Talbot was originally home to the Dja Dja Wurrung people whose country ranged from Mount Macedon in the south to the Pyrenees in the northwest and along the Loddon Valley. A number of important heritage sights are easily accessible by the public including Rock Wells and a Maternity Tree.
Maternity Tree (also called Shelter tree)
The Aboriginal Maternity Tree is a giant River Red Gum, estimated to be about 700 years old – dating from the time when the Black Death swept across Europe. It has a 15 metre girth and its hollowed out centre was used as a shelter by the Dja Dja Wurrung clan, particularly by Dja Dja Wurrung women giving birth. It is recorded as a Significant Tree on the Register of the National Trust.
Directions from Talbot: Head towards Maryborough on the Ballarat-Maryborough Road. Around 1 km along, turn left into Pollocks Road, immediately after crossing the narrow ‘London Bridge’. The Shelter Tree is about 300m along Pollock’s Road on your left.
Bull Gully Rock Wells
Between Talbot and Maryborough there are four rock wells dug by the Dja Dja Wurrung people. The wells were dug into the sandstone to gain full advantage of the natural rainwater catching formed by the rock ledge. Additional water seeps into the wells via cracks which run through the sandstone. The narrow mouths of the wells serve to reduce evaporation and pollution by windborne debris, and local residents say the wells have never been known to dry up. The maximum depth of the wells is about 130cm and they have a capacity of approximately 160 litres. The wells are regarded as among the best examples of their type in Victoria.
Directions from Talbot: Head towards Maryborough on the Ballarat-Maryborough Road for around 12 km. Turn right into Lean St on the outskirts of Maryborough, cross over the railway line, turn right into Stoneham Drive, left into Wells Road and, after 2 km, take the signposted track left and the wells are 200 metres away.