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In 1851, gold was first discovered in Victoria, in Warrandyte, at Anderson’s Creek, by Louis Michel, the approximate location of the site is marked by a cairn on Fourth Hill, in the Warrandyte State Park. While some mining did occur in the area throughout the peak of the gold rush, it was not until the late 19th century, after gold discoveries reduced in the more popular regions, that the area around Warrandyte was intensively mined, particularly around Fourth Hill and Whipstick Gully. Some areas continued to be mined up until the 1960s. Warrandyte Post Office opened on 1 August 1857.
In the early 20th century, Warrandyte became a popular destination for artists of the Heidelberg School, who sought subject matter further into the bush. This led to the development of an artists camp and small colony. Though not as substantial as the older colonies at Heidelberg and Box Hill, several artists, such as Clara Southern and Walter Withers, who were associated with the Heidelberg School, took up residence in Warrandyte.
Others followed, including Penleigh Boyd, Harold Herbert and Jo Sweatman.
Major bushfires have swept through Warrandyte throughout history, and the town was at the centre of the Black Friday bushfires in 1939, in which 71 people lost their lives. As well, the Black Saturday fires in Kinglake were 15 minutes away from North Warrandyte, in 2009. Major bushfires to have swept through Warrandyte include: