Clunes – a Booktown, a Community, a Town to Explore


Clunes is an historic and increasingly ‘hip’ town in country Victoria.  It was Victoria’s first gold town, so quite a few of its buildings date back to the  1850s. As well as being the setting for films such as Ned Kelly and Mad Max, Clunes has been discovered by increasing numbers of people in recent years as it hosts a Booktown event one weekend every May which attracts some of Australia’s most talented writers.

ZF Journey

Wesley Grammar, a private co-educational school in Melbourne, chose Clunes for its campus for year 9 students, who spend their first term on ‘a journey of discovery‘ in the country town.

Some morning sounds:

The slide show below presents a short discovery tour of Clunes, taken by the photographer on 14 and 15 April 2014.

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Booktown events can rejuvenate country towns.  Tess Brady, one of the main organizers of Booktown in Clunes, talks about the weekend event and how it has impacted on the local population:


ZI Journey

James, who works in one of the eight or so bookshops in Clunes, is interviewed outside the bookshop he works in two days a week:


ZZA Journey

Janet, a waitress at  hip and historic “Lucky Strike”, speaks about her reasons for a tree-change in Clunes:

ZZ Journey

Gary, who owns and manages “Lucky Strike”, explains what attracted him to Clunes.


ZZZ Z P Journey

In 2011, Pauline explained her reason for a ‘tree-change’  after a spell of suburban life.

Z Journey


ZZZ V Journey

The sounds of one back yard in Clunes:



Images and interviews by Susan Dirgham.

Many thanks to the people of Clunes, particularly Pauline, Ron, Gary, Janet, Tess, James, Terry, Janice, Tim….. . And Boris.

The above presents the eyes and ears of a visitor to Clunes over two days only.  It is not a definitive view of Clunes and its people.  They are there to be discovered and rediscovered.



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