Could there be a Welcome Stranger right underneath your bedroom? Maybe there's a quartz reef in your front garden?
Up until now, it was pretty difficult to find out if your home was built on a former Ballarat mine site.
But thanks to Mount Helen businessman and prospector Kevan Richards, that's all changed.
VIEW THE INTERACTIVE BALLARAT MINES MAP HERE
Mr Richards has spent more than six month perfecting a series of maps of mines across Victoria, including a detailed map of almost 16,000 mine sites in the state.
For example, did you know that Stockland Wendouree was built over the top of the 125m deep gold mine, or a home in Oddie Street Lake Wendouree sits on top of a mine with a depth of 41m which was in use for just over a month in January to February of 1868.
VIDEO: The Yandoit to Steiglitz gold map
It pinpoints the position of the Welcome Nugget, the second largest ever found, which came from a mine directly below the Ballarat Leagues Club.
And did you know that Soldiers Hill is relatively free of mines as it was the first planned residential suburb of Ballarat in 1859 and thus named after the colonial forces who were stationed there prior to the Eureka Rebellion.
"It is amazing how many mines are underfoot," Mr Richards said.
"The mines are alphabetically listed, so if you know the name of a mine, you can easily find it.
"Many of the mines have details about the amount of gold that was found and other features about the mine."
Mr Richards has used historical documents, freely available online and dating back as far as the 1850s.
Mr Richards' maps show the details of all known sites in a number of areas across the state including Bendigo, Avoca, Castlemaine, Heathcote, Linton and Enfield to name just a few.
The maps can be viewed on Google Maps in both map or satellite view. They display all known information on gold mines, shallow workings, quartz reefs, deep leads and Crown land and can be use on computers, tablets or mobile phones. The Crown land is particularly important for prospectors so they can be aware of what can be accessed and what is off limits
"It's perfect for the recreational gold prospector," Mr Richards who is a member of the Ballarat branch of the Prospectors and Miners Association of Victoria.
The Prospectors and Miners Association are a group of recreational prospectors that hold meetings every third Tuesday of the month at 7pm in the Eureka Hall, Stawell St South. The group also has monthly outings to the goldfields.
VIDEO: The Linton District map
"In all there are 10 maps in the series covering 125 named Victorian goldfields. A map is also available that provides a link to 146 historic geological maps."
One Brown Hill family got an unexpected fright this week when a shaft opened up in their backyard.
The opening up of historical shafts and the need to have them recapped is not uncommon in Ballarat, especially due to grade of capping which was completed in earlier ages, where timber was used and time and moisture have given them a limited lifespan.
The historical anomalies of the gold mining era also mean many maps are not completely comprehensive of all existing mines.
Residents seeking further information, should contact the Department of Environment, Land, Water, Planning (DELWP), which has accurate historic maps of Ballarat's underground mine network.
Kevan Richards' maps are available at goldmapsonline.com.au
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