Welcome to Dunolly, in the heart of the Central Goldfields, home of the Gold and Grain.
With a population of 969 people, Dunolly is located in Victoria’s Goldfields region only two hours drive from Melbourne, one hour from Ballarat and 45 minutes from Bendigo. The nearest large town, Maryborough, is 23km away.
In 1856 Dunolly was the site of one of the largest gold rushes that Victoria has ever witnessed, with as many as 60,000 people flocking to Dunolly after the discovery of rich gold deposits.
Broadway, Dunolly’s main street, stretched for several kilometers and was lined on both sides with timber and canvas structures. There were numerous establishments of all sorts selling their wares to the diggers. Grocers, drapers, ironmongers, banks, bootmakers, breweries, gunsmiths, even undertakers and of course several hotels and saloons all vied for the diggers’ custom. As the town became established, several fine buildings were erected and many of these remain today.
Many of the worlds largest gold nuggets were found in the region including the famous “Welcome Stranger” which
remains the largest pure gold nugget ever found. This 69kg gold nugget was discovered in 1869 at nearby Moliagul and brought to Dunolly to be sold at the London Chartered Bank – a building which still stands today.
Gold is still found in the Dunolly district, enticing many a fossicker to try their hand with a metal detector.
Following the water courses in which they fished and dammed The Dja Dja Wurrung people lived in this district for thousands of years, building permanent stone and bark shelters for their families, travelling the area for food and resources which they used and traded, knowing every stone, tree, creek and season in this their home.
Lea-Kuribur / Lia Kurri Barr is the original name for Dunolly meaning ”Creek where eastern grey kangaroo eats”.
You can learn more of the Dja Dja Wurrung people by following this link to the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans .
GETTING TO DUNOLLY
The following directions represent the quickest route to get to Dunolly from Melbourne
Take the Calder Freeway (M79) towards Bendigo. This can be accessed from the Tullamarine Freeway or the Western Ring Road. There are prominent green signs on both roads showing the way to Bendigo.
Stay on the Calder Freeway heading towards Bendigo. At Ravenswood approx. 18km before Bendigo, take the Marong / Mildura exit (A790).
Stay on the A790 for approx. 10km. At Lockwood take the left turn towards Maryborough (C277).
Stay on the C277 for approx. 33km. Just after Eddington take the right turn towards Dunolly (C276).
Travel the full length of the C276 until it reaches a T intersection (approx. 11km).
Turn right onto the C278. This is Broadway, Dunolly’s main street.
You may wish to visit some of the other historic townships along the way such as Bendigo, Castlemaine, Maldon or Maryborough.
Directions to Dunolly from these towns are as follows:
From Bendigo, head back towards Melbourne. At the Kangaroo Flat traffic lights near Aldi, turn right towards Maryborough (C277) and resume the directions at step 4 above.
From Castlemaine, head towards Maldon or Maryborough and follow the directions below.
From Maldon, head towards Bridgewater (C282) and follow the signs to Dunolly.
From Maryborough, head towards Bendigo along High Street. This becomes the Maryborough-Dunolly road and eventually Broadway when it reaches Dunolly.
Although Dunolly is only 2 hours drive from Melbourne there are several public transport options from which to choose.
There are several PT services which pick-up and drop-off at the corner of Broadway and Bull Street, in the middle of Dunolly.
Please refer to the timetables available at Public Transport Victoria.
There is a new bus service from Maryborough to Bendigo via Dunolly. Dunolly and Laanecoorie departures need to be prebooked the day prior by phone. For further information please contact Bendigo Coach lines on 5446 7018 or email: contact@bendigocoachlines. com.au