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Kyneton, VIC

Historic goldrush service centre now known for its outstanding cafes and restaurants

Kyneton is a wonderland of historic buildings. Although not as widely known as Victoria's more high profile historic destinations, it is a charming and chic rural service centre which is an easy day trip from Melbourne and which boasts a vast collection of impressive bluestone buildings, charming gift shops, outstanding restaurants and cafes, and a superb, historic Botanic Gardens. The historic centre of the town is located in Mollison Street, Piper Street and High Street.  Located north-west of Melbourne on the Campaspe River and just off the Calder Highway, Kyneton lies on a fertile basalt plain which supports a rich diversity of agricultural activities. Rare among impressive historic Victorian towns, it grew as a service centre to the goldfields, rather than as a gold rush village.


Kyneton is located 89 km north-west of Melbourne on the Calder Highway. It is 509 metres above sea-level.


Origin of Name

In the early 1850s Kyneton was named after the village of Kineton in Warwickshire. The local Post Office, known as Mount Macedon, was renamed Kyneton in 1854. 


Things to See and Do

Historic Walk - Piper and Powlett Street
Historic Buildings on Piper Street
Freemasons Hall
Located at 3 Piper Street, the Freemason Hall was purchased by the Zetland Lodge. "The front facade formed by the 1905 additions is simple and formal, but less closed off than many other Masonic buildings. Two parapeted pavilions flank the entrance verandah. The central foyer is roofed with a parapeted gable, the ridge of which intersects the transverse ridge of the original 1866 hall. A rectangular panel in the entrance gable reads Freemasons Hall Zetland Lodge, with a circular panel with Masonic symbols above. The parapeted gables end of the original hall remains visible at the sides, and along with the 1905 front gable, evoke the Romanesque. The large brick supper room or hall at the rear, with concrete lintels, was added in 1927.
"In keeping with the interest of Freemasons in ancient Egyptian mysteries and ritual, the interior of the Hall was decorated from the start with a strong Egyptian theme. The model for the interior was a temple form similar to that of the kiosk of the Temple of Isis at Philae, which is also the subject of one of the first of the canvases in the room. The engaged piers of the hall are painted as Egyptian style columns with papyrus flower capitals. Lintels are formed in plaster between the tops of the capitals, and the boxed beams of the ceiling are painted as part of the same scheme. Doors, blocked windows and fireplaces have architraves of Egyptian pylon form. Over a number of years a series of four canvases by local painter and art teacher Thomas Fisher Levick were fitted between the pilasters. One of the first, of the Temple of Isis, is framed in gilt beneath a semicircular arch. The other three canvases employ varying degrees of trompe-l'oeil, continuing in perspective the Egyptian temple structure as a frame for various Egyptian scenes, documentary or imagined. One canvas was altered by Levick to accommodate an Honour Roll of members involved in the 1914-18 war. The timber dais, Master's chair and canopy also feature Egyptian style design elements." For more detailed information check out http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/12424.

Former Willis Bros Flour Mill
Located at 16-20 Piper Street, the Former Willis Flour Mill was built in 1862 by Frederick Castilla and consists of a four-floored bluestone mill building with a three floored timber framed extension to its eastern side, a four room bluestone residence and a stables. The Heritage Register records its significance as "illustrating the history of flour milling from the mid nineteenth century to the mid twentieth century. The mill was established in response to the growth of the population in the goldfields of central Victoria and to the construction of the rail line between Melbourne and Echuca ... it is a rare example of a flour milling complex in a town setting. The Former Willis Flour Mill is of architectural significance as an 1860s regional milling complex demonstrating, through the traces left in the fabric, the operation of the mill as both a stone and a roller mill. Few regional mills now contain any machinery that illustrates the function of these places." For more detailed information check out http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/2821.

Former Kyneton Market Building
Located at 17 Piper Street and currently operating as the Duck Duck Goose & Larder, this solid brick building was constructed 1878 as an enclosed market. The Heritage Register records that "It was not a successful market and was used for educational purposes after 1888. The interior was subdivided and large windows inserted in 1912. In 1995 it was gutted by fire. Despite these changes, the building provides evidence of one of the very few enclosed markets erected in Victoria in the 19th century." For more information check out http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/68906.

