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Ararat Cemetery Reserve

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Nott Road, Ararat VIC 3377

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  • Historic cemetery
Stop by the fascinating Ararat Cemetery historical reserve and wander among the headstones for a look, where many notable features throughout the cemetery speak of the area's fascinating history as a significant gold mining town. 

There are many interesting features at this cemetery and a wander through the grounds is very thought-provoking.

Chinese burials at the Ararat Cemetery

There are roughly 300 Chinese burials situated to the left of the entrance gates, whose graves have been restored and commemorated with a large information sign. 

The Chinese burials go back to the 1860s and include miners, merchants, gardeners and farmers, all important pioneers of the region.

An information sign at the Ararat Cemetery displays the following text: 

Ararat Cemetery Chinese Gravesites

The Friends of Gum San Ararat Cemetery Project was commenced out of respect for the Chinese miners who died in the Ararat Goldfields in the mid to late 1800's.

Without these miners Ararat's rich gold deposits may not have been discovered, nor the township of Ararat begin its life as one of Victoria's vibrant mining towns.

Ararat is recognised as the only town in Australia that can lay claim to be founded by the Chinese!

Whilst this is not the largest Chinese burial area in Australia, it is believd to be the largest interment of miners from one district, being the Sze-Yup Counties of southern Guangdong Province.

A pamphlet showing the grave locations is available from Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre or the Ararat Visitor Information Centre.

Burial records have been recorded in Pinyin (phonetic Chinese). Miners commonly had names written in older or traditional Chinese script, which were then anglicised into pinyin when recorded, and in many cases this resulted in their names being incorrectly written down by clerks. 

Miners also regularly gave aliases, which means Chinese names recorded in government documents, in most cases, cannot be relied upon as being correct translations.

The Friends of Gum San acknowledge the hard work of the Ararat Cemetery Trust in researching the names and locations of these miners buried in the Chinese sector of the Ararat Cemetery.


  • Many cemeteries in the goldfields were established in the early-mid 19th century. Walking through the historic cemeteries of the area is like taking a walk through time.


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