Situated two hours south of Sydney, Goulburn is a thriving city rich in colonial and gold heritage with a vast number of historic buildings.
Named after Henry Goulburn, a British Secretary of State for the Colonies, Goulburn developed into a major centre for wool and in 1863 became Australia’s first inland city.
As one the earliest inland settlements in New South Wales and the dominant town in the Southern Tablelands, Goulburn became a major service centre for the surrounding pastoral land and an important railway town. Its location ensured that it was a significant stopover point and centre for a number of important government agencies.
Today Goulburn is the thriving city at the centre of a prosperous agricultural district, with beautiful Belmore Park in the city centre and a vast number of significant historic buildings.
When you visit Goulburn, be sure to sample traditional ale at the Old Goulburn Brewery and see the old steam engines at the Historic Waterworks.
Gold was discovered in the Goulburn district in 1851. Although the Goulburn district originally included the Argyle, Camden and King Goldfields, there was never any significant discovery of gold within the area and many soon left for more successful diggings.
The Carrington Gold and Silver Mine was located on the road to Marulan north of Goulburn in the vicinity of the Towrang Stockade where today you can see the convict built bridge and convict graves.
The village of Tiranna on the Braidwood Road was pegged out in gold mining claims following a small find in 1878. There were reportedly 40 claims on the creek flat worked by about 60 miners and “the rate at which gold is got affords wages”. Unfortunately, Tirranaville did not prove to be a viable field and many soon left disappointed leaving it to return once again to a sleepy hamlet.
Possibly the closest the gold mining industry ever came within the Goulburn City precinct was in 1906 when a gold mining application was made to mine the Goulburn Racecourse (now the Showgrounds, Recreation Area and Paceway. The application appears to have been refused.
While there were many robberies within a close radius of the city, Goulburn itself enjoyed a charmed lack of molestation. There are numerous local bushranger stories including a particularly sad incident that took place between Frank Gardiner and Ben Hall’s men at Tarago’s Loaded Dog Hotel. Notably, although Goulburn has been described as the ‘nursery of bushranging’, it was in Goulburn that the law was eventually passed that made it illegal to harbour bushrangers and led to their eventual decline.