Service town in a sheep and cattle district
Broadford is located 72 km north of Melbourne
and 216 m above sea level, in the sheep and
cattle district of south central Victoria.
Interestingly its emergence as a township was
more a result of the northbound traffic from
Melbourne rather than the needs of the local
In 1842, the Sunday Creek Inn (named after a
nearby stream where the explorers Hume and
Hovell camped one Sunday) and Stockyard Inn were
built to cater for the passing trade.
Blacksmiths and small stores soon appeared and
the town was gazetted in 1854 with original
allotments selling at £2 a piece. The area
between the two inns became the focal point of
the village's business and leisure activities.
Goldmining communities sprang up around
Broadford after gold was discovered in Sunday
Creek in the 1860s. The construction of the
railroad from Melbourne to Albury-Wodonga caused
an immediate decline in passing traffic which
was so substantial that, in 1874, the Sunday
Creek Inn closed. It later reopened as a general
In 1890 the town's huge paper mill was built
by James McDougall - a relative of the noted
publisher, Sands & McDougall. It is largely upon
the paper industry that the town now depends for
its prosperity, although there is also a
clothing factory and a wool-scouring plant. The
town's substantial reserves of fine white kaolin
clay are used both as a medical absorbent and
for the manufacture of pottery.
The Broadford Country Music Festival is held
in February, the Broadford March Hare Fair at
the local primary school in March, the Scottish
Festival in October and the Broadford Country
Show in November.
Things to see:
Pioneer Cottage and Broadford Courier
Antiquated printing equipment can be seen in the
Broadford Courier building, which was
constructed in 1891. It was moved in the 1980s
from its original site to one adjoining the
Pioneer Cottage, beside the old Hume Highway.
The latter building is a replica of the crude
slab huts built by the early settlers.
Constructed by the local historical society it
offers an insight into the living standards and
construction techniques of the past. The
interiors of both buildings are open for public
inspection between 2.00 p.m. - 4.00 p.m. on
Sundays. The Reedy Creek and Glenaroua
homesteads are more authentic monuments to the
earlier days of settlement and are both
classified by the National Trust.
Mount Disappointment State Forest
To the south-east of the town is the Mount
Disappointment State Forest. The 796 m high
mountain can be climbed and is best approached
via Mountain Road at Heathcote Junction to the
south. It was named by Hume and Hovell after
they ascended it hoping to catch a glimpse of
Port Phillip Bay. Nearby is Blair's Hut Picnic
Ground where a walking trail follows Russell's
Creek. The 50 m high Murchison Falls can be
observed at the northern end of the park. A weir
in the forest supplies Broadford with drinking
water that is renowned for its purity.