Taradale by Track and Trail
Taradale by Track and Trail is a selection of town walks and district walks of varying lengths. The tracks and trails they follow offer both easy and more challenging walks. All walks show the natural beauty of the district and some feature the many attractions of the Town
Mineral Springs Reserve
The Mineral Springs Reserve is one of Taradale’s greatest assets. Gazetted in 1888, it features a number of secluded, leafy areas combined with beautiful open spaces, and, of course a mineral water pump.
The Mineral Springs Reserve provides toilet facilities, a free gas-operated, undercover barbecue area and seating throughout the park. The Taradale War Memorial is also located here.
A creatively-designed children’s playground was constructed in 2016 and is a major attraction for local and visiting families.
A prominent display board near the pavilion shows the main walking tracks in and around Taradale.
The Fairy Dell, as it is known locally, lies in a thicket of elm trees adjacent to Back Creek at the corner of Lyell and De la Beche Streets. It originally provided a magical adventure for children with gnomes and other figures dotted amongst the saplings. These have now been removed, yet it is still a beautiful experience for people of all ages to wander along the paths and over the wooden bridges through the thicket of trees. All visitors are welcome to enjoy the peace and gentle tranquillity of this special place.
Taradale Recreation Reserve
The Recreation Reserve is accessed from Potts Road and offers many well-maintained sporting facilities including an oval, synthetic cricket pitch and practice nets, a cricket pavilion, a tennis court with its own pavilion and a children’s playground. The Reserve is home to local sporting clubs.
Mechanics institutes across the World were established for the purpose of educating adults in trades and skills. The Taradale Mechanics Institute, at 129 High Street, was built in the 1870’s to meet the needs of local residents, most likely to be working in the mining industry in the area. The Mechanics Institute was reported be a repository for 1,556 volumes at one time.
The most visible feature entering Taradale from the south is the Taradale Viaduct. Built to cross Back Creek, it was completed in 1862 when the Kyneton to Bendigo railway line was opened. With a span of over 200 m, the Viaduct was Australia’s longest metal girder bridge at the time. It is supported by massive bluestone blocks 37 m high, supplemented in 1933 by steel girder columns to take the weight of heavier locomotives and fully loaded goods trains.
Taradale Primary School
Taradale Primary School, number 614, opened on 1st April, 1855 as a one room timber building. The original school had an enrolment of 27 pupils. The School was rebuilt in brick between 1872 and 1874. Enrolment declined to 2 in 2015 and increased to 65 in 2018.
Coliban Main Channel
Construction of the Channel was commenced at Malmsbury in 1866. It was built to supply drinking water to Sandhurst (now Bendigo) and to cater for the needs of miners. The Taradale Syphon was completed on 27th December, 1867 and the Sandhurst Reservoir was completed in 1874. Water supply commenced in 1877 delivered over 50 km from Malmsbury using gravity alone.
Originally Oddfellows Hall, Taradale Hall was constructed C 1865. The entrance foyer, toilets and kitchen were added at a later date. The Hall is popular for community functions and was well-patronised prior to connection of electricity on Friday 23rd June, 1950. Events in this era included a local talent production by Taradale Fire Brigade of a “Mugs Concert” while in more recent times Taradale Hall has hosted the annual Taradale Ball.
The Taradale Quartz Battery was established in 1932. The works were moved from their original site in Maldon for the Proteus Gold Mining Company (Picken and Dorman’s North Phoenix Mine). The equipment was designed to crush four tonnes of ore per shift and was closed in 1957.
Old Taradale Post Office
For many years, Taradale’s Post Office was once in the premises occupied by Taradale Wine and Produce at 120 High Street. The first Post Office was established in 1856 on the opposite side of High Street. By 1860 a total of 38,840 letters and 17,254 newspapers were handled at Taradale Post Office.
King Billy Bridge
The bridge was constructed c 1880 and was originally the site of the Achilles Gully Footbridge. It was restored in 1996 by volunteers from the Taradale and District Walking and Landcare Group.
The Taradale Railway Station is not available for public use and is now a private residence. Visitors are welcome to view the exterior of the station but are asked to respect the privacy of residents.
Believed to have been erected between October of 1862 and June of 1863, the Taradale Railway Station is built primarily of bluestone and comprises a station building, goods shed, lamp room/toilet block, waiting shelter, picket fencing and three bluestone platforms. The station building has a single storey office and waiting room at one end and a two room residence at the other. Timber additions have been made to the residence and the station verandah has been demolished however it is still a ‘substantially intact example of the first standard station building erected by the Victorian Railways Department (the Carlsruhe style)’
In 1976 the Taradale Railway Station was closed.
The railway station, as part of the Melbourne to Murray railway complex is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register and the building is presently held by private lease.
The Taradale CFA began as the Taradale Urban Fire Brigade; established in 1882. The Station was originally located adjacent to the Mineral Springs Reserve. The first Fire Station opened in 1882, the second in 1950. The current location, at 101 High Street offers modern premises geared to deal with the many fire challenges that the community faces every year. This was opened in 2015.
Service Station and Post Office
Taradale’s service station sells discount fuel, including 98 octane petrol and diesel every day between 7 am and 7 pm. The business also operates an Australia Post outlet where locals can collect their mail, pay bills etc. and buy newspapers. A range of basic groceries is available, including fresh bread and milk.
Taradale Wine and Produce Store
Taradale Wine and Produce Store is a cellar door, café and art gallery in the historic Taradale post office building, offering hand-crafted wines (including preservative free), olive oil, artisan bread, cheeses, preserves, chocolates, cakes, coffee and wood-fired pizza. There is also a large range of collectables and retro clothing.
The gallery hosts exhibitions on a six-weekly cycle. It is designed for small art works and has an annual Christmas show releasing a range of limited-edition wines with labels showcasing the artists’ work. The openings are lively, friendly affairs with wood-fired pizzas and live music.
The owners comment, “We are committed to supporting artists, musicians and writers in the community and promoting a friendly and intimate venue to showcase their talents”
Thursday: 4.30pm – 6pm,
Friday: 11am – 10pm (Pizza)
Saturday: 11am – 6pm
Sunday: 11am – 9pm (Pizza)
Pizza cooking 6pm – 8pm Friday and Sunday
Barkly Park is situated adjacent to the Taradale Viaduct. Originally comprising 108.5 acres annexed from the survey paddock, it was reserved for public purposes in January, 1858 and gazetted as a park in October, 1861.
The size of the park was reduced in 1872 when land to the north was opened for leasehold and a road to Hollywells Bridge was put through the grounds leaving the area closest to town as a designated park. In 1888 the park area was further reduced and the remaining 38 acres were gazetted as a permanent park reservation.
Plantings remaining which may date from this time include a Dutch elm (ulmus x hollanidca) and two rare Scots pines (pinus sylvestris).
Around 1935 the grounds were developed as a 9 hole golf course. The Taradale Golf Club hosted regular matches and an annual championship, the last of which was held in 1958.
A portion of the park was until recently the site of two heritage listed oaks (the Royal Oaks) which were planted in 1863 to commemorate the marriage of the then Prince Albert Edward (later King Edward VII) to Princess Alexandra. The original trees had to be removed and replacement trees planted next to the original markers.
For more information about the history of the park contact the Taradale Historical Group or the Australian Heritage Database
The park is managed by a Department of Environment (DELWP) Trust. Enquiries about the park should be directed to the secretary of the Barkly Park Trust Committee, Chris Burgess on 0413 083567.