When people think of Victoria’s Gold Rush they often instantly think of the towns of Bendigo and Ballarat, but the small town of Steiglitz around 40 mins from Geelong was also a popular gold town.
Steiglitz is located in the Brisbane Ranges around halfway between Geelong and Ballarat. In the 1850’s gold was found in the ranges and soon a small township sprang up. At one stage around 2000 people lived in the town and the area was full of life. Steiglitz featured many amenities you would expect to find in an 1850’s town and was home to several shops, a blacksmith, four hotels, a bank, a newspaper, churches and a courthouse.
Today, you would hardly know that much of Steiglitz ever existed at first glance, the population of the town started to dwindle away by the early 1900’s and only about 100 people live in the area today. The last gold mine closed in 1941, and many of the buildings that made up the historic township have been lost.
Fortunately there are a few gold rush era buildings left, and the pride of these is the restored old court house. The court house serves as a heritage display of the town and is an excellent place to start when visiting the area to check out its many photos and other artefacts. Maps of the area can be found here too, highlighting historic markers and walks around the ranges.
The old court house is open on Sundays and Public Holidays and is managed by Parks Victoria along with the rest of the Steiglitz Historic Park. Several picnic areas are located around Steiglitz and make for a fantastic day out in the country.
To get to Steiglitz from Geelong head up the Ballarat Road (A300) and turn onto the Geelong – Ballan Road (C141) and then turn off on to De Motts Road at Anakie, Alternatively turn onto the Meredith – Steiglitz Road from Meredith on the A300.