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Ophir, NSW

The first officially recognised discovery of gold in Australia was made by Edmond Hammond Hargraves at Ophir in 1851. The Ophir rush was short lived, but what it lacked in gold reserves it provided in publicity. Hargraves, an unsuccessful gold prospector and a veteran of the Californian rushes, was a wonderful publicist. He promoted the strike in a way that generated intense interest in prospecting, particularly in Victoria; the rushes that were precipitated there sustained the Australian gold rush phenomenon for another fifty years.

Keir Reeves

Blainey, Geoffrey, The rush that never ended: a history of Australian mining, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1963. Details