1. Town 25 – Lal Lal

    Municipality: Moorabool Shire

    Population: About 800 people, 228 residences.

    First settled: 1845, originally as part of an extensive sheep run.

    Main industries: Agriculture, mining (historically)

    Claim to fame: The iconic and natural beauty, Lal Lal Falls.

    Five fast facts

    1. So nice they named it twice! Lal Lal means “dashing waters” in the original Wathaurong community.

    2. Lal Lal holds the record for the highest crowd at a country race meet – more than 32,000 people on New Year’s Day, 1937. About 10,000 racegoers arrived by train.

    3. Geologists say centuries ago, Lal Lal was a lake with a natural sand bank. A series of eruptions created the town’s surrounding rivers.

    4. Gold prospecting dominated Lal Lal in the late 1800s and in 1981 there was talk of bringing a diamond drill to town.

    5. Lal Lal Falls is the spiritual resting place of the Kulin people.

    Click here to read the full story at The Courier


  2. Town 24 – Korweinguboora

    Municipality: Moorabool Shire

    Population: 600

    First settled: Europeans first came to the area in the 1860s to cut timber for the large gold mines.

    Main industries: Cattle and wood cutting

    Claim to fame: The Korweinguboora Cricket Club has a proud history in the town and created a minor publicity scoop in 1963/64. The entire team consisted of left-handed batsmen and won the premiership that season.

    Five fast facts

    1. The Australian Truffle Growers Association 2012 Conference took over Korweinguboora Recreation Reserve in August. It brought together some of Australia’s most recognised truffle industry experts.

    2. Korweinguboora is renowned for its rich red soil and rainfall and when European settlers arrived in the region they found it perfect for mixed farming and potato growing.

    3. In 1963, 10 acres were set aside to build a recreation reserve at Korweinguboora and by 1967 it was being used for football and cricket. It remains a meeting space for the community and the town’s annual Christmas party is staged there.

    4. There are about 40 houses within the township of Korweinguboora and a further 178 properties in the outlying district.

    5. Korweinguboora often gets snow in winter while summers can get very hot.

    Click here to read the full story at The Courier


  3. Town 23 – Hepburn Springs

    Municipality: Hepburn Shire

    Population: 241

    First settled: 1850s

    Main industries: Tourism, hospitality

    Claim to fame: Home to the annual Hepburn Springs Swiss Italian Festa.

    Five fast facts

    1. The Hepburn area is named after Captain John Hepburn, one of central Victoria’s earliest squatters.

    2. Hepburn Springs was originally known as Spring Creek while Hepburn was known as Old Racecourse.

    3. The Hepburn Post Office first opened on 1 January 1854.

    4. Since the 1920s, the Palais has been a popular venue for dancing and live music.

    5. Italian speaking Swiss immigrants came to the area from the northern Italian mountains. Every year the town holds with Swiss Italian Festa.

    Read the full story at The Courier


  4. Town 22 – Haddon

    Municipality: Golden Plains Shire

    Population: 1370

    First settled: 1838 as part of an agricultural run

    Main industries: Agriculture, forestry and fishing, hiring and real estate services, manufacturing and construction

    Claim to fame: AFL twin brothers Nathan and Mitch Brown went through Haddon’s then Vickick program, while Olympian Erin Carroll also grew up there.

    Five fast facts

    1. Haddon began as a meeting place of the grazing properties of Bonshaw to the east, Burrumbeet to the northwest and Nentingbool to the southwest. This area was part of the squatting run of the Learmonth brothers, who built Ercildoune Homestead near Burrumbeet. 

    2. The Haddon Park Raceway is a 667m go-kart track, and home to the Ballarat Kart Klub.

    3. In 1859 mining took off with the opening of Campbell’s diggings, then Sago Hill and Bunker’s Hill. However, European miners largely failed to find gold before Chinese miners arrived. 

    4. In  1885 there was a large gathering of miners assembled in Haddon protesting against the sub-letting of a portion of the Reform mine to the Chinese who were making a profitable living while many European miners were unemployed. It was resolved to oppose the influx of Chinese onto the  mining areas. On December 30, 1885, the Chinese camp was almost totally destroyed by fire.

    5. In 1883 the railway line arrived in Haddon and remained in use until 1977.

    Read the full story at The Courier


  5. Town 21 – Greendale

    Municipality: Moorabool Shire

    Population: 400

    First settled: European settlers arrived in the area in the late 1830s. Prior to this, the area around Greendale was inhabited by the Kutung, the Wathourung, the Wurunjeri, the Jaara and the Ngurelban indigenous tribes.

    Main industries: Agriculture, hospitality

    Claim to fame: Charlotte’s Webb. Greendale’s scenic rolling hills and green country landscapes featured in the $100 million remake of the children’s 1952 classic tale. One of Victoria’s most famous bushrangers, Captain Moonlight, has also been tied to the area.

    Five fast facts

    1. Greendale’s early settlement history was closely bound up with that of Ballan and Blackwood. The area was considered a handy halfway place between the two townships.

