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Melbourne, Gold Rush history and Ned Kelly

Dublin, Ireland
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Melbourne, Gold Rush history and Ned Kelly

My wife and I (active 65+) have visited Melbourne before (2002) and we have also done the Great Ocean Road trip.

We will be flying to Melbourne (from Sydney) in mid-November and we will have 8 nights before flying back to Sydney.

We are interested in seeing Melbourne again and we will probably stay in the Southbank area for 3 nights (though we could reduce this to 2 nights).

We will then hire a car to spend 5 (or 6) nights visiting the main Gold Rush sites and also the area associated with Ned Kelly (we are Irish!).

Is this a reasonable trip?

I have not worked out an itinerary yet and I am open to suggestions.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks

31 replies to this topic
Dublin, Ireland
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1. Re: Melbourne, Gold Rush history and Ned Kelly

PS to the above:

I think I should visit Castlemaine - named after an Irish Viscount?

Ned Kelly would have loved that!

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: Melbourne, Gold Rush history and Ned Kelly

Hello

The Central Highlands area from Ballarat through Castlemaine to Bendigo is where you will find the goldfield towns. Clunes and Maldon being quite unique for their original buildings.

Northeast Victoria is Kelly country. From Beveridge to Mansfield to Glenrowan to Beechworth and Jerildari in NSW. The Kelly armour can be seen at the Old Melbourne Gaol where Ned was hanged. The original gallows and the oak beam have been reinstalled there. Also the State Library of Victoria has a set of the armour (Neds) and other artifacts.

Cheers

Edited: 10:18 am, September 30, 2017
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3. Re: Melbourne, Gold Rush history and Ned Kelly

Central Goldfields including Castlemaine and Kelly Country including Beechworth over 5 or 6 days is a very sensible trip and a great change from the coastal routes.

You can also combine with wine trails in part - https:/…

My preference would include Ballarat, Mt Macedon/Hanging Rock, Woodend, Daylesford, Castlemaine, Maldon, Bendigo before crossing toward Euroa and Kelly country and roughly following the above-mentioned wine trail. Many of the small towns are quite pleasant and interesting in both areas.

Canberra, Australia
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4. Re: Melbourne, Gold Rush history and Ned Kelly

Great Idea.

You need to get your dates right for that region in Mid November.

There are two major events in Bendigo.

The National swap Meet followed by the Bendigo cup

Good Luck

Ballarat, Australia
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5. Re: Melbourne, Gold Rush history and Ned Kelly

Allow 2 full days for Sovereign Hill (your ticket allows free entry on the following day). There's plenty to keep you occupied during that time (just ask if you want specifics - I'm going again today and tomorrow). Entry to the Gold Museum (over the road) is also included in your SH ticket. You may also enjoy the nightly sound and light show Blood on the Southern Cross, but my opinion is that it's not good value for money, unlike the museum itself. http://www.sovereignhill.com.au/

Bendigo has some good tourist attractions based on gold, too. The Central Deborah Mine tour takes you deep underground. Bendigo focuses more on the Chinese aspect of its gold mining history, with the Chinese Museum and the Joss House (make sure you talk to the people at the Joss House - we were fortunate to spend an hour chatting with a very knowledgeable chap, which made it a highlight for my gold-mining-history-loving daughter.

Many small towns are worth a stop and walk around on your way through. Some have a number of lovely old buildings built with gold rush money. Creswick is one of these, and is the site of Australia's worst gold mining disaster as portrayed in the Trapped tour at Sovereign Hill. The cemetery has graves from the disaster. Creswick also boasts a fantastic (and authentic!) French patisserie. Clunes is where gold was first discovered in Vic (officially, Warrandyte was first because it's only 25 km from Melbourne so the report reached the authorities before the report from Clunes did, but gold was first FOUND in Clunes). Some nice buildings here, too. Maldon is a must for its gold history and architecture. Check out the website below.

http://www.goldfieldsguide.com.au/

Dublin, Ireland
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6. Re: Melbourne, Gold Rush history and Ned Kelly

Thank you all for the great advice.

At present I am thinking 3 nights Melbourne, 2 nights Ballarat, 1 night Bendigo and 2 nights for Ned Kelly Tour.

I must check dates for Bendigo.

I'll check back when I have finalised these dates.

Thanks again.

Dublin, Ireland
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7. Re: Melbourne, Gold Rush history and Ned Kelly

Thank you, John Liston, for that tip about Bendigo.

My proposed date for Bendigo coincides with the National Swap Meet - so I may just visit Bendigo and move on to somewhere else - or I can reverse the order of my trip.

Decisions! Decisions!

Edited: 2:53 pm, October 03, 2017
Western Victoria
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8. Re: Melbourne, Gold Rush history and Ned Kelly

"associated with Ned Kelly (we are Irish!)." As were many of those killed by the Kelly Gang

Be aware that not everyone is so enarmoured of these Bushrangers, I'm sure that Irish history is full of characters (EdV?) who have split peoples opinions about their status.

The countryside is beautiful, the museums and memorials well worth visiting, never forget the other side of the story.

Dublin, Ireland
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9. Re: Melbourne, Gold Rush history and Ned Kelly

I am well aware of the other side of the story - and of the Irish policemen, Sergeant Michael Kennedy, Constable Michael Scanlan and Constable Thomas Lonigan, who were killed by the Kelly Gang at Stringybark Creek.

I intend to visit the graves of these policemen in Mansfield.

It is only now, here in Ireland, that we are beginning to look at the other side of the conflict in the Easter Rising in 1916 and remembering the Irish policemen and Irish and British members of the British Forces who died in that conflict.

We are also remembering (finally!) the many innocent civilians, including many children, who were killed in that conflict.

I agree that it is all too easy to mythologise (and glorify) one side - and thus airbrush out of history those who were on the other side.

Ballarat, Australia
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10. Re: Melbourne, Gold Rush history and Ned Kelly

If you are interested in the human aspect of history, definitely consider the Trapped mine tour at Sovereign Hill.

Other things you may be interested in in Ballarat are the Prisoners of War Memorial at Lake Wendouree, and the Avenue of Honour. As far as I understand, avenues of honour are a uniqely Australian way of remembering servicemen and women from the local area who died in the war. Trees are planted along the roadside for every soldier or nurse who died, with a small plaque indicating their name. Ballarat's Avenue of Honour is the longest in Australia at 22 kilometres.

…vic.gov.au/lae/attractions/arch-of-victory-…

http://honouringouranzacs.com.au/avenue

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