To the diggings: tracing the gold rush track to Forest Creek

In September 1851, three shepherds and a bullock driver discovered gold in Specimen Gully, about 5 kilometres northeast of Castlemaine, Victoria. By the end of 1851 there were 8,000 diggers working the Forest Creek gold fields and several alluvial creeks around Castlemaine. By March 1852 there were an estimated 25,000 persons on the Forest Creek diggings. The route taken by the diggers was across the open basalt plains and through the Fryers Rangers. Most diggers were on foot. This trek possibly entailed the greatest trafficked inland route in Australia to that date. When the surveyors followed, the natural route became the formal road, in contrast to the geometric patterns of other surveys. The character of the gold route can still be felt, and the original track traced, particularly in the sinuous route between Elphinstone and Castlemaine. The cultural landscape of the goldfields, and the dramatic events of the gold rushes can still be recognised in the road and the roadside heritage. (a) For the covering entry of this conference, please see ITRD abstract no. E214188.

  • Authors:
    • VINES, G
  • Publication Date: 2005-11


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01043173
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 6 2007 8:25AM