Camp Reserve

The Gold Camp is Castlemaine

It’s time to save the hill!

Camp Reserve is Castlemaine’s most significant multi-purpose public open space.

Almost 170 years ago, the land now called Camp Reserve – and the heritage buildings around it – were ground zero for this settlement and Victoria’s Goldrush.

The Gold Escort leaving Castlemaine Camp in Victoria, Australia, for Melbourne. Date: 1853

As order slowly came to the diggings and wealth built modern Castlemaine, the Gold Commissioner’s Camp – now called Camp Reserve – on the banks of Barkers Creek was its centrepiece. The Gold Camp is Castlemaine.

But decades of neglect and changing land use have left the area with an unsteady future. This year the Camp’s past and future hangs in the balance. Mt Alexander Shire Council is proposing a plan that will bring the Reserve a much needed upgrade – but will also bury its history and green open space..

The plan that Council is proposing will suffocate the Reserve’s significance beneath a sprawling sports complex, erase the storylines of its Goldrush history and surrender some its most important trees to chainsaws. Almost 75% of the Reserve’s grassy hill will be bulldozed under the Council’s plan.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The Reserve can be redeveloped so that the town’s organised sport and events get a better future AND more respectfully acknowledges our past and present.

We don’t have to bury the town’s history to get a better football pavilion or modern netball courts. We don’t need to stumble into the false trap that “development” means choosing between one OR the other. We can have it all! Check out our alternative plan below. We can put Gold Camp – the Reserve – back on the map – for sport, the public and tourists – and help honour the region’s bid to make the Goldfields a UNESCO World Heritage site.

But to build a better plan, we first have to stop a bad one.

To save this significant place as public open space for this generation and the next, please

email or talk to your Mt Alexander Shire Council ward councillor

donate to fund our fight for a better plan

email us at to get our news updates and find out how to donate.

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