Maldon colonial village: ‘Eerie’ abandoned town to get new life

A savvy entrepreneur has snapped up one of the most bizarre listings of 2020: an entire abandoned colonial-style village with more 40 buildings.

The property at 8 Allans Rd, Maldon — with an old hotel, 60-seat restaurant, dance hall, and even an undertaker with coffins — was built as a vibrant tourist attraction in the ‘90s.

It brought busloads of visitors to the regional town, about half an hour from Bendigo, and most recently served as a private residence for the past 10 years.

But now the property’s pioneer history is set to be restored.

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Some of the buildings are originals brought in to the site, others are replicas.


Locals Glen ” Kinga ” Roy and grandson Cohen Kinross, 7, have fun at the site, known as Porcupine Village, at Maldon. Picture: Rob Leeson

The site includes more than 40 buildings.

Carthew Real Estate director Edward Carthew said the “eerie” listing had generated more than 200 inquiries before an entrepreneur from Melbourne purchased the 6ha block.

And they’ve already got plans to bring the abandoned village back to life.

“We had a lot of different groups come through the property and we thought it could take months and months to sell because of the nature of the place,” Mr Carthew said, noting many were unsure what they would do with the property.

“But within a few hours of walking through it, he (the buyer) was very sure of it and said ‘I can take this on, no worries’.”

The buyer plans to restore accommodation at the site.

It has just been used as a private residence for the past 10 years.


The property sold for an undisclosed price but Mr Carthew said it was close to its $1.75m guide.

He said the buyer was eager to get the accommodation on the sprawling property up and running in the new year — including its 12 bedrooms, on-site manager’s residence and two-bedroom cottage — before later restoring its status as a successful tourism business.

“He’s very excited and is looking forward to working with the community on it,” Mr Carthew added.

“He’s very keen on employing local people and re-establishing the link that the complex had with the local business community. The town is buzzing and it’ll be great for Maldon.”

Even the agent described the listing as “eerie”.


Inside one of the buildings. Picture: Rob Leeson


A coffin or two. Picture: Rob Leeson

The village features a mixture of buildings that are more than 150 years old — including an old jail and the dance hall — and others that were constructed as replicas of the gold-rush era.

Among the spooky rustic residences it also boasts its own bowling alley, general store with tinned goods still inside and a Cobb & Co office.

“It’s truly like being thrown back in time to the 1850s,” Mr Carthew told the Herald Sun when the property was first listed.

Dubbed Victoria’s first notable township by the National Trust of Australia, Maldon has largely maintained its 19th-century appearance.


Restoration of the attraction could be a boon for the area. Picture: Rob Leeson


Locals Glen ” Kinga ” Roy and grandson Cohen Kinross, 7, enjoy the simple life. Picture: Rob Leeson


The general store. Picture: Rob Leeson


Life on the land. Picture: Rob Leeson


Bit rusty. Picture: Rob Leeson

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