Town History

Population: Approximately 2,500
Location : 241 kilometres north-west of Melbourne105 kilometres west of Bendigo

109 kilometres east of Horsham

130 kilometres north of Ballarat

St Arnaud’s development commenced with the gold rush of the 1850s. Originally named the New Bendigo Goldfield, the streets were surveyed in 1861 by WM Wills of Burke & Wills explorer fame, who perished while returning from the Gulf of Carpentaria.

New Bendigo changed its name to St. Arnaud to reflect the local sentiment – New Bendigo had a high French pioneer population – during the Crimean War in 1867 honoring the commander of the French Forces in the Crimean War – Jaques Leroy de Saint-Arnaud.

Many streets in the town are named after either battle locations or British military leaders involved in the war. Alma Street, for example, is named after a river where the Siege of Sevastopol was fought and Raglan Street is named after the British Commander-in-Chief at that battle: Lord Raglan.