About Historic Buninyong
The indigenous Wathaurrung people gave Buninyong its name, meaning "man lying down with bent knee", as the Mount has that shape from a distance.
"Merryweather", Buninyong's historic fire engine, enjoys a jaunt along
Learmonth street. (Photo courtesy of Buninyong Urban Fire Brigade)
Large-scale mining activity brought formal government to the area in the form of an early Police Court, Warden's Office and Police Station, which still survive though long-outgrown. By 1861-2 Buninyong had 1200 people, five hotels, four churches, three schools, a Free Library, its own Botanic Gardens and a bank.
The history of Buninyong has been written in several places around the town and it has a wonderful legacy of churches, shops, houses and public buildings still surviving from its early days. These can be freely seen, and some visited, during a leisurely walk around the township assisted by local guidebooks.
Learmonth St (south side) in the early 1890s (collection Buninyong & District Historical Society Inc).
Only the two central buildings remain: the two-storey former National Bank and the adjoining double shopfront
The Buninyong and District Historical Society has published an excellent article in Buninyong's early mining history called Remembering the Gold Discoverers of 1851 in one of its newsletters: August 2005 Newsletter.
Two monuments with plaques in Hiscock's Gully Road commemorate the discovery and mining of gold in Buninyong. One, erected in 2001 by the Buninyong and District Historical Society on the 150th anniversary of the discovery of gold in Victoria, marks the site of the earliest gold diggings in Buninyong. The other, erected nearby by the Ballarat Reform League in 2005, commemorates the Miners' Protest Meeting in Buninyong and marks the site of the first protest against the gold license held on the Victorian goldfields. The meeting took place in Buninyong in August 1851 and led to the formation of the Ballaarat Reform League and the Eureka Rebellion.
Old Gold Mines
The location of old gold mines around Buninyong can be found using the excellent GeoVic - Explore Victoria Online mapping application on the Energy and Earth Resources website.
Click on GeoVic Version 3 (Anonymous) to open the black and white GeoVic map. Zoom in on Buninyong and activate the Layers tool on the top menu bar, then select Minerals then Mines and Mineral Occurrences to see mine shafts in the area. Refresh the map and zoom in closer if necessary (eg 1:10,000). For more detailed information about any mine, click on the grey 'i' button next to Mines and Mineral Occurrences (it turns black when activated) then centre the cross-hairs over the dot marking the mine shaft of interest. Other layers of valuable information such as topography can also be added.
Buninyong Primary School Local History Projects
Buninyong 4th-graders produce some wonderful local history projects every year, several of which win annual wards from the Buninyong & District Historical Society.
Here is is a 2010 model of the old Buninyong Post Office.
Some prize-winning projects are displayed in the Buninyong Information Centre each year.
Walks around Buninyong
Two excellent booklets with maps of walks around the township are available from the Buninyong Information Centre:
Buninyong Heritage Walks
($5.00), published by the Buninyong
& District Historical Association,
with detailed annotations.