Bendigo Welcome Stranger Motel is one of the best places to spend time with your family and enjoy your stay in Bendigo, whilst being close to town to enjoy all the sites.
All units have split system heating and cooling and queen size beds. We are family friendly, and have a swimming pool, restaurant, FREE WIFI and parking. Great for business trip stop overs. Our staff are more than happy to ensure your stay is comfortable and you are well-informed of the attractions.
The Bendigo region is rich in gold mining history and the Bendigo Welcome Stranger Motel is aptly named after the largest gold nugget ever found in the world.
The Motel is named after the ‘Welcome Stranger’ gold nugget that was found by a Cornish miner, John Deason, in 1869. As Deason was searching the roots of a tree with a pick in the Bulldog Gully, Moliagul, Deason thought he hit a stone but in fact discovered a 66kg gold nugget that was named ‘Welcome Stranger’.
John Deason’s wife, Catherine was at home when her husband returned and said he had something to show her. Catherine was skeptical of her husband as he often brought back people to the house for a meal and said ” I hope it’s not another unwelcome stranger” to which John Deason replied ” No – it’s a welcome stranger”.
It was on February 5th 1869 when John Deason first found the nugget and uncovered just the top of the nugget, only 3cm below the surface. Deason concealed the nugget until dark and then with his partner, Richard Oates, they dug the nugget out. The pair then had a party and during which they revealed the gold nugget to their guests.
The ‘Welcome Stranger’ nugget was too big to weigh on the bank’s scales and had to be broken into three pieces on an anvil so it could be weighed. The nugget weighed 66kgs.
Unfortunately there were no photographs taken of the whole nugget, just sketches and replicas made. Deason, Oates and their family members staged a photo a few days later with a rock in place of the nugget.
In 1869 the nugget was worth 10,000 pounds – about $4 million today. During this period, the payout of 10,000 pounds was the equivalent to the average mans working wages for 43 years.
After the discovery, John Deason returned to Moliagul and his descendants still live in the area. Richard Oates returned to Cornwall. An account of the day written by John Deason himself can be found in the Dunolly Museum.
Budget Motel Bendigo Welcome Stranger Motel looks forward to welcoming you!