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Eaglehawk  Victoria

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The lovingly preserved timber and stone cottages of Eaglehawk give an inkling of the lifestyle of miners and their families when the goldfields in and round Bendigo were in full swing.

In contrast, the grandeur of the public buildings, especially the ornate town hall, testify to the prosperity generated during the boom times on the goldfields.

You can step back in time with a bit of fossicking in Whipstick State Park where the scattered mining relics are gradually being reclaimed by a forest which teems with native plant and wildlife.

Eaglehawk is just a few minutes north of Bendigo, perhaps the most elegant of the goldfields cities and towns. At the height of the old fever, 40,000 lived and slaved in Eaglehawk, but few of those shared in the bounty of the 300 tonnes of gold hewn from the network of tunnels below the shanty town.

While a number of heritage buildings and relics remain as reminders of the golden age, one old ruin has been transformed into Canterbury Park - a splendid recreational complex of botanical gardens, picnic grounds and a wetland haven for waterfowl. The park also hosts an annual Dahlia and Arts Festival in March.

Interestingly, a young man who grew up in the Eaglehawk district, William Midwinter, was an all-rounder who played in the Australian team in the first test played against England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1877. The one and only W.G. Grace subsequently persuaded Midwinter to swap allegiances and he ended his international cricket career in English colours.


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