Smythesdale and Region

Smythesdale has a rich gold history and is renowned throughout the region for its collectables stores.

Conveniently, located 18km south west of Ballarat, along the Glenelg Highway a trip to Smythesdale makes for an educational and fun filled day for all.

Gold was discovered in the Woody Yaloak Creek at Smythesdale in 1853. Miners soon flocked to the area and numerous townships sprang up as the diggers traced the gold leads along the underground streams. By 1859 the population in the Smythes Creek Goldfields area was 20,000.

This rich history is imbedded in the Smythesdale region and can be witnessed through the various historical sites scattered throughout Smythesdale and its surrounding region.

Ruth Howlett Collectables, 44 Brooke Street, SMYTHESDALE. Phone: (03) 5342 8186
Located in the decommissioned Smythesdale Town Hall, Ruth Howlett Collectables specialise in restored furniture, retro and art deco pieces, linen and sewing items, metalware and tools and furniture for restoration - something to interest all types of collectors.

Computer and Video Game Museum, 3 Lynch Street, SMYTHESDALE. Phone: (03)  5342 8186
There is a huge array of computers and video games on display, or to play at the Computer and Video Game Museum. Entrants can learn how Personal Computers changed the world, or just have fun playing Video games from the 70's to the modern day.

Woady Yaloak Historical Society & Museum, 64 Brooke Street, SMYTHESDALE. Phone: (03) 5342 8754
The Woady Yaloak Historical Society seeks to document and preserve the history of the Woady Yaloak goldfields by the acquisition and preservation of information and records and to provide public access to them.\

Ross Creek Nursery, 798 Brays Road, ROSS CREEK. Phone: (03) 5342 0703
Plants for gardens and farms. Growing plant on-site for local conditions. Extensive range of camellias, ornamental exotics, Australian natives, deciduous and fruit trees, tube and established stock.


The Court House Hotel, 63 Brooke Street, SMYTHESDALE 3351. Phone: (03) 5342 8198
‘Great friends, great food, great atmosphere’. Beautifully refurbished, situated in the interesting township Smythesdale and just a short pleasant 15 minute drive from Ballarat. Bar Special – Pizza and Pot - $12. Open 7 days for Lunch and Dinner - Breakfast Saturday and Sunday.


Sundew Cabins, LINTON via Ballarat. Phone: (03) 53318358
Leave the hustle and bustle behind. Peace, tranquility, privacy and no interruptions. Our two miner’s style cabins, ‘Echidna and Wallaby’ are hidden amid 20 acres of gently undulating tree covered hills and secret gullies. Both cabins are designed especially for two and offer seclusion and privacy, with high levels of comfort.

Woolmunda Park Cottages, Lot 5 Whites Rd., SMYTHESDALE 3351, Phone: (03) 5342 8746. 
Fax: (03) 534 28427. Two fully self-contained 2 bedroom cabins in secluded location, splendid views of Smythesdale valley. Sleeps up to 6 guests. Disabled access.

Things To Do

Bush Walking

The Enfield Forest & State Park.

The Enfield Forest is to the south east of Smythesdale. It consists of two areas: The State Forest (commercially man-aged as a firewood source for the area) and, State Park (protected). The area is a must visit during the spring wild-flower season. It contains walks and drives through historic mining sites from the 1850's.

The State Park occupies the southern half of the forest and is crossed by a number of walks that take in the historic area of Surface Point. The large Chinese population of this area worked the Misery Creek, leaving behind substantial evidence of their labours. Access is via Misery Creek road at Staffordshire Reef, or at Dereel off the Ballarat/Colac road.

For more information visit the Parks Victoria website on the Enfield Forest & State Park - Click Here

Boden's Walking Trail.

Self guided tour of old mining areas and water race system, at Ross Creek.  Boden's Water Race Walks contain three easy walks following the water races dug to provide water for gold sluicing areas adjacent to Smythesdale and Scarsdale. The walks are accessible from State Forest Road, Ross Creek and are signposted.

Bushranger Bushland Reserve Piggoreet

Walking Trail along the Woody Yaloak Creek between Whites Road and Snake Valley Road, Smythesdale.

Exploring Old Mining Areas

Boden's Walking Trail, Ross Creek - Old mining areas and water race system

Surface Hill Historic Area, Smythesdale alluvial workings. Surface Hill is located at Smythesdale and represents one of the best examples of gold sluicing operations in the district. A walk across the Argyle Dam wall, and up the hill reveals the scarring produced by the high pressure water jets used in the sluicing. Access off the Smythesdale/Ross Creek road just out of Smythesdale (Surface Hill Road).

Jubilee Goldmine Historic Reserve - disused mines, alluvial & deep lead. The Jubilee Mine Site in the west of the forest is a fine example of the remains of a deep lead mine. A walking track meanders through the remains situated in a pleasant bush setting. The restoration of the bush makes this site a treasure of historic and environmental significance. Access is via Browns Road at Smythesdale, or via the Newtown/ Berringa Road at Newtown. Both are signposted.

Devils Kitchen

Ballarat - Skipton Rail Trail Walk, cycle or horse ride, 53 kms of former railway line the begins in Ballarat. Can be entered or exited at various points along the trail till it reaches Skipton.

For more information - Click Here

Smythesdale Township walking trail  Brochure available from Smythesdale General Store

Woady Yaloak Creek:
-Gold Panning
- Gold Detecting
-Swimming - Brewery Dam, Smythesdale - Devil's Kitchen
- Devil's Kitchen, Piggoreet

Brochures of some of these activities are available from the Smythesdale General Store

Other Activities

Absailing: Devil's Kitchen
Pony Club:
Skate Park: Smythesdale
Bird Watching: Happy Valley