    2. Greendale Post Office opened on January 1, 1867.

    3. The Greendale Country Market is an annual fundraising event held at Egan’s Reserve in Greendale and run by volunteers.

    4. Charlotte’s Web was filmed at a secluded farm outside Greendale, with up to 300 locals involved.

    5. The Greendale Wildlife Shelter is located on Long Gully Road and cares for about 40 animals per month.

    Read the full story at The Courier


  6. Town 20 – Gordon

    Municipality: Moorabool Shire

    Population: 600

    First settled: 1838

    Main industries: Agriculture, stock and potato farming, tourism

    Claim to fame: Gordon’s famous Hat Shoppe and its owner, popular local identity Bob Petch. Bob and his wife Sheena have been producing and direct selling their range of Scottish and Irish inspired headwear and music for more than 25 years.

    Five fast facts

    1. George Gordon settled the area in 1838 with a stock farming run known to outsiders as “Gordons”.

    2. Gordon prospered during the Gold Rush and at the peak of its boom, the town had as many as eight hotels, with banks and several stores.

    3. The Gordon Football Club, known as the Eagles, was formed in 1979 and competes in the Central Highlands Football League.

    4. Inspired by the success of a similar festival in Trentham, Gordon staged its first Spudfest in 2009. This festival celebrated the town’s history and culture with such events as potato peeling competitions.

    5. Gordon is home to many young families and has two schools - Gordon Primary School and St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School.

    Read the full story at The Courier


  7. Town 19 – Enfield

    Municipality: Golden Plains Shire

    Population: 394

    First settled: 1860s

    Main industries: Farming

    Claim to fame: The Little Hard Hills Hotel is without doubt one of the hidden gems of the greater Ballarat area. Well worth a look.

    Five fast facts

    1. About 100 bird species and 22 mammal species call the Enfield State Park home.

    2. Enfield State Park is 4250 hectares in size.

    3. The area used to be called Whim Holes, which was descriptive of goldfield relics at the time.

    4. Enfield’s Post Office was renamed from the Whim Holes Post office on 19 November 1874. It closed in 1971.

    5. Deep mine shafts still exist today in the Enfield State Park.

    Click here to read the full story at The Courier


  8. Town 18 – Elaine

    Municipality: Moorabool Shire

    Population: About 250 people, 97 residences

    First settled: In the 1860s as Mount Doran region, but officially named Elaine in 1872

    Main industries: Wood, timber, agriculture

    Claim to fame: For the state’s Serbian Orthodox communities, Elaine is the place to be for the feast of Saint Sava in January. Leaders and followers from across the world also make the pilgrimage.

    Five fast facts

    1. Elaine was originally known as “Stoney Rises”.

    2. Cricket in Elaine went into recess for 12 years and the town’s club was revived for the 2012-13 season.

    3. Auskick arrived in Elaine last year. The town had been without football since 1968.

    4. Elaine was a stopover on the Geelong-Ballarat railway line but also a stop on the Cobb & Co route to Ballarat.

    5. The Serbian monastery has in its floors the remains of a church elder who died en-route from Greece.

    Click here to read the full story at The Courier


  9. Town 17 – Dunnstown

    Municipality: Moorabool Shire

    Population: 254

    First Settled: Mid 1850s

    Main industries: Potato farming

    Claim to fame: Dunnstown bats well above the average in producing VFL and AFL players. Ray Murphy played for North Melbourne, Con Britt for Collingwood and Gerrard Cahir for St Kilda.

    Five fast facts

    1. The Dunnstown Tug of War team won the Victorian championships in 1962 and 1963, which was televised on the World of Sport.

    2. The town is also a hub for sheaf tossing, with many locals participating in the traditional Scottish sport at Victorian agricultural and highland shows.

    3. The town is named after Irishman Robert Dunn, who opened a distillery in the town in the late 1850s.

    4. A settling place for Irish potato farmers, the town still has many of the original families with Irish names as residents today, including the Clarks, Britts, Leonards, Walshes, O’Loughlins, Murphys and more.

    5. The one remaining pub in the town, the Shamrock Hotel, was destroyed by fire in 1904. The current building was built the following year.

    Click here to read the full story at The Courier


  10. Town 16 – Dereel

    Municipality: Golden Plains Shire

    Population: 586

    First settled: 1860s

    Main industries: Farming

    Claim to fame: Dereel made headlines around Victoria after a small group of residents fought to stop a broadband antenna being installed.

    Five fast facts

    1. Dereel is located just south of the pristine Enfield State Park, which was once dominated by gold diggers. You can still fossick or pan for gold along Misery Creek inside the park.

    2. The town is one of 52 fire “hotspots” in Victoria. The Dereel-Enfield Bush Fire Brigade was formed in 1932.

    3. Dereel’s population decreased from 669 to 586 between the 2006 and 2011 Census dates.

    4. There is no clearly defined town centre at Dereel.

    5. The Dereel Post Office opened in 1868 and closed in 1971.

    Click here to read the full story at The Courier