Former Diggers Arms Hotel
Located at 22 Piper Street and now called the Royal George Hotel, it was probably built by James Thompson and opened by John Fahey in 1852, the brick half was added in 1891 and the veranda in 1915. It went through a number of name changes being variously known as the Criterion Hotel, the Wedgewood Hotel and by the turn of the twentieth century, the Royal George. There is more detail at http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/68901.

Old Rectory
Hidden behind a high hedge opposite the Royal George Hotel is the Old Rectory at 61 Ebden Street, on the corner of Piper and Ebden Streets. It is the oldest stone building and oldest home on its original setting in the town, having been commissioned by the Church of England in 1850, and makes up a quartet of buildings reputedly representing the oldest built corner in Victoria (including the Royal George, Willis Flour Mill and the former Market Building). David Unaipon, whose image appears on the Australian $50 note, lived in the house for six months in the 1930s when he was preaching in the area. The Victorian Heritage Database notes of the property that it is "is a single storied house erected circa 1854. Additions were made subsequently, William Douglas of Kyneton being the architect. The symmetrical bluestone house has a hipped iron roof (originally shingled), continued to form a verandah supported on timber posts. The walls are in random course masonry and features are the quoins and window surrounds. Internal fittings are distinctive." For more details check http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/68838.

A Victorian Shop
Located at 64 Piper Street is "an early mid-Victorian building with early shop windows". Sadly the Victorian-era signwriting on the windows was removed in the 1990s.For more details check out http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/68902.

Bank of New South Wales - now the Kyneton Historic Museum
Located at 67 Piper Street, in the impressive bluestone Bank of New South Wales building (1856), is the Kyneton Historic Museum. It is reputedly the oldest surviving bank building in the state and contains an extensive range of local Victoriana and vintage farm machinery. The outbuildings include a stable, a buggy house, a printer's workshop, a farm kitchen and an old water pump. There is also Theaden Homestead (c.1840) which was "moved and reconstructed at the site in 1969. Considerable material had to be replaced, but it is a fine example of the type of building in the area from 1837-1860. It consists of two rooms of 'droplog' construction, with a granite chimney." For more information check http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/68903. The museum is open Friday to Sunday and public holidays (except Christmas Day and Good Friday) from 11.00 am to 4.00 pm, tel: (03) 5422 1228. For more information check out http://www.mrsc.vic.gov.au/See-Do/Arts-Culture/Kyneton-Museum.

St Paul's Anglican Church
Located at the corner of Powlett Street and Yaldwyn Street, is the striking Gothic bluestone church - St Paul's Anglican Church (1856). It is one of the state's oldest surviving churches. A design for the church, submitted by Webb and Taylor of Melbourne, was accepted and the Foundation Stone was laid on 27 December, 1855. The official opening was held on Sunday 30 November, 1856 with the first Bishop of Melbourne, Bishop Perry, officiating. The cost was £8,000. It was consecrated on 3 December, 1862. Of particular interest is the Heritage listed Stained Glass Window depicting St George.   The window was made by Mathieson & Gibson, the design of St. George was originally drawn by William Montgomery for St. Paul's Anglican Church, Camperdown and then later for Bathurst Cathedral. For more information check out http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/196981/download-report.

Red Brick Hall
Located at 23 Yaldwyn Street (opposite St Paul's Anglican Church) is the Red Brick Hall, built in 1898 as the Congregational Sunday School. An elegant brick building, it has been described as "one of the finest buildings constructed in Victoria during the 1890s". It is now hired out for functions and art activities.

