Smythesdale has a rich gold
history and is renowned throughout the region for its collectables
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
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.
Howlett Collectables, 44 Brooke Street, SMYTHESDALE. Phone: (03)
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)
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
Ross Creek Nursery, 798 Brays Road, ROSS CREEK. Phone: (03)
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
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.
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
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 -
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.
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.