Britannia Creek

The Britannia Creek locality is 60 km east of Melbourne. It is situated in the Yarra Valley, and the Britannia Creek joins the Little Yarra River shortly before the latter joins the Yarra River.

In late 1859 the Britannia Creek goldfield was opened, and it and several adjoining creeks constituted the Britannia goldfield. They preceded the discovery of gold at nearby Warburton by about a year. The forests around Britannia Creek were mostly harvested by paling splitters until about 1902 when capital-intensive saw-milling was introduced. Timber tramlines were built and a wood distillation plant was built in 1907. A mechanics hall, a school and several cottages were built in conjunction with the wood distillation project, which produced several acidic products, alcohol, tars and charcoal. A closer-settlement village was established nearby.

In 1938 after the wood distillation plant was closed the property was bought by the Girl Guides Association. It was named Britannia Park and continues to be the site for gatherings of over 1000 Guides and Brownies. The Eureka Youth League has Camp Eureka nearby. The maximum census population of permanent residents was 70 in 1933.

Further Reading

A.P. Winzenreid, Britannia Creek: wood distilling in the Warburton District, APW Publications, 1986