Row of Victorian Shops
Located opposite the Kyneton Museum at 68-74 Piper Street is a row of shops constructed in the 1850s. The Heritage Register notes of the building that "The style of construction is a restrained Victorian Classicism and although constructed over a period of perhaps ten years, they make a pleasing terrace. The top storey entablature providing a unifying note across 68 to 72 Piper Street, the windows on the top storeys, except for 70 Piper Street, are round arched. The corner shop at 68 was purchased for £850 in 1860 for Francis and Perkins, Chemists, who had occupied the former single storey timber shop and residence on this site. The 1860s building is of brick construction, the shop continued to trade as a chemist until the 20th Century.
"The shop at 70 Piper Street was built for Samuel Atwood before 1859. The Dowling Brothers' draper store was there by 1858, but the site had a number of owners/tenants and had a time as both a grocer and stationer as did 72 Piper Street, next door. The work on the top storey of 70 Piper is more elaborate than the shops either side. The cast iron balcony on No.70 is unusual both for its form and survival, it appears to be original, the door onto the balcony has a pediment and the windows are rectangular rather than arched. The shop at 72 Piper Street, on land also owned by Atwood, was originally one storey and constructed in 1858 to a design by James Blakely, the brick second storey was added some time later.
"Dobinson's Hall of Commerce, at No.74 Piper Street, was built in 1859 to a design by William Douglas (who was also working on the Kyneton Hospital at this time). Dobinson's, a firm of drapers located elsewhere in Kyneton, moved in early 1860. This shop appears to be purpose built, its largely intact interior spaces were expressly created for a drapers store with plenty of natural light through the upstairs and ground floor windows. Originally there was a 2 storey void or atrium at the front of the shop, but this has since been infilled. The first storey front windows are particularly notable for their size and their ingenious single pivoting opening. The stone work used at both 70 and 74 were from one of the local quarries." For more detailed information check out http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/12444.

Historic Buildings around Mollison Street
The other street in Kyneton which is rich in historic buildings is Mollison Street which runs off the eastern end of Piper Street. It became Kyneton's commercial centre after the arrival of the railway in 1861. A walk down the street includes (this is not comprehensive):

Ellim Meek
Located at the corner of Mollison and Mair Streets (178 Mollison Street), 'Ellim Meek'  was a private residence, is now a solicitor's office, and is characterised by a striking red-brick facade. The Heritage Register records that it is: "A house of extraordinary visual impact, closing the axis of Piper Street with a row of ornamental gables crowned with griffins and inset with panels of glazed tilework, together with an equally remarkable tower and spire clad in pressed metal. The design is exotic and somewhat oriental. The house was built about 1906 and incorporated an earlier building." For more detailed information check out http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/68884.

Former Kyneton Savings Bank
Located at 142 Mollison Street, the former Savings Bank was built in 1883-1884 and designed by the Ballarat firm of Caselli and Figgis. It has an unusual facade built in a Classical design with large ground floor windows which are decorated with a Roman Doric colonnade. For more information check out http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/68891.

Kyneton Shire Hall
Located at 129 Mollison Street, the Kyneton Shire Hall is recognised as one of the most substantial Shire Halls in Victoria. It was built in 1878-1879 and added to in 1929. The Heritage Register records that "The principal elevation of the Shire Hall is significant for the unusual architectural synthesis of elements of the first stage designed by the important architect William Pritchard, and the second stage designed by theatre and civic hall specalists Richardson and Wood some fifty years later. Both designs are characteristic of their individual eras while forming an architecturally unified whole. The 1929 internal alterations which were designed to provide a combined picture theatre/hall are less sympathetic to the original than the exterior works, but are an important manifestation of the recognition of the desire of communities to adapt to the growing popularity of the cinema in the 1920s." For more detailed information check out http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/68887.

Mosaic Mural on the Kyneton Town Hall
Located on the Shire Hall wall (on Hutton Street) is a remarkable mosaic by Kathryn Portelli. It is a memorial to the devastating bushfires of 7 February, 2009. There is a detailed plaque which describes the artistic intention of the mosaic "A catastrophic fire destroyed fourteen homes, a church, countless head of stock, thousands of kilometres of fencing, 10,000 hectares of pasture, outbuildings, plantations and gardens, in fires to the north of this township. Residents of this region with many others across the State of Victoria, were involved in an event that changed the way in which these people would live their lives from that tragic Black Saturday onwards….and the community rallied to help.
"An enormous amount of support was given by the emergency services, CFA volunteers, families, friends, neighbours, businesses, clubs and societies, churches, local, state & federal government agencies and many anonymous total strangers – time, energy and money came from the rich, the poor, young, old, rural, suburban, even from those interstate and overseas.
"This mural, called AFTER: Art From The Extended Region, was conceived in the immediate aftermath of that devastating day, as a creative response to our neighbours’ plight and the witnessing of the public’s desire to be involved. Its vision was an inclusive display of strong community bonds and a symbol of transformation of lives and personal possessions into art.
"Each dark tile represents a fire affected site, with black signifying loss and grey indicating a threatened home that was saved. Close neighbours are positioned nearby, with the colours becoming lighter the further away the support was from. Every tile contains a unique story, created from donated material from residents connected to our locals in one way or another. 
"This entire row from dark (close) to light (further away) has been dedicated to fire affected families from regions other than our own. The names of these contributors are listed with all of the many participants, and this being a memorial, some tiles are in memory of loved ones." For more information check out http://www.rdv.vic.gov.au/resources/bushfire-memorials#macedon.

