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Whroo Historic Reserve



Whroo (pronounced Roo) was a gold mining town in Victoria. In 1853 thousands of people arrived to seek their fortunes at Whroo and the surrounding area. In early 1857, the population at Whroo peaked at 2100, but had dwindled to 500 by the end of the year. Gold worth millions of pounds was taken out with the largest find at Balaclava Hill.

With the last residents leaving in the 1950's, and all buildings removed or demolished, little evidence remained of the once bustling and noisy mining town, which had struggled to survive for one hundred years. In 1983, government funding provided an information "hut", displaying historical photographs and information about the Balaclava mine. The mine open cut was made accessible to the public, by the provision of steps and a refurbished tunnel. This formalised Whroo as a tourist area, but it had been a favourite picnic-spot for fossickers and locals for many years.

Things to Do
Go for a walk - An extensive network of tracks throughout the forest takes you to Whroo’s main points of interest. Wildflowers, including wattles, provide spectacular displays during spring.

The Balaclava open cut mine is a spectacular example of early quartz reef mining. Puddling machines and the remnants of areas of quartz reef and shallow alluvial lead mining areas can be found throughout the historic township site.

A cemetery lies on a lonely hillside and contains some 400 graves, reflecting the harshness of life on the goldfields.

Not far from the cemetery, on Spring Hill, is the Ngurai-Illam-Wurrung Rock Well, reputedly used by Aborigines and later enlarged by gold miners so that they could immerse billies. It is thought the Aborigines protected the waterhole with a rock to prevent pollution by animals and debris, and to reduce evaporation.

Enjoy a picnic - The picnic area at Whroo has toilets, fireplaces and tables. Camping is available in Greens campground where basic toilets are provided.

Facilities - A small kiosk, Whroo Miners Retreat, provides light refreshments and souvenirs plus a range of publications relating to the area. The kiosk is open most weekends and public holidays or by appointment (Phone: 03 5856 1561)

How to get there - Whroo Historic Reserve is located about 190km north of Melbourne. Access is along the Goulburn Valley Highway to Murchison, turn off to Rushworth then travel 7km south through the forest to Whroo. Alternative routes are via Nagambie and Graytown.


Address | Contact


Murchison-Whroo Road,  Whroo 3612, Victoria, Australia. View Map Map opens in new browser window
Telephone: 
Map: X910 Ref: L2

Web Links


Link Whroo Historic Reserve (Parks Victoria)

Link The Ghost Town of Whroo (Tara Moss Blog)

Link History of Whroo (PDF)

Link Whroo Historic Reserve - Park note (PDF)



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