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GOLD MINING

Harrietville was established as a mining settlement in 1852, and remnants of this history are scattered around town. The most prominent is the dredge hole, which was created by the Tronoh, one of the world's largest mechanical dredges, between 1939 and 1947.
When mining operations stopped, the dredge was shipped off to Malaysia, and a large artificial lake was left behind. Over the years, this has been turned into a scenic tourist destination where visitors can go swimming, diving, fishing or canoeing. You’ll find the lake off the Feathertop track, on Dredge Hole Lane.

CHINESE SETTLEMENT

In the 1860s, thousands of Chinese miners were drawn to our town hoping to make their fortune.Today, Harrietville’s Chinese heritage is hard to find, but history buffs can ferret out the odd moss-covered grave in the cemetery, while carved artefacts from joss houses are on display in the Historical Museum.

SKIING PIONEERS

Though Harrietville’s mining operations were destined to end, the town had another major attraction – its proximity to the snowfields. And when Norwegian miners introduced skiing to Australia, it wasn’t long before Harrietville became a base camp for skiers on their way to Mount Hotham and Mount Feathertop.

FEATHERTOP BUNGALOW

In 1906, the Harrietville Progress Society cut a rough track to Mount Feathertop. Soon after, a bungalow with room for 30 skiers was built. Enterprising skiers would make the climb on horseback, before releasing their horses at the top of the mountain and leaving them to find their own way home! There were plans to expand the building into a huge 300-bed chalet, which would have transformed Mount Feathertop into Victoria’s principal skiing location. But those plans never came to fruition, and unfortunately, the bungalow burnt down in 1942. If you’re hiking the mountain on the Bungalow Spur, you can reach the old site at the 7km point, though little remains of the original building.

Dredge Hole

Created during the mining days and now filled with pristine mountain waters and fish, walking tracks, picnic areas, bathing etc. The Tronoh Dredge Hole is a manmade lake where the 'Tronoh' gold digging dredge was dismantled. It is around 100 meters in diameter and is fed by a small mountain stream. 'The Dredge Hole' as the locals affectionately call it, has a depth of up to 40 meters at its deepest point.The site has historical significance as a relic associated with Australia's largest dredge.

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