Former Bank of Victoria
Located at 126 Mollison Street, the former Bank of Victoria is a reminder of the status of bank managers at the time of construction. If you look carefully you will note a servant's wing. The building had a vault with slate shelving and an iron grille. Check out http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/68885 for more information.

Attic House
Down Lauriston Street, and showing how rich the area is in historic buildings, is the charming 'Attic House' at 26 Lauriston Street. It is a lovely single-storey bluestone cottage (1857-58) with attic dormer windows.

Two Two-Storey Shops
Located next to the Post Office at 125-127 Mollison Street, these two shops are examples of Kyneton's prosperity in the 1880s. They are the most substantial shops in the town and contribute to the streetscape by being strategically placed between the Shire Hall and the Post Office. Check http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/68889 for more details.

Former Bank of New South Wales
Located at 116-118 Mollison Street, the former Bank of New South Wales is a truly remarkable building. Marvel at the intricacy and ornateness of the facade and be reminded of a time when banks prided themselves in being cornerstones of the local economy. It is, according to the Heritage Register, "a fine and early example of the Edwardian Free Style, with design influences almost certainly derived from Robert Haddon's works and applied to commercial premises. Built in 1903 and 1904, and designed by notable architects Godfrey and Spowers, the two storey red brick facade is divided into three parts, each overlaid with a different decorative treatment indicating a different function within. These divisions are achieved by stucco strap work, steep gables and brick modelling. Above the complex and asymmetrical facade, the terra cotta tiled roof punctuated by very tall chimneys, unifies the whole composition and lends an air of domesticity to this Arts and Crafts inspired commercial building." For more details check out http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/68888.

Post Office
Located at 113-117 Mollison Street, "the Kyneton Post Office, designed by Peter Kerr and commenced in 1870-71, is of State architectural significance for the earliest introduction of the French Second Empire style into Victorian Public Works Department architecture through the use of a mansard-roofed clock tower into an otherwise conservative Italianate design. While the corner addition of c.1893 and later alterations have detracted from the original design, the Kyneton Post Office, along with the Daylesford and Beechworth post offices, is the only remaining example of early Italianate style post offices in Victoria." For more information from the Heritage Register check out http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/68881.

National Bank of Australia
Located at 111 Mollison Street, the National Bank was built in a decorative brick-and-stucco style in 1877.

Mechanics Institute
Located at 81 Mollison Street, the Mechanics Institute dates from 1877 and is, according to the Heritage Register, "historically and architecturally significant at a State level as one of Victoria's largest institutes. The architectural form is now in a free new-classical style. The first part of the main hall was designed by William Douglas, a prominent local architect. After a number of fires and later alterations and additions, the exterior walls and facade of his design apparently remain. The exposed timber roof trusses in the main hall are an interesting feature, and the building continues to serve the local community as the library and senior citizens' rooms. The institute is set in an attractive reserve of elm, oak and plane trees." For more information check out http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/68882.

Two Cottages and a Shop
Located at 43-45 Mollison Street, is an unusual combination of two single storey terrace houses. They are unique to Kyneton. The Heritage Register notes: "The exterior appearance belies the small size of the cottages, the northern one containing two rooms (one each side of the hallway) while the southern one contains four rooms in the brick section. Rear timber additions have been made to both houses. Features of the exterior are the elaborate stucco door and window surrounds, the dividing wall arched decorative stucco moulding, cast iron verandas, chimneys and the tuckpointed face brick walls with their raised piers." For more information check out http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/68886.

