is the renowned home to one of the most prestigious and richest
professional foot races in the world, the Stawell Easter Gift. At
the Hall of Fame Museum you can see photographs, memorabilia and
equipment which highlight the history of this famous sports meeting.
Stawell's excellent range of accommodation and strong commercial
centre make it an ideal base for exploring the Grampians Ranges
and nearby wineries.
Pastoralists were in the area in the 1840's, but it was the gold
found by William McLachlan, a local shepherd, in May 1853, that
provided the real reason for the town.
By August 1854, around 5,000 people were seeking their fortune at
the Pleasant Creek Goldfield. By 1857 the fabulously rich alluvial
leads of Commercial Street and Deep Lead had been discovered and
rushes of eager gold seekers brought 20,000 people to the fields.
The area was surveyed and proclaimed Stawell in 1858. Gold mining
ceased in 1920 when the Union Quartz Mining Company closed. New
prosperity came to the town however, through the North West Woollen
Mills which began processing in 1922 and in 1984 the Stawell Joint
Venture re-opened the mines around Stawell and are part of Australian
Goldmines. Stawell is now Victoria's largest producer of gold. You
can visit the mines and view the massive trucks and excavators.
The Stawell Athletic Club ran the first Stawell Gift in 1878 which
is still one of the worlds richest professional foot races.
Things to Do and See
Eleven kilometres south of Stawell, in the Black Ranges, is Bunjil's
Shelter, one of Victoria's most important Koorie art sites.
Caspers World in Minature Tourist Park, London Rd, has scale working
models of famous world landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower, dioramas
Other Points of Interest
Sisters Rocks, lie about 5kms south of Stawell. these huge granite
tors are named after the three Levi sisters who camped there in
the early goldfield days.
Old cyanide vats in Leviathans Road, last used in 1935 to extract
gold from tailings.
Pleasant Creek Courthouse Museum - Western Highway.
Stawell Gift Hall of Fame Museum.
Sheep Station - Landsborough Rd.
Central Park is the scene of the Easter gift which has been run
here since 1898 and Cato Park Gardens - Lower Main St.
Big Hill Pioneer Memorial is a local landmark and goldmining site
offering wonderful views of Stawell and the district. The western
slopes of the hill were the scene of the rich quartz mines which
stretched for about 2kms, which was a forest of poppet heads between
the 1860's and the 1890's. Events
Lake Fyans Triathlon.
Stawell District Hospital Pro-Am.
Stawell Easter Gift Festival (professional foot race).
Grampians Highland and National Dancing Club Championships.
Hot Air Balloon Festival.
Lake Fyans Fly Fishing Competition.
Orchid Show - October.
Rose and Garden November.
How to Get There
Stawell is 233kms north-west of Melbourne
Melways Ref: 520 E11
Stawell and Grampians Information and Booking Centre
50- 52 Western Highway, Stawell. Vic. 3380
Ph: 03 5358 2314
Freecall: 1800 246 880
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Stawell Central Park
Stawell Easter Gift