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Gold rush

Artwork for Gold Rush kits at $20 price point

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gold rush

The discovery of gold in Australia began one of the most significant periods in our history. This kit explores the history of the Gold Rush and its impact on our nation both then and now

History. A portrait of Edward Hargraves painted by T.T. Balcombe June 1851. Must credit State Library of N

Gold finds kept secret before the Rush

gold rush

HISTORY OF THE GOLD RUSH: Many people found gold long before the Australian Gold Rush. But they were all sworn to secrecy. Eventually, word got out and the Rush began

1800s : Painting of Queen Victoria & consort husband Prince Albert in 1800s. picture from The Royal Collection at Windsor.  Art Picture: Supplied

The ever-changing world in the 1850s

gold rush

HISTORY OF THE GOLD RUSH: Australia’s Gold Rush came during an era of great change around the world and many people were ready for a big adventure


And just like that, the Rush is on!

John Deason and Richard Oates showing how they unearthed the 'Welcome Stranger' gold nugget at Little Bulldog Gully in Moliagul, Victoria 05/02/1869. Picture: Supplied
gold rush

HISTORY OF THE GOLD RUSH: The government held back a Gold Rush for years, but once the secret was out, unimaginable wealth came out of the ground, changing Australia forever

Rough journey to the goldfields

Dutch Tall Ship the Stad Amsterdam a three masted Clipper arrives in Port Phillip Bay for the Tall Ships Festival in Williamstown.
gold rush

LIFE AS A MINER: News of the Australian Gold Rush spread quickly around the world. But the journey for those who dreamt of striking it rich was slow, uncomfortable and dangerous

The hard task of finding gold

Sovereign Hill, Victoria 
Image supplied by Tourism Victoria 
Mandatory credit: Tourism Victoria
gold rush

LIFE AS A MINER: There are stories of miners tripping over nuggets of gold. Yes, really! But most people had to work much, much harder to find their fortune 

A big multicultural melting pot

Chinese gold diggers in Beechworth. Miners.
gold rush

LIFE AS A MINER: People came from across the world to find their fortune. The mix of cultures made the goldfields an exciting place, but also a difficult place for some

Making money without mining for gold

MARCH 15, 2000 : Shopkeeper Murray Wright at Clarke Brothers grocery store where the Queen will visit during her upcoming visit to Sovereign Hill, a recreated 1850s gold mining town near Ballarat, 15/03/00. Pic David Crosling.
Victoria / Shopping / Shop / Exterior
gold rush

GOLDFIELD JOBS: Butcher, bakers, candlemakers and every kind of shopkeeper you can imagine flourished on the goldfields while miners had money to spend. 

Miracle cures and other crazy ideas

RendezView. Vintage engraving of Victorian nurses caring for a dying man suffering from Tuberculosis. (Pic: iStock)
gold rush

GOLDFIELDS JOBS: You have a broken arm, sir? I'll put a leech on your leg to draw out the pain. If you think that’s crazy, you haven’t been to a Gold Rush medical 'expert'

Stop right there and give us all your gold!

Sovereign Hill is putting on a mock trial these school holidays
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GOLDFIELDS JOBS: Who would be a policeman when you could find your fortune in gold? And who’d want to mine when you could steal from others? The goldfields could be lawless places

Nothing fancy but it’s home sweet home

Miners cottage in Andamooka, SA 1992. (Pic by staff photographer Narelle Autio)
gold rush

FAMILY AND HOME LIFE: Goldfields families lived in tents or rough huts made with whatever they could find but wore fancy and unsuitable clothing. 

Growing up in a golden time

Sovereign Hill's latest acquisition - a $250,000 gold nugget is growing in value every day thanks to the dramatic rise in the price of gold. Dubbed 'Goldasaurus', the 141-ounce nugget found by a prospector between Ballarat and Bendigo and purchased by Sovereign Hill, has started another gold rush, with hundreds of people flocking to Sovereign Hill to see the monster find. Combined with a 3kg solid gold bar bought eight years ago for $50,000 and now worth more than $81,000, Sovereign Hill is enticing people through the door with the lure of getting up close to more than $300,000 worth of pure gold.
gold rush

FAMILY AND HOME LIFE: Children worked hard and didn’t often go to school. But playtime was fun and if you spent your spare time mining, you could even find some gold

Growing unrest on the goldfields

Eureka Hotel on fire during "Blood on the Southern Cross" show at Sovereign Hill, Ballarat, Victoria 05 Jun 2003. flames
gold rush

EUREKA STOCKADE: Miners were so unhappy with how they were being treated by the government and police they began to organise themselves for a big battle

Raise the flag and let the battle begin

Eureka Stockade reenactment at Gledswood Homestead. Picture: Scott Mills Photography
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EUREKA STOCKADE: The miners may have lost the battle, but their fight led to big changes in the future

Lalor leads the miners to fight for their rights

28/06/2004. 150th Eureka Stockade anniversary postage stamp with Peter Lalor.
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EUREKA STOCKADE: Irishman Peter Lalor's name is one of the most significant of the Gold Rush because of all he achieved as the leader of working people

Australia, world’s oldest democracy

Eureka Stockade
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LEGACY: The right to a safe, secret vote to elect politicians was a fine result of the Gold Rush, though it took many years for all Australians to have equal democratic rights

Where the streets are paved with gold

Sovereign Hill will be staging their Winter Wonderlights Christmas in July.
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LEGACY: The wealth of the Gold Rush built beautiful boom towns that tourists still come to see from all over the world