Former Albion Hotel
Located at 41 Mollison Street, the former Albion Hotel (now the Hogs Breath Cafe) was originally known as the Club Hotel and completed, as a three storey building, in 1861. It subsequently lost its top floor. It was here that the Riot Act was read in 1861 to railway workers striking over lowered pay (a hundred police were in attendance). It has been much altered over the years although it retains some fine cast-iron lacework and beautiful windows. For more details check out http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/68883.

Kyneton Court House
Located at 1a Hutton Street is the town's bluestone Court House (1856) which is the state's earliest surviving Court House after separation from New South Wales occurred in 1851. The Heritage Register notes: "The original building was designed in the Victorian Free Classical Style by an unidentified architect. Based on a simple rectangular plan, the design features a classical style pediment above a projecting main entrance that emphasises the importance of the building and its main facade. Other elements include a hipped slate roof, stone quoin work, stone string courses, simple classical mouldings, rectangular openings with Georgian style sash windows, and solid cedar doors. The court room, entrance, and office space at the rear of the building were built in 1856-57. More office space (designed by George Vivian) was provided in 1861, when witness and barristers' rooms were added to the main building. The original lock-up was altered at this time to provide an office and smaller lock-up ... it is also known as the place where "the young bushranger Ned Kelly appeared before Kyneton Court in mid 1870 facing charges of robbery under arms which were later withdrawn." For much more detailed information check out http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/638/download-report.

Botanic Gardens
Located at Mollison and Clowes Streets are the Kyneton Botanic Gardens. The first planting, in 1863, was the magnificent Algerian oak adjacent Clowes Street. In 1866 Baron Ferdinand von Mueller, director of the Melbourne Botanic Gardens, gave the gardens some exotic flowers. There are some fine oaks, firs, cypress and cedars, giant redwoods, a number of rare trees and picnic-barbecue areas. For more detailed information check out http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/70222.

Railway Station
Just south of the Botanic Gardens, Mollison Street crosses the Campaspe River on an historic bluestone bridge, built in 1861 to facilitate access to the commercial centre. A little further south is the beautiful bluestone masonry of the station itself. The station was built in 1862 and added to in 1863. The Heritage Register notes: "The buildings are simple and precisely detailed and feature rusticated stonework with finely tooled windows and door surrounds. Their classical severity is complemented by a symmetrical plan and the alternate single and double storey elevations provide great interest to the whole group. The goods shed is slightly curved and includes decorative voussoirs to the door openings." It is the largest collection of bluestone buildings constructed by Victoria Railways. For more detailed information check out http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/68920.

Other Notable Buildings
If you are not totally exhausted by the riches on both Piper Street and Mollison Street, there are many more buildings of note in Kyneton. Here is a simple, and short walk, down Ebden street which offers an excess of bluestone riches.

A Walk Along Ebden Street
Start the walk at the south-eastern corner of Ebden and Baynton Streets. On the north-eastern corner is "Inverugie", a bluestone home dating from 1858 and at the north-western corner is "Carn Brae". The rear of the building dates to 1854 and the facade was built 1866. Two houses west along Baynton Street is "Catherineville", a mansion slightly raised from the street which is characterised by very delicate lacework on the veranda. It was built in 1872 for Martin McKenna who, in an extraordinary career of public service, became successively, mayor of Kyneton, Adelaide and Coolgardie. 
Walk along  Ebden Street and just beyond Jennings Street is the bluestone Baptist Church which was built for the Methodists in 1870. 
Continue along Ebden Street and on the corner of Hutton Street is the bluestone Our Lady of the Rosary Church (1857) which has a striking interior of contrasting white and blue and fine stained-glass windows. The 14 station of the cross was carved in Germany in 1867.
Around the corner, in Hutton Street, is the Bluestone Theatre which was built in 1859-60 as the Congregational Church to a Gothic design with Classical detailing. Note the iron palisade fence, carved stonework, the rose window, window tracery, bellcote, porch, finials, the internal roof trusses and 1880 organ. Adjacent is the old Sunday school. Virtually opposite, at 31 Hutton St, in a lovely garden setting, is 'Carrack'. The bluestone section was built by Italian architect, sculptor and stonemason Andrea Stombuco in 1859. The porch, veranda and rear brick section were added later. It was once owned by the great-grandfather of media baron Rupert Murdoch. 
Return to Ebden Street, and between Hutton Street and Yaldwyn Street, are St Andrew's Uniting Church (1857), yet another bluestone building, and its associated manse is dated to 1860.

