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Calambeen Park

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Cushing Avenue, Creswick VIC 3363

Features

  • Beautiful twin lakes
  • Diving tower
  • Fenced undercover toddler pool
  • Undercover electric barbecues
  • Picnic tables
  • Toilets
  • Rubbish bins
  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Alongside caravan park
With its gorgeous twin lakes, sweeping displays of waterlilies, abundant bird life and plenty of fish, Creswick's Calambeen Park is a beautiful haven for relaxation and recreation.

Excellent barbecue and picnic facilities are located on a sloping lawn overlooking the lakes. An undercover, free electric barbecue sits alongside an assortment of picnic tables, both covered and uncovered. A toilet block is located alongside the striking arched entrance to Calambeen Park. 

A multi-level dive tower is a dominant feature along the water's edge. The swimming lake at Calambeen Park has a depth ranging from 1 - 30 metres with a sudden, steep drop - exercise caution when swimming and always supervise children. There is a safer, shallow section of the lake alongside a fenced, undercover toddler pool. 

Walking tracks travel around and between the two lakes which offer beautiful scenery. Along the way you will pass an interesting public art piece titled 'My Dearest'.

A small wooden pier is located on the far lake which makes an excellent spot for fishing.

Dogs are allowed at Calambeen Park but must be kept on a leash at all times.

Information signs at Calambeen Park display the following text:

Gold and Guilt

Where you are standing was once the famous Black Lead diggings. At the height of the boom in the 1850s between three and six thousand Chinese miners lived here.

Shops, opium dens, joss houses and shacks were arranged along two streets. The miners reworked abandoned mines, extracting every speck of gold. Most hoped to return, wealthy, to their country and families. While here they continued many of their own cultural customs. 

Chinese theatre groups were extremely popular. They had begun visiting the gold fields shortly after the rush had started. Between 1858 and 1869 some fourteen companies, with up to fifty performers, toured. the miners also grew their own vegetables and many of those who stayed in Australia set up successful market gardens. Creswick's Chinese community contributed considerable money to charitable causes, including the building of the hospital. 

The Chinese camp was our Paradise. Here wer two joss-houses, from which the burning joss-sticks could be looted, and here lived a wizened old Chow called Sinkum who would match his inimitable (peanut toffee) against our pennies. At the entry of the Chinese camp stood the dwelling of Ginger Mary Ann, a bedraggled representative of the oldest profession on earth... and sometimes we would see the ginger beer maker. But our business was with Sinkum the toffee-maker, and we debated the inevitable alternative - should we toss or buy? 
- Lionel Lindsay

The Chinese camp was a place of curiosity and adventure for the Lindsay children.

Along with other small boys they would call the miners names, play tricks on them and even pelt them with stones. Such racist behaviour was a reflection of the time which later was regretted.

This was an enchanting world of black mystery and many a day was spent wagging school. Now when I think of this great race, with its positive virtues, its amazing arts, its profound philosophy, I know that we were the barbarians compelled by our instinctive savagery. The honours were with the Chinese.
- Lionel Lindsay

Around the turn of the 20th century, most of the Chinese camp was displaced by the Black Lead Hydraulic Sluicing company. The huge hole created by its mining operations became the present Calambeen Park swimming basin.

Calambeen Park Reserve

Calambeen Park was originally bush land and became a swimming hole due to the gold mining activity common across the region. Initially between the 1850 - 1890 the site was a Chinese miners camp however as the area became deserted, dredging and sluicing operations began, creating massive dams. The land was handed back to the Council and more formal swimming baths were created, including dressing sheds and spectator seating.

Eureka: the Creswick connection

In late October 1854, the road to the Government Camp at Creswick Creek was crowded with diggers so incensed by the oppressive license system and general injustice that they threatened to burn the Camp, and demanded the removal of all officials.

The protest was quelled, but the anger returned on 25 November when delegates from Ballarat's vigorous Reform League rode in to seek support for their democratic protest and their condemnation of overbearing and unjust Ballarat officials. 

Four days later, about 2,000 men, from the population of 25,000, met at Long Point to promise support. Licenses were burnt and, led by a German band, a contingent of about 150 set of for Ballarat travelling via Clarke's Flat and Black Lead, encouraging fellow miners to join them.

Legend has it that some were caught in a thunderstorm at Mopoke and returned home. Yet it is recorded that about 500 Creswick men arrived at the stockade in Ballarat on 1 December 1854.

The Creswick men joined the Ballarat men in their defensive stockade, standing up for their rights and liberties. The Stockaders were no match for the Government forces, who stormed the stockade and even massacred bystanders early on the morning of 3 December.

This plaque was placed on 18 October 2014 by the Ballarat Reform League Inc in association with the Creswick and District Historical Society and with the assistance of the Vera Moore Foundation.

Rules / conditions of entry

Children under the age of 10 years must be accompanied and closely supervised by a responsible adult over the age of 16.

The following are not permitted into this facility
  • Any wheeled vehicle (prams and wheelchairs excluded)
  • Glass bottles or vessels containing glass
  • Dangerous or illegal substances or items
  • Alcohol - without prior written permission from management
  • Persons under the influence of alcohol/drugs shall not be allowed to enter this facility
Notice to all entrants

Warning

The Hepburn Shire Council, its servants and or agents accept no liability for any injury, loss or damage suffered by any person however caused using the diving tower and park facilities.

Notice to pool users - caution

Water depth in main pool varies from approx. 1 metre to approx. 30 metres. Depth changes suddenly where pool floor slopes steeply. Swimmers enter water at own risk. No running, pushing or playing ball games are permitted around pool perimeter.

Dogs must be on a leash

Penalty $100



DID YOU KNOW...

  • Bushwalking is an excellent way to get outdoors and exploring nature.
  • There are hundreds of fantastic barbecue areas throughout the Victorian Goldfields. Some are in parks/playgrounds, others are scattered throughout the bush. Many barbecue areas are located alongside amazing attractions and walks, so go out for a barbecue and get exploring!
  • There are heaps of fantastic swimming spots throughout the Victorian Goldfields, including the Loddon River, Cairn Curran Reservoir, Laanecoorie, Turpins Falls, and many more!
 

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