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Mortlake  Victoria

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The mid-western Hamilton Highway town of Mortlake might regard itself as the olivine (an olive green mineral) capital of Australia, but it is the song and dance men who make the joint jump. On the first Saturday of January hundreds of buskers descend on the town to compete for $10,000 in prize money and to entertain up to 25,000 visitors with their acts. The Busker Festival also includes markets, show-jumping, Irish dancing and a variety of sports events. The olivine capital claim stems from the fact that Mortlake has Australia largest deposits of the quartz which the Mount Shadwell quarry produces in the form of sparkling green crystals used both for jewellery and in construction. Mortlake is 232km west of Melbourne and 50km north-east of Warrnambool. Devised by students of Mortlake High School, a history trail begins at the Temperance Hall (1873) and takes in another 20 commercial and public buildings, churches, bluestone cottages, hotels, factories and the Rose Garden, laid out and planted on a reclaimed swamp in 1888.






 

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