Architecture, Photography, Victoria, Weekend Wanderings

Weekend Wanderings – Walking Around Maldon

Australia, well Victoria really, has a rich gold mining history.  The area around Maldon was discovered in 1836 during the exploration trip made by Major Thomas Mitchell.  Gold was discovered there in 1853, and continued to be mined for the rest of the century.  At its peak Maldon had a population of 3341 in 1861, according the government consensus, then by the 1890’s is had declined to 1600 and now, the town remains around that number.

One of the things you realise when you go to Maldon is that there is a lot of history there and you can see there was money there once.  It became a notable town by the National Trust of Victoria in 1966.

LeanneCole-maldon-20130102-5711We got there very early, around 9am, and by the time we left just before 12 the town was getting very busy.  I think if you want to take photos in a town like this, getting there early is an advantage, especially if you don’t want lots of people in your photos.  It seems many of the shops don’t open until after 10, so you have time to just wonder around without much hassle.


One of the ways you can tell a gold mining town is by the number of hotels there are, well, that is what I think.  Many towns that had gold have so many pubs, and Maldon is the same, I think there are 5 there, I should say were there.  The buildings remain, but many of them are now finding life in other ways.  The pub in the image above, is a great example of a classic Australian Pub.

LeanneCole-maldon-20130102-5624There are wonderful details everywhere, and you have to keep your eyes open and look all around you because you will miss things if you don’t.

LeanneCole-maldon-20130102-5646The gutters are like this all around town, and you have to be careful stepping off the footpath, I imagine more so when it rains.

LeanneCole-maldon-20130102-5856There are so many old and historic buildings.  It would be great to go back sometime and maybe stay a couple of days and really explore the town and take photos.  I am sure there are places to stay there, though it is not something I have looked into.


One thing I did find funny was all the wooden tables and chairs, it made me think of the boat deck of the Titanic, sorry Maldon, but the verandahs did look like that to me.

So some technical information.  I know some of you have said that you want the details about the images, what aperture, ISO etc, but to be honest, I use the best possible ISO that I can to get the images I want.  With these, and nothing moving in the images, most of them were taken with an ISO between 100 and 400.  I mainly used an aperture of around f/8, though there were some done with f/2.8 when I wanted to get the blurry background, you will see which ones.

The technical information I really want to give you, is that I did use the Nikon D800 and the lens I used was the 24-70mm 2.8 lens.  I hand held for all images, though I do regret not having the tripod for doing the interior of the church.  I think those images would have been far better if I had used it.  I did bracket all my shots, and for most of them I used the 1 stop under exposure.  It is funny, overcast days, but still very bright.  It was hard getting good exposures, and I did often set the exposure on the camera to be one stop under.

If you like historic towns then Maldon is a gold mine for images.  It is only a 1 hour and 40 minute drive from Melbourne, and can easily be done in a day.  I don’t think it would be a great place on a hot day in Victoria, but every other day would be perfect.  Maldon has a website and if you want information then click here.

I am going to put my gold mine of images into a gallery now.  The Agapanthas were out everywhere, beautiful.  Please enjoy.


  1. All that beautiful architecture is evidence of the wealth of the gold mining era. I like your idea of being there early so as to avoid people. If you stayed overnight it would be the same in the evenings. My parents spent a few days there and loved it.

    • I agree Carol, I think early evening would be great. I don’t think I ever really thought about staying overnight, it seems to close. I have been a couple of times and always enjoyed. Thank you Carol.

    • I was going to say that this town is really the only one left, but it isn’t, there are some other towns that have similar buildings and stories. Thanks Colonialist.

  2. Looks like a fun place to visit – reminds me a bit of Galveston Island (Texas). I do like the ghost signs on the building. Early morning is when I like to get out myself – before everyone is up and about, but I’d never guess it was an overcast day.

    • It is a nice place to spend the day. I love the ghost signs as well. I agree about early morning. Overcast, well, the sky was very white, I had to work a bit to get any detail in it. It was a weird day. Thanks Robert.

  3. It looks very much like the old restored town in the American west. Same architecture … except for the drains. Love it :-)

    • The drains are so big, I am surprised they have’t put in more modern drains, especially when you think of the OH&S factors that everyone is so concerned about now. Though I am glad they are still like that. I think the town stays that way now, one because of the National Trust, but also because of the tourism factor, they get lots of visitors because of it. Thank you Marilyn.

    • Thank you, I think you are right, I think it has helped them survive to, by keeping it all maintained, a lot of people go there to visit.

  4. Beautiful presentation as always, Leanne. The “energy” of the town came right through your photos. Thank you for not only sharing them with us, but helping us out with technical data. You are the best!!

  5. Dear Leanne, it seems to have been a nice trip. We tend to forget Australia as a source of historic images. As usual, your comments contribute to the understanding and appreciation of the images.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Happy 2014. 8-)

    • We did have a lovely trip thanks. Thank you, and I think you are right, we do forget, it is easy to think that compared to the rest of the world we are reasonably new, but we do have some historic things here too. :)

  6. It’s like a step back in time, and you caught the vintage feel beautifully Leanne. I especially love the shots outside the church with that splash of green and the dappled shade.

  7. I have been to Maldon a few times, and I think your photos have captured the essence of the town. It’s a charming town, without being twee, and that comes through in your work.