Campaspe River Walk
There is a pleasant 3.5 km walk along the banks of the Campaspe River from the Mollison Street Bridge to the very pretty Kyneton Racecourse (1867), north of Piper Street. The highlights of the walk include:
* Kyneton Botanic Gardens (established 1858)
* Railway weir
* Old saleyard pig enclosure
* Platypus habitat
* Old swimming pool weirs
* Greenway Lane Cobb & Co crossing
* Footbridge to railway station (only buttresses remaining)
* Sculpture Park - either side of Piper Street Bridge featuring local sculptors’ works.
There is a very detailed description of the walk, with historical information, and a downloadable brochure with a map at https://www.visitmacedonranges.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Brochure-Campaspe-River-Walk-in-the-MR-2016.pdf.


Other Attractions in the Area

Kyneton Mineral Spring Reserve
Located at 219 Burton Avenue, the Kyneton Mineral Spring and Reserve has trees, picnic facilities, an old rotunda and a free pump with which you can fill a bottle with water. It is signposted off Burton Avenue west of the town.

Skelsmergh Hall
Located at 688 Cobb & Co Road, just beyond the Campaspe River, Skelsmergh Hall (as the Heritage Register explains) "was built in 1859 for prominent pastoralist William Degraves as a summer residence. The building is a two-storey, ten-roomed bluestone dwelling and was constructed of Malmsbury stone; the main Italianate western elevation contains three hipped roof bays, whilst the north-east side is a simple hipped, two storey wing. Degraves was also eminent in flour milling industries and Skelsmergh Hall was completed about the same time as the flour mill which is also located on the site." For more detailed information check out http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/2822/download-report. It is a private residence.

Lauriston Reservoir
Lauriston Reservoir is located 9 km west of Kyneton on the Lauriston Reservoir Road. The dam was built between 1938-1941. The spillway measures 77 metres and the reservoir has a capacity of 19,800 megalitres. There is a popular picnicking area and walking around the shore is a pleasant activity. The reservoir is popular with anglers and redfin perch, rainbow trout, brown trout, carp, roach and cod can all be caught in the waters. There is no boating or wading in the waters. Check out https://www.visitmacedonranges.com/tourism_listing/lauriston-reservoir for more details.

Black Hill Reserve
Located 10 km north of Kyneton via Edgecombe Road and Ennis Road, Blackhill Reserve is a 60 ha recreation area which, as the dedicated website explains, "offers signed walking tracks, magnificent views, great rock formations, wildflowers, Australian wildlife, natural and re-vegetated bushland. With opportunities for walking, jogging, orienteering, rock climbing, picnicking, and all the fresh air you can handle! Brochures setting out the various walks and with a handy map are available from a metal box beside the front gate." For more detailed information check out https://sites.google.com/site/blackhillreservekyneton/home.

Turpins Falls Scenic Reserve
Located 15 km north along the Kyneton-Heathcote Road, turn left into East Metcalfe-Langley Road and right into Shilliday Road, is Turpins Falls. The falls are on the Campaspe River and, not surprisingly, only run after rain. There is a short walk from the car park and scenic views over the low falls. There is also a water hole although the water tends to be very cold and not really suitable for swimming. The reserve, which was established in 1982, covers 4.8 ha. Check out http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/turpins-falls-s.r. for more information.

Upper Coliban Reservoir
Located 10 km south of Kyneton via Trentham Road and the Kyneton-Springhill Road, is Upper Coliban Reservoir. It is characterised by a bluestone floodway on the Upper Coliban Reservoir which was built in 1903 and enlarged in 1917. It has a capacity of 30 000 megalitres. The lake is a popular location for brown trout and redfin fishing and there is a substantial recreation area although swimming and boating are not permitted. The recreation area is open from 8.00 am to dusk and there are walking tracks around the reservoir, as well as picnic tables and toilets. For detailed information check out https://www.visitmacedonranges.com/tourism_listing/upper-coliban-reservoir.



