Major discoveries in the mid-1850s ensured that Maryborough figured prominently in the rush to the Victorian goldfields. One 32kg nugget dug up in 1855, in fact, riveted so much attention on Maryborough that there were up to 50,000 diggers operating in and round the town at the peak of the rush. You can delve into this colourful past in the Midlands Historical Museum which is housed in a handsome bluestone building known as Worsley Cottage which dates back to 1894. The Central Goldfields Regional Arts Complex, too, has interesting quarters - the old fire station which was built in 1861 and whose tower bell came from the pioneering Simson brothers’ homestead. Set round a lake, which supplied water to the miners, Phillip Gardens features picnic grounds sheltered by some magnificent trees, while the gardens boast rare Australian red cedars which were among the first plantings in the 1870s. Maryborough is the kick-off point for the 300km Golden Way taking you through the 29 original gold towns.