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Fascinating cemeteries of the Victorian Goldfields

Posted 10/04/2018 in Places
 
Along with the 19th century gold rush came the inevitable establishment of many cemeteries throughout the Victorian Goldfields. A wander through a historic cemetery within the goldfields can be quite captivating and educational. Some cemeteries are still in use today, others have been long abandoned. Take a look through this list showing some of the most fascinating cemeteries of the Victorian Goldfields.


Steiglitz Cemetery, Steiglitz VIC

Steiglitz Cemetery, Steiglitz VIC

The Steiglitz Cemetery was established in 1860, replacing the earlier Pioneer Cemetery which is located on the Meredith-Steiglitz Road. The cemetery features some beautiful iron fences and elaborate headstones. This is an interesting place to wander through, partly due to the historical significance of the gold mining town of Steiglitz, which this cemetery has served for 160 years.

Find out more about the Steiglitz Cemetery

Pennyweight Flat Children's Cemetery, Moonlight Flat (Castlemaine) VIC


The Pennyweight Flat Children's Cemetery in Moonlight Flat is a heartbreaking result of the awful living conditions in the diggings during the gold rush of the 1850s. Around 200 shallow graves, most marked only by small stone rings and piles, are scattered amongst the trees. 

Find out more about the Pennyweight Flat Children's Cemetery.

Marong Cemetery, Marong VIC

Marong Cemetery, Marong VIC

The small Marong Cemetery is an interesting place to wander through, as it is the final resting place of Richard Oates - co finder of the world's largest alluvial gold nugget, the Welcome Stranger. A commemorative monument stands close to his grave site.

Find out more about the Marong Cemetery.


Historic Waanyarra Cemetery, Waanyarra VIC


Located between Dunolly and Tarnagulla, the Waanyarra Historic Cemetery offers a fascinating glimpse into the past. This cemetery has been beautifully restored and features a gorgeous picket fence, gate, and signage. The oldest surviving marked grave in this cemetery is from 1859, although there are many unmarked graves scattered through the grounds. 

Find out more about the Historic Waanyarra Cemetery.

Chinese Cemetery, Vaughan VIC

Chinese Cemetery, Vaughan VIC

Plan a day visit (or camping trip) to the beautiful Vaughan Springs and be sure to stop in at the Chinese Cemetery for a look. The cemetery is conveniently located at the entrance to the springs and is such a fascinating relic of the gold rush days. The Vaughan Chinese Cemetery was established during the great Mount Alexander alluvial gold rush of 1852-54. 

Find out more about the Vaughan Chinese Cemetery.

Stuart Mill Cemetery, Stuart Mill VIC


This cemetery, established in 1865, contains several wooden tablets as grave markers - a rare surviving example of 19th century grave architecture which is no longer in practice. Along with these remarkable wooden tablets you will find graves of Chinese diggers, large monuments, and a soldiers memorial.

Find out more about the Stuart Mill Cemetery.


Clunes Cemetery, Clunes VIC

Clunes Cemetery, Clunes VIC

The Clunes Cemetery was established in 1861, is very well presented, and features a gorgeous historic building at its centre. Other notable features of the cemetery are several wooden grave markers (see also - Stuart Mill Cemetery for excellent and rare examples of late 19th century wooden grave architecture) and a few small graves up the back marked only by bare stones. 

All cemeteries are macabre by nature, but this striking cemetery on the outskirts of Clunes has a particularly gruesome history. The Clunes Cemetery is the site of a 1920's suicide of an almost theatrical nature. Matthew Birch, sexton at the Clunes Cemetery, was found dead in the yard of the cemetery lodge by his wife early one morning, his head completely blown off. Cause of death was determined to be a deliberate, self inflicted explosion of dynamite. 

Find out more about the Clunes Cemetery.

Dunolly Historical Cemetery, Dunolly VIC


A quiet patch of bushland along Pain Killer Gully Road is home to the Dunolly Historical Cemetery. A small number of headstones remaining standing among the trees, along with many visible unmarked graves.

Find out more about the Dunolly Historical Cemetery.

Axedale Catholic Cemetery, Axedale VIC


The hauntingly beautiful Axedale Catholic Cemetery is located right alongside the Axedale General Cemetery and is surrounded by charming stone walls. An impressive mausoleum stands proudly among the headstones. 

Find out more about the Axedale Catholic Cemetery.

Hepburn Graves, Smeaton VIC

Hepburn Graves, Smeaton VIC

Take a walk across scenic fields to this picturesque family cemetery in Smeaton. Hepburn Graves is the historical private cemetery of the Hepburn family of Smeaton Hill Run. Located near the original homestead, Smeaton House, the cemetery has been excised from the surrounding private land and is now managed by the National Trust of Australia. 

Find out more about Hepburn Graves.


Wychitella Cemetery, Borung VIC


The Wychitella Cemetery is a small rural cemetery located at the foot of the beautiful Mount Egbert (known locally as The Granites) near Wedderburn. This little cemetery is an interesting place to check out after exploring The Granites' rocky landscape and spectacular views.

Find out more about the Wychitella Cemetery

Elphinstone Cemetery, Elphinstone VIC

Elphinstone Cemetery, Elphinstone VIC

The picturesque little Elphinstone Cemetery is set in a peaceful field surrounded by bushland. During spring, the grassy field bursts to life with hundreds of beautiful little flowers! The Elphinstone Cemetery is situated between the Fryers Range State Forest and the Fryers Ridge Nature Conservation Reserve, making this a great place to stop by while exploring the natural and historical features of those areas. 

Find out more about the Elphinstone Cemetery.

Castlemaine General Cemetery, Campbells Creek VIC

Castlemaine General Cemetery, Campbells Creek VIC

The Castlemaine General Cemetery is an extensive and beautifully maintained cemetery, containing burials dating back to 1853 and still in use today. Located in Campbells Creek, the cemetery's attractive hillside setting offers scenic views and provides a peaceful atmosphere. A section of the road climbing through the cemetery is bordered on one side by an artistic row of old headstones, turning these damaged historical monuments into a unique and interesting feature.

Find out more about the Castlemaine General Cemetery.

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