The story of Victoria’s gold - its journey and legacy

Gold was discovered in Australia in 1851 – first in New South Wales and then in Victoria. The effect of the discoveries was electrifying. At the time finding gold was literally the chance in a lifetime to escape a relentless cycle of hard work and low pay. All over Australia men downed tools and left for the goldfields. In the following year thousands joined them from Britain, Europe, America and China. Australia’s first gold rush had begun!

The Old Treasury Building was commissioned in 1857 to store the gold bullion pouring into Melbourne from the central Victorian gold fields, and to provide offices for the Governor, the Premier and other senior figures from the colonial bureaucracy.

Today the historic Gold Vaults tell the story of Victoria’s Gold Rush through a variety of exhibitions, from the discovery of gold in 1851 through the Eureka Rebellion and the impact of the gold discovery on Victoria’s First Peoples.