Even older than its more famous neighbours Ballarat and Bendigo, Clunes was the first gold rush town in Victoria.
Gold was discovered there in 1850 by William Campbell, but the discovery was not made public until the following year. This triggered the gold rush in Victoria, and Clunes became a thriving township.
The heritage of the town is still visible in the lovely old buildings, homes and churches in the town.
Clunes has more recently become known as “the Book Town of the Pyrenees” because of the annual book festival held there each year. Shop windows are decorated with a decal of books, giving the town a visual theme that promotes its new identity and adds a subtle but vivid touch to the traditional buildings and heritage colour schemes.
In addition to a number of second-hand, vintage and collectable book shops, Clunes also offers some lovely gift stores, a traditional green grocer’s store, an old fashioned lolly shop, cafes and bakeries, and antique and collectible stores.
Our visit was just a short one, as we tacked it onto a trip we were already making, so I only managed to visit one book store while looking around town.
Of course, it is a very rare occasion that I venture into a bookstore without buying anything. This visit was not one of those occasions.
The next visit to Clunes most likely won’t be one of those occasions, either. It’s clear that I’m definitely going to have to plan a ‘Going On A Book Hunt’ visit to Clunes, because I spied at least four other bookshops that I want to browse in.
This video highlights some of the lovely spots in and around this gorgeous, bookish little town. Enjoy!