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The Lonely Graves of Waanyarra

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Waanyarra Cemetery Road, Waanyarra VIC 3551

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  • Graves scattered alongside the road outside the cemetery boundary
Have you been out to Waanyarra to check out the Historic CemeteryRecreation Site or Morton's Welcome Inn? If so, you may have noticed the series of mysterious graves scattered along the roadside.

Very little is known about the graves - the stones and ornaments decorating them have been placed in the last few decades, before which they were simply mounds of earth. 

Local myth regarding one of the graves

On particular grave has white painted stones and elaborate decorations, and has an interesting myth attached to it. 

There is a local story that a prostitute died in the area in the mid 19th century and was denied burial within the cemetery by the Cemetery Trustees. This particular grave was thought by locals to be the resting place of the prostitute, and it has been restored over the years to its current state.

There is no evidence that this is the prostitute's grave, and when local historian John Tully asked the oldest resident in Dunolly he could find who could recall the grave, he was told that a miner had buried his dog by the track in the 1930's. 

John Tully gave a talk regarding this grave, as well as the history of nearby Murderers' Hill, at the Waanyarra Reunion in 2017. You can read more details on the Waanyarra Revisited website.

Regardless of exactly who is buried in these scattered graves along Waanyarra Cemetery Road, they have been beautifully adorned with stones and flowers, are maintained by locals, and are yet another remarkable feature of the fascinating Victorian Goldfields.

More to explore nearby


  • 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.


Leave a comment

Ray swinnerton
There are a few graves in the rough scrub not far off the road and towards Jones creek. I stood up the wooden markers last year. I think there may be a sign nearby that said something about the graves.
Goldfields Guide
Thanks Ray, I will definitely be heading out there to find those other graves at some point! I have been told they are the original burial ground (1853-58). Thanks for tending to the markers, many of these significant sites would be lost to time if it weren't for the efforts of caring locals. Cheers!