Its streets have beautiful European trees, flagstone paving, old-fashioned shopfronts, quaint cottages with pretty gardens and stone buildings which were built in the town's heyday.
In 1966 Maldon was named by the National Trust as Australia's first "notable town". Legislation is in place to ensure that the well-preserved historic gold mining town is kept that way.
Its streets have beautiful European trees, flagstone paving, old-fashioned shopfronts, quaint cottages with pretty gardens and stone buildings which were built in the town's heyday. Of course there are antique shops and tea houses and even the picnic barbecues are quaint!
In the 1850s Maldon was in the middle of the massive gold rush. Twenty thousand miners and their families lived there and pulled 60 tonnes of the precious metal from the surrounding hills. That amount would be worth around $700 million today.
Originally the prospectors had to live in tents. As cottages began to appear, most were very basic. They needed to be inexpensive and were built quickly and easily without specialist skills. And preferably they were portable, as miners led nomadic existences.
Really successful miners could eventually afford to build cottages from timber, with shingle roofs, rammed-earth floors and sapling frames. These were usually one room, with a large open fire for cooking and heating. Many were actually constructed around the make-do tent, which became an inner lining.
There was always a table and stools and hessian bedding, but a dresser would have been an absolute luxury. Chamber pots were used and bathrooms were non-existent. Life was primitive.
Maldon became a ghost-town at the end of the goldrush and during the 1930s and 40s it was particularly downtrodden. Thankfully it picked up when classified by the National Trust. The irony is that as the town was so impoverished, it had no money to bulldoze old buildings and erect new ones as many other regional towns did, thereby enjoying excellent preservation.
The surrounding forest is popular with walkers and cyclists. Visitors love to stay in the revamped cottages. Some are furnished the way they were though more comfortably while others have had a more modern renovation.
Miss Cinnamon's was built in the 1890s. It is well restored and has two bedrooms, one with a double iron bed and the other with two single beds. It has bits and pieces from the old days, such as a sewing machine and clothes iron. The romantic Victoriana cottage is built into the side of a mountain and has a wood heater, television, VCR and CD player and a fully-equipped kitchen. The bathroom has a double spa, shower, vanity and toilet and outside is a well-cared-for garden and barbecue.
Hales Cottage was built around 1859 and the original cottage garden remains. It has two bedrooms, one queen, one single, plus a lounge with open fire, television, video player and air-conditioner. The kitchen is fully-equipped and has a slow combustion heater and the bathroom has a double shower, separate shower, vanity, laundry facilities and barbecue. It has crooked walls, roof shingles, sapling wall frames, pressed tin, Baltic pine floors and a cellar.
Coromandel Cottage has rustic gardens and is romantic and cosy inside. It accommodates six people in three bedrooms, two with queen beds and one with two singles. The living room is comfortable with television and video and the kitchen is fully equipped. The bathroom has a claw-foot bath and shower and the main bedroom has an ensuite. There is a barbecue and off-street parking.