Orange Visitor & Travel Guide

GOLD DISCOVERY OBELISK OPHIR - ORANGE

This obelisk commemorates the discovery of the first payable gold in Australia.
In 1851, Edward Hargraves discovered a 'grain of gold' in a waterhole near Bathurst. Hargraves was convinced that the similarity in geological features between Australia and the California goldfields (from where he had just returned) boded well for the search of gold in his homeland. He was proved correct. He named the place 'Ophir', reported his discovery to the authorities, and was appointed a 'Commissioner of Land'. He received a reward of £10,000, plus a life pension. The discovery marked the beginning of the Australian gold rushes and a radical change in the economic and social fabric of the nation. Ophir was home to more than 1000 prospectors just four months after Hargraves discovery. Gold fever gripped the nation and the colonial authorities responded by appointing 'Commissioners of Land' to regulate the diggings and collect licence fees for each 'claim'. More

The obelisk was unveiled in 1923. The Maitland Daily Mercury reported:
To commemorate the first discovery of payable gold in Australia, Mr. Fitzpatrick, The Minister For Mines, unveiled an obelisk at Ophir on Friday. In order to commemorate the momentous occasion of the finding of the first payable gold in Australia; this monument has now been erected to mark the site where the discovery was made, and to do honour to those who were concerned in this epoch making event. It bears the following inscription:-—
"This obelisk was erected by the New South Wales Government to commemorate the first discovery in Australia of payable gold, which was found in the creek in front of this monument. Those responsible for the discovery were:—
Edward Hammond Hargraves.
John Hardman Australia Lister.
James Tom.
William Tom.
From experience gained in California, Hargraves formed the idea that the district was auriferous, and he found the first gold on 12th February,1851, about two miles up Lewis Pond Creek. He explained to the others how to prospect and use a miner's cradle, and Lister and W. Tom found payable gold between 7th and 12th April, 1851."
(Maitland Daily Mercury (NSW), 29 December 1923).

Share with:

FacebookTwitterGoogleLinkedInPinterestEmail this pagePrint this page


National Parks

Featured Region

ORANGE TRAVEL GUIDE

Orange Visitor and Travel Guide. Visit Orange NSW and celebrate the region’s wine and food. Find out here about what to see and do and where to eat and stay. Art Gallery, Bed and Breakfast, Cafes and Coffee Shops, Caravan Parks, Events, Festivals, Guesthouses, Gardens, History, Holiday Cottages, Holiday Parks, Holidays, Hotels, National Parks, Markets, Motels, Museums, Produce, Restaurants, Self Catering, Services, Serviced Apartments, Shopping, Tourism, Tourist Guide, Tours and Drives,Travel, Villages, Wine, Wine Tasting, Wineries. Blayney, Canowindra, Carcoar, Molong, Millthorpe, Ophir, Mount Canobolas, Lake Canobolas, Orange Botanic Gardens, Conimbla National Park, Weddin Mountains National Park. Read More about “ORANGE TRAVEL GUIDE”

Journeys around NSW

  • The region has over 46 wineries and cellar doors for you to visit. Here we showcase some of the cool climate wines that are making the region famous. At many cellars doors, you will be able to meet the winemaker and hear of their passion for their wine and of our region. They will explain how our unique combination of altitude, cool climate, soils and topography provides Orange Region wines a unique point of difference.
  • It has attracted the rich and famous and those looking to escape life on the coast. Over the years it has welcomed Banjo Paterson, Henry Lawson, Fred Hollows and Dame Mary Durack and many more. You should see why!
  • Visit NSW and discover the states cities, towns and regions. Sydney Visitor Guide, Orange Region Visitor Guide, Bathurst Visitor Guide, North Coast, South Coast, Hunter, Central Coast and Country. Accommodation, events, shopping restaurants and more.
  • I don’t know if it is the altitude or the attitude but food does taste better in Orange. And if you marry your taste buds to a local wine such as Colmar Pinot Gris or a Brangayne Shiraz you will be in for a great food experience.
  • In Orange city and in the region, there are a plethora of amazing cafes. Some have recently opened, and there are many more on the horizon and the best of the original pioneers just get better.
Scroll to top
error: Content is protected !!