    • Thank you so much Anne, what a great compliment. I agree, it is a very nice part of Victoria, I loved going back.

    • Wonderful George, thank you so much. All the best to you this year, I hope your photography gets better and better. :)

  8. leecleland says

    Lovely shots of Maldon, Leanne there are some beautiful old buildings there indeed. I was surprised to see the agapanthus were in full flower, ours had shrivelled and gone before Christmas. But I guess that just shows how big the distances are in Oz and we are only now getting you hot and horrible 40 degree temperature.

    • Thank you Lee, it is surprising, even for here, I think our weather has been so all over the place, that the plants think it is still spring. We certainly haven’t had any real heat yet. It has been very pleasant. You aren’t getting ours Lee, we haven’t had it yet, besides about 2 days, I think we have been very lucky so far.

  9. I love old gold mining towns! My aunt and uncle live in Colorado and when I was younger we would visit. It was fun to drive through them. We’re planning a visit this summer and I can’t wait to take photos! I wasn’t into photography much when I was younger.

    • Sounds like a great adventure, I will have to look out for the photos. I love old towns like that, though I prefer them to be not so well kept. Thank you.

  10. Hi Leanne
    i don’t know Melbourne, or Maldon, but i really appreciate being able to see the Australia i love in your images…you really capture the feeling of home…a feeling i often yearn for, especially from the northern hemisphere winter…thank you :-) Liz

    • Thank you Liz, what a great comment, I hope it doesn’t make you too homesick. Keep warm up there, I hear it is very cold and very dangerous.

  11. Pingback: Weekend Wanderings – Walking Around Maldon | JOURNAL LE COMMUN'ART

  12. Sonel says

    What a gorgeous town Leanne and you took such stunning shots! Reminded me of the Mine Museum in Kimberley where we used to live. Great post and share hon. :D

  13. You always provide great photos … this is a bit how I see a little town in the Wild West – the little church .. and the so in detail decorated wooden houses. Beautiful. Those chairs is high fashion up here .. when it’s about garden furnishes.

    • What a lovely thing to say Viveka, thank you so much. Those chairs are certainly high fashion there too, they were all over the place, I thought it quite interesting.

    • Thank you, according to Google maps it is about 80kms from Ballarat, or just over an hours drive, so very doable for you.

      • Tri Wahyu says

        Thanks for the info. I love photographing local towns. Some my good spots was gone due bush fires in recent years.

      • Tri Wahyu says

        Funny is it. When I goggled it I found Maldon and Castlemaine were next to highway to Bendigo. I had been twice visited Bendigo and I never knew about it.

        No wonder I ever heard about Castlemaine.

        Arrghh….I have to visit it next time.

      • Yes, that is right, they are just off the Calder Freeway. Yes, you should go and take a look, they are gorgeous towns.

  14. I really like how it is cloudly and slightly overcast with a hint of sunshine in these photos. Gives the images more of a “historical” feel. Strangely enough, in my opinion this town or at least some of its buildings like the church looks similar to those in Toorak. Very laid-back, Aussie set of photos :)

    • I don’t think I have spent enough time in Toorak Mabel, maybe I should go back some time. Thank you, the sky was interesting that day. :)

    • A few people have said that, I wonder if it is because it all happened around the same time? Would certainly make sense.

      • Yes perhaps that’s right. It’s amazing how without internet and only horses, and word of mouth things developed back then.

      • I suspect, I could be wrong, but I know here, immigration was huge during that time, so many they all came from similar places, and they were the internet of the 19th century.

  15. Still seems to have a rough and tumble mining town feel about it which you captured beautifully…the menacing dark clouds behind the buildings are wonderful!

    • Thank you, I think it still has that, and it also has that haphazard building placement, like buildings just went up.

  16. super photos, Leanne, and I like the history details you also provided. That town has such a wonderful feel to it, pity I live so far away. Otherwise I would go over there to visit. Thank you for the tour ! Have a happy and healthy 2014!

    • Thank you Francina, it is a shame you live too far away, it is a great little town and well worth visiting. So many things to see.
      All the best to you this year as well.

  17. What a lovely ‘look round’ we’ve had of this old historic town Leanne :-)
    You are right , there are some great little details to be found which beg to be photographed in and around those old world buildings with balconies and verandahs !
    What gorgeous agapanthus , SO expensive to buy even just a few stems of these here .. do love them .

    • I totally agree Poppytump, they really are a photographers dream, if you open yours to see what is there.
      Agapanthus are everywhere here, I have so many in my garden. The white ones are a little rarer.
      Thanks Poppytump.

  18. Great old town, much like our mining towns of the old west. It’s so interesting to see the similarities and differences between our two countries. We live in an area south of Sacramento that was famous for silver mining. I have never gone up in the mountains to see the area called Mineral King because I’ve heard the road are scary steep. I’ve never been curious to be on scary steep logging roads.

  19. Very nice survey of this town. I love going on photo safari’s like this to explore though the lens. You get to discern out details that you might otherwise have missed… Like the filtered light through the overcast sky as well.

  20. great series of photo’s , the town looks feel slike the american mid west, and i love those beautiful blue flowers.

    • Quite a few people have said that, quite extraordinary how towns on the opposite sides of the world can be so similar, probably something to do with the gold miners and immigration. The Agapanthas are gorgeous, they are flowering everywhere at the moment. Thank you.

Comments are closed.