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Miners Rest Community Park

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Albert Street, Miners Rest VIC 3352

Explore other locations around this area using our interactive map

Features

  • Playground
  • Undercover area
  • Free electric barbecues
  • Picnic tables
  • Walking tracks
  • Scenic creek
  • Information signs
  • BMX jumps
  • Ball court
  • Toilets
  • Rubbish bins
  • Dogs allowed on lead
The Miners Rest Community Park is a gorgeous recreation area which features a beautifully designed playground, a scenic creek-side walk, an undercover barbecue area, a small patch of BMX jumps, ball court, scenic walking tracks, and an information sign for the fascinating Miners Rest Heritage Trail. 

The undercover area features two free electric barbecues set in a stainless steel bench, along with a sheltered picnic table. More picnic tables are located around the playground, with some sitting beneath the shade of the trees. 

Gravel walking tracks travel around the park, taking you on a scenic journey along Burrumbeet Creek, past a rock and well garden, and over to the adjacent Miners Rest Soldiers Memorial Park
 
Toilets and rubbish bins are also available.

An information sign within the barbecue area displays an area map along with the following text:

MINERS REST HERITAGE TRAIL

The Heritage Trail celebrates some of the most important stories in he township's past and present, and was created by community members with assistance from the City of Ballarat. 

Miners Rest Heritage Trail
  1. Arranmore Gates - 80 Howe Street
  2. Newmarket Hotel and Cobb & Co Stables - 135 Howe Street
  3. Former Post Office and Shop - 216 Howe Street
  4. Former Albert Street Stores (Bakers, Butchers & Tailor) - 6-12 Albert Street
  5. Bluestone House - Cnr Giffard & Miners Rest Road
  6. Soldiers Drain - Miners Rest Road
  7. Former Uniting Church - 10-12 Creswick Street
  8. Former home of James Scobie - Cnr Creswick Street and Dundas Street
  9. Former Midas Railway Station - Cnr Midas Road and Mount Pisgah Road
  10. Barnfield - 195 Kennedys Road
Points of Historical Interest
  • Former Derby Hotel
  • Former St Paul's Church of England
  • Former Wesleyan Church
  • Former Police Station and Residence
  • Former Brickworks
  • Former Flour Mill
  • Miners Rest Primary School
  • Miners Rest Hall
  • Dundas Street Swamp
  • Former Blacksmiths
  • Quarry
  • War Memorial
  • Dowling Forest Race Course
  • Dowling Forest Cemetery
A place to rest

Though no gold was ever discovered at Miners Rest, the township as it stands today has its origins firmly in the 1850's gold rush. Positioned strategically near the Burrumbeet Creek and midway beteen the gold diggings at Clunes and Buninyong, miners seeking fortune on the Victorian goldfields rested here, giving the township its name. Diggers were welcomed with food and accommodation at one of the Miners Rest's many hotels or rooming houses, including the Newmarket, Derby and Grand Junction Hotels. 

Living as the Wadawurrung

The Wadawurrung people are the Traditional Owners of the land on which Miners Rest is situated. Burrumbeet Creek supported them for many thousands of years. Here they had a source of permanent, flowing water where eel and fish traps were set, and life was sustained by abundant animal and plant foods. Miners Rest was one of many places that the Wadawurrung lived, as they moved across the landscape to exploit seasonal resources and meet trade and social obligations with surrounding groups. 

Building a community

The discovery of gold in Ballarat in 1853 saw Miners Rest transition into a hub of social and commercial activity for the surrounding rural district, as well as for the thriving horse racing industry that was to come. Its buildings became more permanent, with homes built from brick and stone rather than timber, where huts made from tree branches and bark had once sheltered the Wadawurrung peoples. Essential services were quickly established to support the growing community, including a post office, police station, primary school, railway station and several churches, many of which remain today. 

The Wadawurrung people today

Expanding European settlements meant that Wadawurrung territories were gradually reduced, and in 1871, just 10 Aboriginal peoples were recorded in the Ballarat mining district. By the turn of the century, it was incorrectly reported that the last Aboriginal person from the district had died. This was due to most Wadawurrung people being relocated to the many unsuccessful Aboriginal reserves and stations established throughout Victoria, far from their homes. Today the Wadawurrung have reclaimed cultural connections with their traditional lands. 

Cultivating a future

Before long it was the hard-working local farmers and businessmen, rather than transient miners, who took refreshment at Miners Rest's hotels. Grain crops and fertile grazing land stretched as far as the eye could see well into the twentieth century, framed by distant hill views to the north and west. The comfortable homesteads built by its early residents hold stories about the township's agricultural prosperity, which has continued up to the present. 

Driving commerce

Shops and industries sprang up along the main thoroughfares of Creswick, Howe and Albert Streets, all ithin easy distance of Ballarat. In the early days, Miners Rest was reached primarily by Cobb & Co coaches, whose stables were at the rear of the Newmarket Hotel. Visitors to Albert Street in the year 1904 would have experienced the scent of freshly baked bread wafting from John Harridge's bakery, and the clang of hammer upon metal from Thomas Edwards' black smithy. This trade was kept particularly busy producing the metal work needed for local horse racing industries. 

Racing ahead

The district's rich grazing land confirmed Miners Rest as one of the great horse training and breeding centres of the colony, and continues to form an important part of its local identity today. This is thanks in large part to the many notable horse breeding and racing families who have called Miners Rest home, including the Scobies, Coghlans, and more recently, the Paynes, Smerdons and Kellys. The locality's racing tradition is renewed and celebrated by the ongoing use of the Dowling Forest Raceourse on Kennedys Road, where race meets including the Ballarat Cup have been held regularly since 1867.

Acknowledgements

City of Ballarat and Victoria State Government

SEE ALSO


DID YOU KNOW...

  • There are so many excellent playgrounds tucked away in little-known places. Take a look through this great list of playgrounds throughout the Victorian Goldfields.
  • 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!
 

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