For the fortunate few whose pursuit of gold ended in fame and fortune, the rush was certainly worth the effort. And it is said that the Goulburn Valley town of Rushworth was named by one miner who struck it rich in an area which, in today’s values, produced billions of dollars in gold.
Whatever the truth behind the name, the heritage buildings, hillside scars and the Whroo Historic Reserve just outside town testify to the days when thousands of dreams came true for so few in the 1850s.
These days there is scenic gold to be found on the bushwalks that run through Rushworth State Forest with its stands of red ironbark, yellow gum, grey box eucalypts and seasonal bursts of wildflowers and orchids. The forest is a sanctuary for kangaroos, wallabies, wallaroos, possums and more than 100 bird species, while water fowl, Murray cod and attendant anglers share the natural charms of the Reedy Swamp Wildlife Reserve.