Araluen is one of the most famous gold towns in New South Wales. Located in the heart of the Southern Tablelands, today it is little more than a few buildings in a beautiful valley noted for its orchards. The goldrushes of the late 1840s disrupted the established cattle grazing in the area with labourers rushing to the Bathurst area hoping to find their fortune.
Location: 318 km from Sydney via Goulburn and 364 km via the Princes Highway. | Araluen and surrounding village
Three Views of Araluen Valley.. Hector Williams (my father) born here. 1909. http://www.braidwoodmuseum.org.au/html/publications.html
Clarke gang robbing coach three views of Araluen Valley
Braidwood looks to me like a town that is rightly trying to trade on its history but hasn't quite made it yet. Sure, the tourists are there but, one suspects, not quite in the numbers that places like Berrima get. While some buildings are pristine it's clear that others are suffering from neglect. One hopes that the town will hang in there and ultimately rival some of its northern neighbours on the southern highlands. I, for one, certainly hope so. It has a lot to offer. At first you may wonder why there are so many fine buildings in a relatively small town. Like so many others, it was a result of gold, though that was not the original reason for settlement. William Kearns, William Packer and Henry Marsh frist came here in the summer of 1822. Suggesting the land was suitable for settlement, the next two years saw a number of people moving into the district. The most significant, as far as the town's name is concerned, was Dr Thomas Braidwood Wilson, a surgeon who had been granted land in the area. It begs the question as to why a surgeion would bother. I have no answer for that. When the site for the future township was chosen in 1833 part of Wilson's 'Braidwood' farm was resumed by the Government and consequently the town was named after the farm which, in turn, was named after Wilson. It was surveyed in 1839 and the first land sales took place in 1840.
|A National Trust-classified town between Canberra and Bateman’s Bay, Braidwood was first settled in 1822 by farmers whose destiny changed dramatically in 1851, however, with the discovery of gold. The local fields continued to produce until the 1930s and the wealth that gold injected into the town is reflected in some grand old homes. The past is also preserved in old miners’ cottages, stone churches and country pubs. The self-preserved colonial fabric has attracted many movie directors and Braidwood has been the backdrop to such films as Robbery Under Arms, Forty Thousand Horsemen, Ned Kelly, and the Dad and Dave classic, On Our Selection.|