50 towns in 50 days: Easy living in Ross Creek

ALTHOUGH not recognised as an official township, Ross Creek’s residents would be the first to vouch for its steadiness in growth and its close knit community. 

In between Ballarat and Smythesdale, Ross Creek is central to its local primary school and is supported by a local store and mechanic.

Woady Yaloak  Primary School education support officer Karen Relouw said she moved to Ross Creek 10 years ago to raise her family.

“It’s absolutely fantastic out here. We have a little hobby far and it’s been the best thing for the children," she said.

Ms Relouw believes there is a wonderful community in the town, especially at the school.

“There is a huge parents and friends association and they’re all local. It’s just growing, growing and growing out here.”

The education officer said Ross Creek boasts country living for people to escape but is only five minutes from Ballarat’s supermarkets.

“It’s a perfect little paradise, I just love it.”

Golden Plains Shire economic development officer Damian Carter said one of Ross Creek’s biggest assets is its country charm, just a stone’s throw from Ballarat.

“Residents are drawn to the large blocks of Ross Creek, using the space to have a horse for their children or a shed large enough to store all of Dad’s toys,” he said.

“These wide range of lifestyle choices, welcoming community and close proximity to Ballarat, make Ross Creek a place where you can enjoy life.”

The basics

Municipality: Golden Plains Shire Council / City of Ballarat

Population: 960

First settled: April, 1841 as part of an agricultural run.

Main industries: Agriculture, forestry and fishing; rental, hiring and real estate services; manufacturing and construction.

Claim to fame: Former Western Bulldogs player Andrew Hooper grew up in Ross Creek.

Five fast facts

1. Ross Creek is unique to the district in that it was not founded directly on the gold industry.

2. Ross Creek is named after Captain Charles Henry Ross, who in April 1841, occupied the 30,000 acre run on the Woady Yaloak Creek. He remained there until about 1843. Ross never lived permanently on his run as he lived with his wife and family in Melbourne and visited the station at intervals to oversee its running but he had remained long enough for the Creek to bear his name.

3. Despite its population remaining relatively stable through time, Ross Creek has never been an official township. The settlement had a school from 1865, a post office, library, several churches and some public and commercial buildings.

4. Most of the families who settled in the area were woodcutters, general farmers and dairy farmers.  Their industries served the surrounding mining towns, selling their timber, crops, fodder, vegetables and milk to the gold mines, the miners and their families.

5. The hills surrounding Ross Creek were once covered by a vast open forest which spread from Buninyong to the Woady Yaloak Creek at Scarsdale. It was timbered with white gum, messmate, stringy bark and peppermint with occasional specimens of Blackwood, lightwood, cherry tree and she‐oak.

Five things to do

1. Horse riding. Ross Creek offers an array of bush tracks for horse riding enthusiasts, while the Ballarat Riding School at nearby Smythesdale offers lessons, school holiday programs and agistment.

2. Play tennis at the recreational sports courts next to the primary school

3. Go bushwalking in the Enfield State Forest.

4. Trail Bike Riding at the Ross Creek Trail Bike Visitor Area

5. Take the self-guided tour of Boden’s Water Race Walk and visit old mining areas and the water race system which serviced the Woady Yaloak Goldfields

Ross Creek's Karen Relouw. PICTURE: LACHLAN BENCE

Ross Creek's Karen Relouw. PICTURE: LACHLAN BENCE


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