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Moliagul Historic Reserve



The Moliagul Historic Reserve is located 2km south-west of the township and features a granite obelisk erected in 1897 to mark the ‘Welcome Stranger’ discovery site. The nugget was found on February 5, 1869 and was the largest specimen of reed gold ever found; it weighed an enormous 2530 ounces (69 kg). Cornish miner John Deason, who had been prospecting hereabouts for seven years, was working in Bulldog Gully, near Moliagul. While searching about the roots of a tree he discovered, 3 cm below the surface, a gold nugget. He concealed his find until dark. Then, with his partner, Richard Oates, he dug it out and snuck it home in a wagon. The two then held a party, during which they revealed their find to the assembled guests. The 'Welcome Stranger', then the world's largest-known gold nugget, was taken to Dunolly where it had to be broken on an anvil (located in the Goldfields Historical and Arts Museum) before it could fit on the bank's scales. It was worth 10,000 pounds at the time ($3-4 million in today's money). Deason returned to Moliagul and his descendants are still in the area. Oates went back to Cornwall for a while but returned to live out his life at Dunolly.

The ‘Welcome Stranger Discovery Walk’ takes you to the ruins of Deason’s Hut, a puddling machine and through the remains of a Chinese Camp. A puddler was a watertight circular trench that was filled with water. Dirt from the claim was then added and a horse walked in a circle dragging chains or harrows around the trench to break up the dirt and dissolve the clay. The sludge was drained off and the remaining rocks removed and put through a cradle to glean the gold. The proximity to the house was to deter theft from the puddler.

There is a picnic ground with shelter, drinking water, information board and BBQs located near the car park.

A pamphlet is available from the Central Goldfields Visitors' Centre in Maryborough.


Address | Contact


Mt Moliagul Road,  Moliagul 3472, Victoria, Australia. View Map Map opens in new browser window
Telephone: 
Map: X920 Ref: J9



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