Freeburgh, a rural locality in north-east Victoria, is situated on the Ovens River 8 km south-east of Bright.

The discovery of gold in the Ovens Valley in 1852 resulted in mines at Bright by 1856. The Mount Orient mine ran eastwards towards Freeburgh. It is thought that German miners bestowed the name Freeburgh, probably derived from Freiburg. (The locality of Germantown is between Bright and Freeburgh.)

The highest volumes of ore crushings occurred during the 1860s, but mining activity continued until the 1900s. In 1884 the Victorian municipal directory recorded a school (1865), a post office, an athenaeum, a sawmill and two hotels at Freeburgh. Nearly twenty years later the Australian handbook (1903) also indicated some agricultural activity:

The Ovens Valley is about 500-800 metres wide at Freeburgh and the limited agricultural space was later disturbed by gold dredging. After closure of the school in 1948, the school site was sold at government auction and a small holiday house was built using the remains of the shelter-shed. The school building was relocated to Myrtleford prior to sale. Sites to the east side of the road were subject to dredging until the late 1950s. The soil was deep rich and alluvial. Nut groves and orchards continued at Freeburgh, along with the ubiquitous pine plantations that have been established on dredge tailings and the lower slopes of the mountains.

Freeburgh has a public hall and a camping ground. A new facility to harvest water from the Ovens River during peak periods to secure the supply of water to Freeburgh, and the Bright, Porepunkah and Wandiligong districts, was constructed in 2013-14.

Its census populations have been:

Area Census Date Population
Includes adjacent gold workings 1881 269
Freeburgh 1911 245
  1921 99
  1933 88
Includes environs 2006 170
  2011 346

Further Reading

P.L. Kenny, Bright, Wandiligong and Freeburgh goldfields, Melbourne, 1925