It was gold that put Wedderburn on the map but – at least far as grey nomads are concerned – it’s the small Victorian town’s historic buildings, great camping opportunities, natural beauty, and warm welcome, that’s keeping it there.

With a population of a little under a thousand, Wedderburn sits on the Calder Highway about 215 kilometres of Melbourne.

While many grey nomads still arrive in the area with metal detectors in their vans and hope in their hearts, the original ‘old timers’ started arriving during the first gold rush in 1852.

The railway came in 1853 and the post office opened in 1856, but most of the older buildings were constructed in the 1860s when the search for gold was at its height.


The best way to explore Wedderburn is to take the two-kilometre self-guided walking tour. A booklet is available from the Loddon Visitor Information Centre.

Historic building highlights include the former Methodist Church, a Gothic Revival brick structure built in 1866. The Anglican Church was also built in 1866, and the Presbyterian Church a couple of years later in 1888. The old Commercial Hotel and the former Royal Hotel were opened in 1867, and the ANZ bank building was built in 1875.

Coach House Gallery and Museum

The Coach House Gallery and Museum boasts a perfectly preserved general store from a time gone by. PIC: Loddon Arts

The pièce de résistance though remains the Coach House Gallery and Museum, a perfectly preserved general store from a time gone by. The store was built in 1913 to upgrade an existing business, which opened in the 1840s. Everyday household items from that time are still on the shelves. The premises also host a range of historical artefacts, as well as a Loddon Arts Group exhibition space and, out the back, is an old horse-drawn hearse and a blacksmith’s forge.

A couple of other interesting historical sites include the Lonely Grave, the isolated 1856 bush grave of Scottish gold miner, Thomas Whyte, and a number of old mud-brick and stone cottages from the gold days.

Wedderburn is now significantly quieter than it was during its ‘goldrush boom town’ days but it is still a supply centre to the agricultural district and offers a good range of services. The 24 Karat Café is a favourite with travellers, as is the friendly Wedderburn Hotel.

In 1980, the discovery of the Hand of Faith gold nugget, weighing over 27 kilograms, sparked another gold rush of sorts in 1980. The area still draws plenty of treasure seekers, many of whom attend the annual Minelab Wedderburn Detector Jamboree, which will take place on March 12-13 this year.

The event is held close to town at the Hard Hill Tourist Reserve which houses one of the original batteries for crushing ore and removing gold, and there’s also a working eucalyptus stew pot here that still produces eucalyptus oil.

Camping is allowed at the reserve and toilet and shower facilities are available. Another great camping option for grey nomads is the beautiful and well-located Pioneer Caravan Park, which is actually on the site of the former Wedderburn Botanical Gardens.

While the town itself is a full of fascinating points of interest, Wedderburn also sits in some stunning countryside, and is a magnet for wildlife and birdlife enthusiasts.

Highlights include at the Box Ironbark forest at Kooyoora State Park about 20 minutes to the south, boasts, the towering Mt Korong 15 kilometres to the south east, and Skinners Flat Reservoir nine kilometres to the north.

  • Have you got happy memories of a visit to Wedderburn. Email us here to share.

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