Early 21st century vintage Dunolly with a population of 750 is a far cry from the boomtown of the 1850s and 1860s when 35,000 desperate miners laid waste to the local bushland in search of gold.
Together with Moliagul and Tarangull, Dunolly forms the Golden Triangle, a tract which produced more nuggets than any other Australian goldfield.
Daddy of them all was the Welcome Stranger which was unearthed at Bulldog Gully in February 1869 by John Deason and Richard Oates. Containing 70kg of pure gold, the Welcome Stranger certainly changed the lives of Deason and Oates who were refused a bag of flour on credit a week before the strike.
The anvil on which the huge nugget was cut stands outside the Goldfields Historical Museum, which is open at weekends and on public holidays.
Fittingly, The Welcome Stranger Café on the corner of Broadway and Bull Street, not only dispenses coffee and snacks, but tourist information to visitors.
Dunolly, which is liberally sprinkled with some fine heritage buildings, hosts a Goldrush Festival on the Melbourne Cup weekend.