne. If you happen to be in Melbourne, you can easily visit Ballarat via the Westgate Freeway and Highway. The city Ballarat is rich in its preservation of history and culture. The parks and monuments of the city remind the most pressured moments in the history of Australia. Ballarat is also considered as the fifth largest goldfield productions ever. When you are in Ballarat you have to visit Sovereign Hill where you will learn more about the Eureka Stockade, a rebellion in which 22 miners got killed.
Goldfields Town #2: Bendigo
Bendigo is another great name in Australia's golden history. It is only about an hour's drive from the city which will treat you to some great farmland and country views. Bendigo is packed with cultural richness. The town, which is rich in heritage buildings and arts offers some great restaurants and vineyards as well. Bendigo also boasts the Sacred Heart Cathedral, the third largest cathedral in all of Australia, the laudable Deborah Goldmine and the one-of-a-kind Joss House. The city takes a festive mood each year during the annual event called Bendigo Heritage Uncorked in which beautiful wines, buildings and art get combined in one great celebration.
Goldfields Town #3: Castlemaine
Located in the same "Goldfields" region, Castlemaine is only an hour's drive from Bendigo and about 120 kilometres northwest by road from Melbourne. Though no longer famous for gold, the town is visited by a huge number of tourists each year. It is a wonderful agricultural city that has also some historical streets and botanical gardens to satisfy its visitors.
The town is also a good base to explore places like Maldon and Bark forest. The Bark forest is one of the best known gold mining operations site in Australia. On top of that, you can visit Castlemaine's museums and galleries, have the scenic views of parks, and enjoy sunset panoramas of the countryside.
When you are in Melbourne and Victoria you should consider a visit to the Goldfields. To truly understand the state and its history you can't get past seeing the spectacle on Sovereign Hill and visits to Bendigo and Castlemaine. When you want to learn more about Australia's golden history, you can't escape visiting this wonderful region close to Melbourne.