Dunolly is a town in Victoria, Australia, located on the Dunolly – Maryborough Road, in the Central Goldfields Shire. It has a population of approximately 670.
The town began during the Victorian Gold Rush, and has produced more nuggets than any other goldfield in Australia. The legendary “Welcome Stranger”, one of the largest natural gold nuggets ever, was discovered in nearby Moliagul.
Centered around the main street “Broadway” Dunolly features both a top and bottom pub, hospital, grain terminal and a primary school.
Although located on a major rail line no passenger services are available. The recently re-elected Labor Government in Victoria is intending to upgrade the line for heavy freight. A pre-election decision to retake control of country rail from private operators was announced by the Premier of the State of Victoria (Mr Steve Bracks) on the derelict Dunolly railway station during the recent election campaign. A decision to re-open the passenger line to Mildura is in the Government’s program.
There is a crowded and eclectic local museum on “Broadway”. It has a major collection of historic photographs and goldfields implements. The museum is staffed by knowledgeable locals, keen to impart their considerable knowledge.
Dunolly has become a favorite location for gold fossicking using metal detectors. A number of small scale alluvial mining operations work local “leads” using mechanical diggers.
The town boasts two cafes and two pubs, a bakery/cafe that is the best bakery on the goldfields and employs 12 people,1 excellent butcher that hand picks his own beef and lamb from farmers in the district, major agricultural machinery oriented service station and fuel stop, up market “B&B” (“Footer’s Mansion”), a good motel, historic buildings and well marked cycle tracks through the abandoned diggings. One of the cafes, the Cockatoo, has monthly music nights, attracting international acts and a far flung audience. The standard of cuisine in the Central Goldfields generally is pretty abysmal. The “Cocky” provides superior and innovative food.
The latest addition (May 2006) to Dunolly’s rapidly expanding commercial centre is Wright on Broadway. Wright on Broadway is concentrating on Loddon Valley regional wines and food. It holds a General Liquor Licence allowing it to sell wine by the glass or the bottle for take away.