Mafeking Rover Park was purchased in late 1992 by the Rover Section of the Scout Association of Australia (Victorian Branch) for approximately $185,000, following a four year search. The purchase was financed through funds raised from the 8th World Moot (especially proceeds from the bar!), Branch Rover Council, and a $120,000 loan from the Victorian branch of the Scout Association of Australia. The loan is repaid at $20,000 per year with interest.
One of the major forces behind the purchase was the urgent requirement to find a permanent location for off-road buggy events, namely Mudbash. Mudbash had for some time been in limbo since it ceased using the Big River site, utilising numerous sites in the Ballan area with varying success. The search for a ‘Mudbash Site’ changed direction after some discussion to a search for a ‘Rover Site’. This seemingly minor change allowed the potential site to encompass a greater range of activities and gave it more appeal to a wider group of Rovers. So it was that Mafeking emerged as not only a long-term site for vehicular activities, but also as a venue for Moots and general camping, available to all sections of the Scout movement.
The history of the property prior to purchase is generally not understood in any great detail, however its most recent usage was for sheep grazing and selective logging. The property was not used intensively for either activity and has thus suffered relatively little from weed invasion and erosion.
The fern gully in the north-west of the property has been fenced off for some years from grazing livestock. Old fence alignments are visible today and much debris still exists. Aside from these old fencelines, only a few other reminders of past activities remain. One is a rubbish dump on the southeast side of Mt Quafftumbla, and others are remnants of an old horse drawncart in the same vicinity and a plough located near the northern extremity of the shetland pony paddock (the shetland ponies are on the neighbouring property). The plough is of interest mainly due to it now being part of a growing tree. It is currently being developed as a site of significance – ‘The W.G. Barger Tree’. The rubbish dump area was previously used as a small scale mining operation for crystals (presumably quartz) although no real evidence remains today. Should any other historic sites be located on the property which are deemed to be interesting or significant, they should be protected from visitor damage and developed with suitable interpretation material.
Some evidence does remain of a temporary sawmill near the fern gully along the northern boundary, and also of a bridge in the same vicinity; though both are now hardly recognisable. No old buildings remain, if any ever existed, and most of the original tracks are quite overgrown.