* Prior to the arrival of Europeans the area was occupied by the Dja Dja Wurung Aborigines. 

* The party of explorer Thomas Mitchell crossed the river near the future townsite in 1836. He named it the 'Campaspe' after one of Alexander the Great's courtesans. 

* The first squatter, C.H. Ebden, arrived in 1837, establishing the 'Karlsruhe' station (hence the town of Carlsruhe just to the south of Kyneton). 

* In 1839 the Carlsruhe pastoral run was divided and the area around Kyneton was named St Agnes.

* In 1841 Charles Wedge built a slab homestead where Kyneton now stands.

* Other squatters followed. Some took the unusual step of adding corn-growing to the usual pastoralist's repertoire of sheep and cattle and a corn mill was operating by 1841. 

* Although there weren't many Aborigines in the district, two shepherds were killed during a confrontation in 1842. The mounted police pursued the party in question, killing six of their number.

* Kyneton was surveyed in 1846. At the time it was a camping place for teamsters headed to Bendigo. 

* It was chosen as a townsite in 1848. That year saw the building of a Court House. 

* In 1849 it became the centre of law and administration in place of the earlier Carlsruhe settlement to the immediate south. 

* In 1850 it was gazetted as Kyneton. It was named after the English village of Kineton in Warwickshire.

* By 1852 Kyneton was an important gateway to and supply centre of the goldfields of Clunes, Castlemaine and Bendigo. It became a major coach stop. Kyneton became the state's major agricultural town and the general prosperity and development resulted in a building boom which saw bluestone quarrying become a substantial industry. 

* St Paul's Anglican Church was completed in 1856 using local bluestone. That year saw the establishment of a local Agricultural Society.

* Kyneton was proclaimed a municipality in 1857.

* Gold was discovered in Laurieston and Malmsbury in the late 1850s.

* In 1858 Caroline Chisholm lived at Kyneton where her family owned a store and her husband was a magistrate. While she lived here she began to establish a series of inexpensive overnight shelters for travellers on the Mt Alexander Road. 

* In 1858 the Kyneton Observer was first published.

* In 1860 In 1860 the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition camped just to the north of the township. That year saw the building of the local livestock salesyards.

* The rail link from Melbourne reached the town in 1862. 

* An impressive railway station was completed in 1863.

* In 1867 the site for the town's Botanic Garden was set aside.

* A second local newspaper, the Observer, was first published in 1870.

* In the 1890s the state's first pasteurizing plant was introduced at Kyneton. 

* The Kyneton Golf Club was opened in 1900.

* A local state school was opened in 1902.

* A technical school was opened in 1906.

* The town's first High School was opened in 1927.

* An historical museum was established in 1970.

* In 1995 the bypass of the town was completed.


Visitor Information

Kyneton Visitor Information Centre, 127 High Street, tel: (03) 5422 6110 or 1800 244 711. It is open from 9.00 am - 5.00 pm seven days a week.


Useful Websites

There is a useful local website with information about accommodation and the excellent eating in the area. Check out http://www.kyneton.org.au/index.html.

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  • I have just come across your website and enjoyed learning more about Kyneton. I am the new owner of Kyneton Ridge Estate Winery so have been spending a lot more time in the area. It is not an area where I have spent a lot of time in the past, but the region really is beautiful and has a rich and varied range of businesses and activities to appeal to locals and visitors. The bonus is that it is an easy drive from Melbourne. Would you consider promoting the winery business of the area? Kind regards, Angela Wood, Managing Director, Kyneton Ridge Estate Winery.

    Angela Wood
    • I have very consciously not included wineries and cellar doors in Aussie Towns because, apart from being a huge job, I believe it is done much better by specialist Wineries websites where experts in the field comment on the quality of the wines and make useful comments about the wines. If you look at, for example, Clare in the Clare Valley, I suggest a website which deals with all the wineries in the area.

      Bruce Elder