Welcome to Taradale
The area of Taradale is Jaara Jaara country of the Dja Dja Wurrung community. In 1837 it was part of a 58600 acre pastoral lease granted to Alexander Mollison. He named this run ‘Coliban’. Traffic from Melbourne to Bendigo passed through the Coliban run and crossed Back Creek at a small settlement of the same name which provided services to travellers. As traffic increased following the Forest Creek rush, Back Creek was renamed Taradale. By the late 1850’s, following the Taradale rush in 1856, the township population swelled to reach an estimated 2500 but for most of its history Taradale’s permanent population was between 200 and 400 and was estimated to be around 448 in the 2016 census.
In addition to gold mining, the chief industries in Taradale have historically been farming and providing services to travellers. The last operating mine in Taradale closed in the 1960’s and the Calder Highway ceased to be the main arterial from Melbourne to Bendigo in 2009, with the opening of the Calder Freeway to the east of the town. Mixed farming is still pursued in the area as well as hobby farming, stone quarrying and boutique wine and food production. Since the town was bypassed by the Calder Freeway the peaceful idyllic surrounds, described in an 1865 Argus as ‘…the most varied and beautiful on the whole line of the Melbourne and Mt Alexander Road’, has become a popular retreat from the city as well as a haven for artists and commuters who are a convenient one hour journey from Melbourne.