A small town about 35km north of Ballarat, Smeaton lies on the fringes of some of the most productive goldfields the world has seen.
To the south, mullock heaps on Lawrence Road point the way toward Creswick and one of the world’s richest alluvial goldfields.
Today, however, the memory of large reptiles which once held way on the ancient ark of Australia rival the heady days of the gold rush. The World of Dinosaurs presents life-sized replicas of the huge beasts in a bushland setting.
Closer to town you’ll find historic Smeaton House, which dates back to the rush days of the 1850s. The Regency style home was completed by John Hepburn who is buried alongside his wife and family in a small, private cemetery near the homestead.
The most impressive, man-made landmark, however, is the four-storey Anderson’s Mill whose grinding machinery was powered by a water wheel that measures 8.5m across.
Anglers won’t want to miss the opportunity to visit the Tuki Trout Farm just outside Smeaton.