It might look like a scene straight out of a Ned Kelly, wild west or horror film, but this abandoned old village is just half an hour out of Bendigo — and it’s up for sale.
Buyers can be the sheriff, mayor, bushranger and more of their own colonial community with the owners, who have lived there for 10 years, now hanging up their hats.
The property at 8 Allans Rd, Maldon, spans more than 6ha and is made up of 40 buildings, some original and some built as replicas for tourists, including an old hotel, 60-seat restaurant, general store, dance hall, bowling alley, and even an undertaker — complete with coffins.
Carthew Real Estate director Edward Carthew said the listing was like nothing he had ever seen before.
“When you walk through it, it’s stunning but you get a really eerie feeling. I think if you were to walk down the main street at night you’d expect to feel the ghosts of Maldon around,” he said.
Mr Carthew said it featured a combination of historical residences more than 150 years old and replicas made from wattle and daub or mud-brick to fit the same specifications of the era.
“Some buildings are originals that have been moved and reassembled from other parts of the region. One is actually an old jail that has come from around the district,” he said.
“You would never be able to build this kind of property now with today’s restrictions and permits.”
Constructed in the early 1990s, the village was built as a local tourism attraction where buses of visitors would explore how people lived in rural Victoria during the gold rush.
“It’s truly like being thrown back in time to the 1850s,” Mr Carthew said.
It’s understood about four of the buildings are authentic, including the jail, dance hall — which is an old barn from Maryborough — and another residence or two taken from a farm in the region, with the rest built to be as true as possible to the time.
The property has most recently been used as a private residence for a retired couple who are now looking to downsize.
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“The original owner who commissioned the project was apparently a bit of character and would see something in a photo and say, ‘hey build me this’. It would’ve been a very chaotic building site.”
Mr Carthew believed it took almost $3m dollars to build over a two-year period.
“Most of the buildings are still very much intact and are just waiting for the next owner to come along and bring the place back to life,” he said. “For an entrepreneur it could be a real money-making enterprise.”
He said the property had endless potential to be used again as a tourism business, with the opportunity to host travellers, weddings, markets or even build additional units.
The listing has already racked up almost 20,000 page views on realestate.com.au and Mr Carthew has had more than 75 inquiries so far, from people all over Australia.
“Most of them are people that want to get it up and running again (as a tourist attraction) but there’s also been a few families, like a group of brothers and sisters who are thinking of buying it together as a weekender,” Mr Carthew said.
The property is for private sale.