Track information
Moliagul track

Follow the Waanyarra signs (Blue) to the Old Lead Reservoir and then head along the Dunolly Orville road following the red signs. After Salvation Track this ride is a great ride through box ironbark forest to Moliagul. There is a short section of sealed highway from the Moliagul Cemetery to the town. The only service here is the Mt Moliagul Hotel which is a real country pub with character. Well worth a visit. Moliagul is of particular significance because this is the site of the discovery of the Welcome Stranger - the largest gold nugget in the world. The site is a short distance out of town and is on the route. Follow the signs back through the forest to where you meet the returning Bealiba track and then Goldsborough track as indicated on the map.


Additional notes by Margaret Van Veen

The Welcome Stranger Nugget
Moliagul went into the annals of history with the discovery of the 'Welcome Stranger Nugget' on the 5h February, 1869. The world's biggest nugget weighing approximately 319 kilos it had to be broken into pieces to be weighed. So big was the nugget it was said that discoverer John Deason broke his pick trying to free the nugget from under tree roots. He then covered it over and returned later with friend Oates to help him remove it.

John Flynn
Moliagul is also famous as the birthplace of Rev. John Flynn, who later set up the Royal Flying Doctors Service, providing medical care to the remote areas of Australia.

Bushranger Gipsy Smith.
Another famous character of Moliagul district was Bushranger Gipsy Smith. A man of immense strength, he had escaped from prison or on route to prison four times and chose Mt. Moliagul as his field of operation after his gang shot and killed a policeman. At one stage he held up no less than 16 people who passed along the Korong road, tied them to trees, then laid bets with them that he could shoot the braid off of Warden Thompson's cap as he passed. Eventually caught while planning another robbery, Gipsy was sentenced to 15 years gaol, the first two in chains.

Ghost Story.
If one chooses to stay at Mt. Moliagul Hotel, as well as great country hospitality, keep a look out for the reported ghost who haunts the hotel. No less than three suspicious deaths have been reported to have occurred in the hotel throughout its history. Which one is the ghost you can decide for yourself - IF YOU DARE! Moliagul still has evidence of the wonderful Cherry Orchards planted by Chinese diggers over a century ago and still supplying local today.

Djadja Wurrung.
On route between Moliagul and Tarnagulla you will pass Scarred Trees, bushfoods and rock formations the only evidence of the Jaara peoples long connection with this district. Similar evidence is also seen along the Bealiba/Golsdborough tracks and Nin Martins' father told how he had to flatten large middens on their property to farm the paddocks. Historically portrayed as people who kept to the perimeter of the gold diggings and who were either frightened by events or drunk and violent; it is now believed they were actively involved in the Gold rushes as guides, diggers, farmers, and skin traders. In the Ballarat region they patrolled the goldfields with the controversial Native Police Corp. Later they were forced onto Mission Stations where they suffered from disease and alcohol abuse. The last full blood Djadja Wurrung to live in the district was King Tommy, who died in 1892 and is buried in one of the unmarked graves in the Dunolly Cemetery.

Tommy Dunolly.
The story of Tommy Dunolly is typical for Aboriginals in the late 1800's. Bom in Dunolly in 1856 to an Aboriginal mother, European father, he was orphaned at an early age and sent to live at Franklinford Mission with many other orphans. At age 7 he was moved to the Government station 'Coranderrk' at Healesville, where he was educated. With the introduction of 'assimilation policy' (half bloods not allowed to mix with full bloods) he was no longer allowed to live at Corandeffk and was forced to move to New South Wales. Eventually the land he was farming was confiscated by the Government and as policies had again changed, he returned to Corandeffk where he lived out his days, dying in 1923. Tommy Dunolly will be remembered for his tireless activism for Aboriginal Rights.

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