Australian Gold History
Australian gold was discovered in 19th century. This led to the so called "Australian Gold Rush".
There is no doubt that Australian gold had enormous impact on the immigration and the development of the country. The major cities were no longer the place for automatic settlement.
New towns and cities around gold fields were shooting up. In fact authorities in Victoria offered 200 pounds in 1851 for anyone who could find gold within 200km from Melbourne. The idea was that those days local governments wanted their regional populations not to be depleted. Gold rush certainly removed many able workers from major parts of the colony into the gold fields. In 1852 alone 370000 immigrants arrived in Australia. The economy was booming, new businesses were born and old ones were growing.
Not everything was rosy, though. The massive gold digging competition led to sporadic fights and criminal activities. Majority of Chinese workers were used as a cheap labourers employed by Chinese or other foreign businesses. Exploitation, high government fees and impossible to meet licensing laws eventually led to rebellion.
Bathurst Discontent Towards Australian Gold Laws
The major discontent over hard licensing laws and the excessive police raids led to the first major opposition in Turon Fields near Bathurst. The NSW government eventually bent over to the demands but the resentment remained. It was more about the way police used the force which further infuriated gold diggers rather than the unpopularity of the governors.
Eureka Stockade - The Major Australian Gold Diggers' Uprising
The growing tension between the miners and the authorities of Ballarat led to ever increasing clashes. In 1854 the gold diggers had enough.
In December of 1854 miners of Ballarat proclaimed the will to fight for their rights. The authorities responded with a force.
The result was 22 dead and many arrested. However, courts in Melbourne were very sympathetic to the defenders and refused to prosecute them. In the following years laws were changed and the grievances of the gold diggers met. Today, Ballarat's Sovereign Hill is one of the main tourist attractions in the area.
Sovereign Hill - The Australian Gold History in One Place
Sovereign Hill is the place not far from the original location of Eureka stockade. It is a scansen which shows life of the miners and their families.
Further, there are renovated buildings where 19th century businesses operated. Almost entire array of 19th century trades are displayed in the area.
Tourists have an opportunity to see by themselves how candles were made, how gold (yes, a real gold cube worth $50K) was processed and how the steam machinery worked. There is a guided tour to the mine in a little train and plenty of opportunities to search for gold in the nearby stream.
Trades of smith, various historical retail shops and even bar are all functional to experience the taste of those days. You can dine in the historical restaurants and rest next to the original Western-style hotel. For military enthusiasts there is a "Red-Coats" parade. If you are really lucky, you can be even arrested by the 19th century Victorian policeman.
Australian Gold Today
Currently, the full scale Australian gold production is worth $11 billion a year. This is a massive financial contribution towards economy of only 20 million people. It is not surprising that the legacy of the 19th century miners still lives within the current Australian gold production. The high prices of gold on stock exchange will continue the exploration which started 150 years ago.
Australian Gold Prospecting Adventure Tours
Australian gold prospecting is new and exciting type of tourism. Guides will drive you to absolute wilderness, where real Australian gold can be found. Prepare to experience extreme emotions, magic landscapes, talk to real gold diggers. With a bit of luck you will find Australian gold that not only pay for your trip but potentially earn you a fortune!