On my first trip to Australia, I stopped only briefly in Maldon, but long enough to know I wanted to get back. Fortunately, I did get back a few years later, and had the opportunity to thoroughly explore this delightfully well-preserved historic town.
In the early 1800s, the area around Maldon had begun to attract those in search of land for raising sheep and cattle, but the town’s history is anchored in the discovery of gold in 1853. With stunning speed, the population exploded from a handful to 20,000. As was usual, a town sprang up to supply provisions and services for the miners.
There are, of course, lots of towns in Australia with gold-rush histories, but the thing that makes Maldon special is that it hasn’t changed much since those days. Sure, the shops that line the streets are now selling artisan chocolates and hand-crafted gifts, rather than hardtack and shovels, but the appearance of the town remains unchanged. In 2006 The National Trust award Maldon the title of “Most Intact Historic Streetscape.” However, Maldon had already been honored by The National Trust 40 years earlier, when it was declared Australia’s “First Notable Town: a town worthy of preservation.”
The photo below shows a bit of the main street of notable Maldon.