Clunes is a town in Victoria, Australia, 36 kilometres north of Ballarat, in the Shire of Hepburn.
- Area:150.6 km2
- Elevation:306 m
- Local Government Area:Hepburn Shire Council
Clunes is a town in Victoria, Australia, 36 kilometres north of Ballarat, in the Shire of Hepburn. At the 2016 census it had a population of 1,728.
The Djadja Wurrung people were the first inhabitants of the region including the settlement which later became Clunes.
## Frontier war
In December 1839, a group of Aboriginal men were given a mixture of plaster of Paris and flour by the cook of Glengower Station in an effort to poison them. In retaliation, the cook was speared to death, resulting in the Blood Hole massacre in which between six and ten Aboriginal people were killed.
The Aboriginal people sought safety by diving into the waterhole and there they were shot, one at a time, as they came up for air. The place is still known as 'the Blood-Hole'.
## Discovery of gold
The town was home to Victoria's first registered gold discovery made by William Campbell in 1850. This discovery was not made public until 1851. In 1851 German Herman Brunn visited the site of Campbell's discovery on Donald Cameron's run the 'Clunes'. He then traveled the area informing all he met of the find on Cameron's run 'Clunes'. He told James Esmond who traveled to Clunes and inspected the site and collected a gold sample which he took to gold assayer in Geelong on 7 July 1851. He also informed Arthur Clark editor of the Geelong Advertiser, requesting that nothing would be said until he returned from Melbourne with equipment. In August 1851 a Mr. Davies from Avoca revealed in the Geelong Advertiser that the site was at Clunes. William Campbell's announcement in Melbourne and Davies news item triggered the gold rush in Victoria. The township was established a few years later and subsequent gold mining predominantly driven by the Port Phillip and Colonial Mining Company which was mining the site of the discovery saw the town's population rising to well over 6,000 residents in the late 1880s.
Clunes post office opened as early as 1 October 1857 and in 1874 Clunes was connected to the Victorian railway network. Clunes station was opened in the same year.
In 1873 mine employers attempted to introduce Saturday afternoon and Sunday shifts. The miners refused to sign the new terms outlined in their contract renewals and went on a strike that lasted 3 months. Some days into the action the miners organised the Clunes Miners' Association and what were to become known as the Clunes riots, successfully resisting the use of Chinese labour from Creswick as strikebreakers.From the 1850s through to 1893, when gold mining eventually came to an end, Clunes was an important gold production location in Victoria. Surrounded by grassland, meadows and pastures, the town has preserved many of its elegant historic buildings until today and is recognised as one of the architecturally most-intact gold towns in Victoria.
# Things to do