Clunes is a town in Victoria, Australia, located 36 kilometres north of Ballarat, in Hepburn Shire. Its population is about 850. The town was home to Victoria’s first registered gold strike on 7 July 1851. Today the town retains many of its elegant historic buildings, surrounded by agricultural fields. At the 2001 census, Clunes had a population of 1,093.
In 1873, mine employers attempted to use Chinese laborers in the mines, when miners refused to consent to reduced conditions of work and went on strike. The miners organized the Clunes Miners’ Association and successfully resisted the importation of Chinese labour. The Clunes Miners’ Association is one of the earliest antecedents of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union.
Many of the external scenes in the 2003 film Ned Kelly, starring Heath Ledger, were shot in Clunes.
Clunes also appears in the film Mad Max starring Mel Gibson, the remake of the 1950s classic On the Beach and recent ABC television series Queen Kat, Carmel & St Jude and Something in the Air.
Clunes was once closed off to the public for The Mole in 2001 for the mission to direct one of the contestants to pick up another contestant in a blacked out car.