Diggers Rest, Victoria
view from south east
|Population||2,275 (2011 census)|
|Elevation||153 m (502 ft)|
|Federal Division(s)||Gorton, McEwen|
Diggers Rest (formerly Diggers' Rest) is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 33 km north-west from Melbourne's Central Business District. Its local government areas are the Cities of Hume and Melton. At the 2011 Census Diggers Rest had a population of 2,275.
Diggers Rest lies on the Old Calder Highway, near the Calder Freeway.
Diggers Rest began life as a stopping place on the road to the Bendigo goldfields and the Post Office opened on 18 June 1860. Caroline Chisholm started a women's shelter in the area. The town grew in the 1870s and 1880s and became a postal village with a general store, post office, weighbridge, mechanics' institute and a chaff mill. The Diggers Rest Hotel was built by 1854, and later enlarged, and became an important stopping place on the route to the goldfields. It was severely damaged by fire in 2012.
Diggers Rest is sometimes erroneously referred to as being famous for being the location of the first controlled powered flight of an aeroplane undertaken in Australia. The flight was performed by Harry Houdini in 1910. This was however preceded by 2 other flights.
To the north of Diggers Rest township within the locality is the former township known as Aitken's Gap, The Gap or Buttlejorrk.
Sunbury Rock Festival
The four Sunbury Pop Festivals were held on the same 620-acre (2.5 km2) private farm along Jacksons Creek, on the southern outskirts of Sunbury, between Sunbury and Diggers Rest. The property was owned by farmer and local identity George Duncan, and the property has become known in the district over the years simply as "Duncan's farm". The entrance gates to the Sunbury Pop Festivals was off Watsons Road. Also because of its close proximity (2 km) to the smaller township of Diggers Rest, many of the attendees who traveled to Sunbury by train, actually alighted at Diggers Rest Railway station, and not Sunbury.
Diggers Rest contains a general store, a primary school and a CFA fire station, along with three large recreation reserves. Sporting groups in Diggers Rest include Diggers Rest Football Club who play in the Riddell District Football League.
Diggers Rest Primary School was first opened in 1882 and moved to its present site in 1990. Diggers Rest Primary School features excellent facilities including air conditioned and heated classrooms, computer and Internet access to all grades, modern sports and playground equipment and landscaped grounds.
Diggers Rest Primary School is an integral part of the wider community and hosts annual events such as the Community Carols, Billy Cart Derby and Grandparents’ Day.
Diggers Rest also has a Scout Group containing Cub Scouts and Scouts. They meet at the Diggers Rest Reserve behind the tennis club rooms.
- Shire of Bulla - A former Local Government Area which Diggers Rest was a part of.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Diggers Rest (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
- Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 11 April 2008
- Hargrave Pioneers: Harry Houdini
- Harry Houdini: Falsely reported as pioneer
- Map 351-352, Melway street directory (28th ed., 2001)
- Sunbury Bus Service website. Retrieved 25 November 2006