Dunolly, Victoria

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Dunolly Main Street.JPG
Broadway, the main street of Dunolly
Dunolly is located in Shire of Central Goldfields
Coordinates 36°51′0″S 143°44′0″E / 36.85000°S 143.73333°E / -36.85000; 143.73333Coordinates: 36°51′0″S 143°44′0″E / 36.85000°S 143.73333°E / -36.85000; 143.73333
Population 969 (2006 census)[1]
Postcode(s) 3472
LGA(s) Shire of Central Goldfields
State electorate(s) Ripon
Federal Division(s) Bendigo
Localities around Dunolly:
Goldsborough Painswick Waanyarra
Archdale Junction Dunolly Laanecoorie
Mount Hooghly Bet Bet Bromley

Dunolly is a town in Victoria, Australia, located on the Dunolly - Maryborough Road, in the Shire of Central Goldfields. At the 2006 census, Dunolly had a population of 969.


The town began during the Victorian Gold Rush, and has produced more nuggets than any other goldfield in Australia. The town Dunolly situates on the traditional lands of the Dja Dja Wurrung people.

One of the very first accounts of the Dunolly Gold Rush was provided by an unknown prospector who arrived in Dunolly 1856. [2] The author wrote that within a week the population of Dunolly jumped from a dozen people to over two thousand. The unknown author then stated that it took them 8 days to sink their shaft which produced no gold so they were forced to make a claim elsewhere. In those 8 days the population was estimated at 80,000 and the author had to take up their second claim nearly a mile away. Though this letter is a fascinating curiosity, it was written much later and still doesn't give an exact date, the first known writing of the rush was a paragraphed rumour report, recorded by the Bendigo Advertiser on July the 3rd that estimated the population at 12,000. Confirmation of a rush followed on the 10th of July.[3]

The exact date that Dunolly was founded is unknown. The location of the township itself moved four times before the 1856 rush, further adding to the confusion of its early history. The town we all know today is the 5th location and was founded in July 1856 with the previous town-resettlements driven by further discoveries of gold leads. [4] Technically even at this time Dunolly was not a town. It was held as a Municipality from 1858 to 1863 and wasn't officially declared a Borough until the 1st of October 1863. [5]

Goldborough Post Office opened on 1 March 1856 and was renamed Dunolly in 1859.[6]

The legendary "Welcome Stranger", one of the largest natural gold nuggets ever, was discovered in nearby Moliagul.

Utilities and Attractions[edit]

Centered on the main street, "Broadway", Dunolly features both a top and bottom pub (both closed), a hospital, a grain terminal, and a primary school.

Although Dunolly is located on a major rail line, no passenger services are available.

There is a local museum on "Broadway". It has a major collection of historic photographs and goldfields implements.

Dunolly has become a favorite location for gold fossicking using metal detectors. A number of small scale alluvial mining operations work local "leads" using mechanical diggers.

Dunolly has a huge monthly market from all over Victoria and other states. The town boasts a cafe, a bakery/cafe, a butcher, a small IGA type supermarket, a friendly chemist with a full-time pharmacist, a full-time doctor, a hardware & produce supplier, a collectable shop, a nice coffee/lunch shop, a fish shop, an agricultural machinery oriented service station and fuel stop, a bed and breakfast ("Footer's Mansion"), a self-contained accommodation ("Hunt's Folly"), a motel, historic buildings, and well marked cycle tracks through the abandoned diggings.

The town's Australian Rules football team, The Dunolly Eagles, competes in the Maryborough Castlemaine District Football League. Star recruits, Shannon Motlop and Robbie Ahmat, have played in the team.[7]

Interesting Trivia[edit]

On the 5th of August 1998, Ginny a 34-year-old elephant from a visiting circus escaped after being frightened by a passing train. The elephant fled into the surrounding forest where it eluded police and circus staff for 16 hours. [8]


External links[edit]