1101 Warrenheip Street,
Royal Park, Buninyong
Buninyong’s original name was a Wadawurrung word Bun-a-nyong.
Mount Buninyong was long the spiritual home of the Keyeet Balug clan of the Wathaurang (or Wada Warrung) people who occupied this area for thousands of years before new waves of settlers arrived in the early 19th century. An aboriginal burial site was located in the 1860s and stone tools have been found there but no archaeological survey has yet been carried out.
The first white settlers came in 1838 when the Learmonth brothers set up a sheep station nearby. By 1841 sawyers and wood cutters were building huts and stores in the village. The area was transformed after August 1851 when a local blacksmith Thomas Hiscock discovered gold at a spot west of the village. This set off huge gold rushes. About two km west of the village a stone memorial cairn recording this discovery is erected (on the north side of the Midland Highway opposite the cemetery) at the corner of Hiscock Gully Road. About 500 m further along that road, plaques and historical signage mark the exact spot where gold was first discovered by Hiscock, and where later a huge gold mine was established. During the mid-1800s the population here reached some 10,000people.
Why is it called "Royal Park"?
It is all due to our Scottish ancestors!
1857 was the first year a Buninyong Highland Society was formed, and a year later the site we call the Soccer pitches, or "the old footy ground" was fenced to be a suitable place for the next "Highland Games".
The Royal connection comes in, when about 10 years later a young Prince Alfred (second son of Queen Victoria), the Duke of Edinburgh, visited Buninyong. He attended the games at the Highland Grounds, and it thereafter became known as 'Royal Park'.