With its treacherous roads and constant threat of assault and robbery by bushrangers… travelers to the goldfields of Victoria during the 1850’s had every reason to fear the journey through the dreaded Black Forest!
In the mid 19th century, Australia had been turned upside down with gold fever. People were coming from all over the world to seek their fortunes on Victoria’s newly discovered goldfields.
After arriving in Melbourne, people traveled by foot, horseback or dray to go try their luck searching for gold.
But the road from Melbourne to the world-renowned Mt Alexander and Bendigo diggings took travelers directly through the infamous Black Forest!
The scenic beauty of the Mount Macedon area was always accompanied by the apprehension travelers felt as they neared the dreaded woods. Notorious for its perilous conditions and the bushrangers who lay waiting in the shadows, the Black Forest had quickly gained a fearsome reputation.
Many terrible accounts were recorded in old journals and letters, of the countless assaults and robberies endured by travelers as they passed through. Bushrangers like Black Douglas and Captain Melville took advantage of the forest’s terrible road conditions, and limited visibility through the woods.
These sinister men lurked in the shadows waiting to help themselves to the pockets of new travelers to the goldfields, and to the dazzling riches which were carried from the diggings back to Melbourne.
Maps of the Black Forest
You will find maps of the Black Forest on our page of Victorian gold maps, several of the Victoria-wide maps feature the Black Forest. Check them out here.