Neilborough is a rural locality 23 km north of Bendigo.

It is a short distance north of the whipstick forest area. In 1857 gold was discovered there, and the diggings were named Elysian Flat. A township was surveyed shortly afterwards, and named Neilborough in 1860. The origin of the name is not known. Gold mining continued quite strongly until the 1900s when the last alluvial mine on the Elysian Flat deep lead was closed.

Neilborough was part of Raywood borough. In the mid-1860s it had two hotels. A school was opened in 1869, and others were opened at Neilborough North (1876) and Neilborough East (1897). In 1903 Neilborough was described in the Australian handbook:

With the end of mining Neilborough, situated away from any main or secondary road, was a rural locality with a hotel, post office and local schools. There were several eucalyptus distilleries which used material harvested from the whipstick forest from 1900 to the 1930s. Burnside’s production rivalled Bosisto’s. Tennis courts and a hall were built in 1926-27. Neilborough school closed in 1942 and the last of the three, Neilborough East, closed in 1965. The former village is marked by a few buildings, and eucalyptus-distillery remains are to the east and south.

Neilborough’s census populations were included in Raywood’s before 1911, whereupon they were recorded as:

area census date population
Neilborough 1911 425
  1921 155
  1933 110
  1954 103
Neilborough and environs 2011 265

Further Reading

William Perry, Tales of the Whipstick, the author, 1978

Marie H. Manning, Back-To Raywood and district April 7-8, 1973, Back-To Committee, 1973

Des Shiel, Eucalyptus: essence of Australia, North Melbourne, 1985

Ken Arnold, Bendigo its environs: the way it was, Bendigo, 2003