North-west of Melbourne was Victoria’s Ballarat, home to over 100,000 residents. The first Europeans settled in the area in 1838, but thirteen years later after an Aborigine found a nugget of alluvial gold, Ballarat’s gold rush brought thousands of hopeful prospectors from around the world. Although the alluvial gold became scarce after several years, underground mining continued until 1918.
We made our way through wide tree lined streets where tasteful buildings had been constructed between the 1860s and 1870s. It was evident that the city was founded on its wealth from gold. In fact, it had one of the first higher learning institutions in the country back in 1870 — School of Mines, which in 1976 became the University of Ballarat.
This was an enjoyable town to wander the streets and admire the architecture where most of the buildings were well preserved. What was impressive was both the quantity and quality of tasteful old buildings.