FROM a lighthouse at Cape Clear to a mushroom farm at Smythes Creek, The Courier’s 50 Towns special has revealed all the Central Highlands region’s hidden secrets.
Ranging from Amphitheatre to Hepburn Springs, Lal Lal to Windermere, 50 Towns looked into each town’s history, its attractions and its people via daily articles, photographs and videos.
We explored Koorweinguboora, the small town with the very big name, discovered the Ballarat gallows still exist but are now located in Smythesdale’s courthouse precinct, and that Napoleons – the home of Olympian Tamsin Hinchley – was named after a fellow who wore a Napoleonic hat.
We also revealed Lal Lal’s name came from the Wathaurong for “dashing waters” and Elaine was once a stopover on the Cobb & Co route to Ballarat.
Today, the special, which began back on January 2, wraps up with our final town of Yendon.
The Courier’s digital producer, Kim Stephens, who put the series together, said the response from readers had been overwhelmingly positive.
“Time and again when visiting these small towns, we found people with a deep affection for their communities and the desire to tell others what they loved about living there,” Ms Stephens said.
“So many of the small towns surrounding Ballarat have such long and interesting histories and great stories from the past to tell.
“There was also, almost universally, a very strong sense of community in these tiny communities.
“I think The Courier reporters who undertook the project enjoyed going out and finding out what made these places tick.”
If you missed any of the 50 Towns special, or just have an interest in one particular area, then go online to www.thecourier.com.au to see all of the videos that were compiled by the reporters and photographers.