STRIKE IT RICH: Entire gold rush town up for grabs
Whoever bags this property will be sitting on a gold mine - literally.
The replica Gold Rush town built atop an abandoned mine shaft from the 1850s is up for sale and includes a creek where visitors can pan for nuggets, along with historic buildings like a blacksmith and butchery.
Victorian age mining equipment and digging tools are also on site, plus a bushranger jail, digging tunnel, bush chapel and town drinking hole known as the Diggers Rest Tavern.
More modern inclusions spread across the 4.5ha property are a giant "eureka" maze, mini golf and a volleyball area.
The theme park known as the Gold Rush Colony in Mogo, 10km south of Batemans Bay, is listed with an asking price of $3.4 million, or in gold terms, the equivalent of about 75 bars of gold at current metal prices.
Owner Maureen Nathan, 72, has been operating the park as a partial philanthropic venture for 20 years but decided to sell after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Ms Nathan, originally a pharmacist, purchased the property with only some of the current buildings on site and has moved many of the historic items onto the property.
The site was once part of a little-known gold mine, but the precious metal deposits have mostly gone.
"There's actually still gold in the wider area," Ms Nathan said. "Few people know that it was one of the first areas where gold was discovered in NSW. It's got a fascinating history."
Among the favourite activities for visitors - who are usually a mix of children on school outings, wedding guests and tourists - is learning how to pan for gold, Ms Nathan said.
"Some of the people who learned here (went) on to fossick for gold elsewhere," she said.
Much of the passion Ms Nathan gets out of running the theme park is helping educate children about a time "when we weren't in the digital age".
"A lot of the kids are shocked to see how people lived back then and they can't believe it."
The park is listed with Tourism Property Services agent Graeme Sutherland, who said the property would suit a lifestyle operator keen to run the business while living on site.
A recent tourism boom in the Batemans Bay area meant the property's accommodation for 150 guests was becoming increasingly valuable, Mr Sutherland said.
There was the additional benefit of DA approval for a five-storey hotel on the property, he added.
"It's operating as a healthy business but a new owner has an opportunity to come in and turn a bigger profit," Mr Sutherland said.
Originally published as Entire gold rush town up for grabs