Waterloo, a former gold mining town, is a rural locality on the Trawalla Creek, 7 km north-east of Beaufort and 42 km north-west of Ballarat.
It formed part of the Fiery Creek gold diggings, although it was several kilometres east of the creek. Waterloo was one of the first places opened, and in 1858 gold was also found north of there, beyond the Waterloo Swamp which is the headwater of the Trawalla Creek.
A school was opened in the 1860s in a United Protestant church. Bailliere’s Victorian gazetteer (1865) recorded three hotels in Waterloo, with mention of the adjoining country being well grassed, heavily timbered in parts, and well adapted for agriculture. Mining was alluvial, and continued strongly until about 1914, when Beaufort and Waterloo were the scene of a prolonged strike over the use of non-union labour. At that time Waterloo also had pastoral and agricultural industries, and the village had a church, a hall, a mechanics’ institute and a free library. In 1918 the school had 85 pupils, although a school inspector’s report indicated that mining was declining. In 1955 when there were only six pupils, the school closed.
Waterloo is now pastoral and agricultural with a scattering of buildings. There are extensive old gold workings to the north along Trawalla Creek and south along the Lexton Road to Beaufort.
Waterloo’s census populations were: