Clunes is a crossroads town that is ‘midway’ between a number of the old ‘goldfields towns’. Clunes is one of those places that have taken heritage protection to the ‘be very serious about this’ stage. Clunes is a very pretty town that has lots of ‘old’ character. Be prepared for an ‘early days’ look main street.
From the 1850s through to 1893, when gold mining eventually came to an end, Clunes was an important gold production location in Victoria. During this period gold in excess of 1.2 million ounces was produced at Clunes. Surrounded by grassland, meadows and pastures, the town has preserved many of its elegant historic buildings until today and is recognised as one of the architecturally most intact gold towns in Victoria and for that reason, Clunes was used in the production of the most recent of Ned Kelly movies.
The town was home to Victoria's first registered gold discovery made by James Esmond. His discovery, first published in the Geelong Advertiser on 7 July 1851 triggered the first gold rush in Victoria. The township was established a few years later and subsequent gold mining, predominantly driven by the Port Phillip and Colonial Mining Company saw the town's population rising to well over 6,000 residents in the late 1880s.
Clunes is more than a just visit town and an overnight should be a consideration.