Gold Rush to Mt Alexander Tour
Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park
Drive: 3 hours
Start: Castlemaine Market Building
Finish: Castlemaine Market Building
The Gold Rush to Mt Alexander Tour tells the story of the Mt Alexander gold rush taking in 16 authentic sites associated with the rush.
The Mt Alexander goldfield opened up in November 1851, and is generally credited with triggering one of the greatest mass migrations in history. Australia had been known only as a convict colony on the distant side of the world until early in April 1852, when six ships carrying eight tons of Mt Alexander gold arrived on the Thames River. The ensuing rush to Mt Alexander was a defining moment in Australia’s settlement, marking an irreversible shift from forced to voluntary immigration. The demographic and economic impact of the rush to Mt Alexander transformed Victoria, and eclipsed New South Wales as Australia's capital in the second half of the nineteenth century.
Today, the rich legacy of the gold rush can be found in towns like Castlemaine and Chewton. See mining cottages and grand boom time architecture lining their main streets, and the crumbling stone walls of huts and pubs, as well as gold mines and gullies that yielded up fortunes in the surrounding bush. The district is home to one of the largest collections of Victorian gold mining heritage, spanning over 150 years of gold mining technology.
Download the audio files below to your iPod or pick up an MP3 player already loaded with the tour from the Castlemaine Visitor Information Centre and experience the goldrush, its characters and some of the region's indigenous stories.
Part 1: The Rush
On this podtour, experience the gold rush proper, at the very places it all began.
Stop 1 Market building (11:00, 10.3MB)
Stop 2 Pennyweight Flat cemetery (20:31, 19.2MB)
Stop 3 Forest Creek Diggings site (2:02, 1.9MB)
Stop 4 Garfield water wheel site (9:08, 8.6MB)
Stop 5 Monster meeting site (18:33, 17.4MB)
Part 2: The Characters
Travel to the ghost towns beyond the main rush and meet the characters of the times.
Stop 6 Wattle Gully Mine (7:04, 6.6MB)
Stop 7 Escott grave (7:18, 6.8MB)
Stop 8 Duke of Cornwall engine house (6:39, 6.2MB)
Stop 9 Fryerstown (6:47, 6.4MB)
Stop 10 Red knob landscape (2:25, 2.3MB)
Stop 11 Vaughan (10:57, 10.2MB)
Part 3: New Gold Mountain
Learn the stories of the Indigenous Jaara people, where geology meets the Dreamtime, and the wonderful tales of the Chinese gold seekers.
Stop 11 Vaughan (as above)
Stop 12 Chinese burial ground (21:17, 20MB)
Stop 13 Guildford (4:17, 4MB)
Stop 14 Guildford lookout (11:07, 10.4MB)
Stop 15 Castlemaine cemetery (3:41, 3.5MB)
Stop 16 Castlemaine (8:15, 7.7MB)
Download PDF map (5.5MB)