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Mining ruins and relics throughout the Central Goldfields

Posted 27/01/2018 in Things to do
The Central Goldfields Shire is filled with significant relics and remnants of a bygone era. Long-forgotten gold mining relics are scattered through the whole area. Gold puddlers, cornish boilers, cyanide vats, mine shafts, mine tunnels, battery sites, and monuments commemorating significant gold discoveries can be found hidden away throughout the local bushland.

Take a look through the following list to discover some of the many significant sites within the Central Goldfields Shire.


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This spot is fascinating to wander through as it's uncommon to see so many deep open mine shafts in one place, some of them just metres apart. The shafts are all uncovered and are very deep. Take great care when walking through the area, don't get too close to the holes, and do not bring children.



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Cairn commemorating the 1858 discovery of a 537 oz gold nugget just outside Maryborough. This cairn is accessible via a short walk from the Craigie State Forest Dam.



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The remains of the puddler behind the cemetery offer an unusual example of a puddling machine. Instead of the usual timber slats, it appears that the puddling trench was retained by concrete, and has a concrete floor. This puddling machine probably operated in the twentieth century.

Most of the many puddling machines scattered throughout the bushland of the Victorian Goldfields are no longer anything more than a shallow donut-shaped depression in the ground, making this an excellent and late example of the technology.



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Did you know that the two luckiest men on Earth lived right here in the Central Goldfields? John Deason and Richard Oates were mining in Moliagul, Victoria when they happened upon the largest gold nugget ever discovered in the world - the famous Welcome Stranger nugget - mere inches beneath the surface. 

The monument and picnic area is located at the spot where the Welcome Stranger nugget was unearthed. There's a fascinating discovery walk around the area which takes you past many interesting examples of former alluvial and reef mining efforts. You will walk by the house sites of John Deason and Richard Oates, gold puddlers, a Chinese grave and the site of a Chinese camp.


5. Grand Duke Mine, Timor

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Running through this reserve was one of Victoria's richest gold deep leads. From 1869 to 1896 this mine produced 216,000 ounces of gold, valued at over £885,000. The mine here was renowned for the massive pumping engine it boasted. Imported from England, the massive Cornish pump was an improvement that was added in 1874.


6. Simson Historic Area, Havelock

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The Simson Historic Area is a patch of bushland which runs alongside the Maryborough-Dunolly Road. It has been heavily explored by gold diggers, as is evidenced by the countless mine holes scattered densely throughout the area.



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This puddler is shallow but well defined and lies alongside a small dam. The area is surrounded by gold diggings and mullock heaps.


8. Queens Birthday Mine, Goldsborough

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The Queen's Birthday Mine opened in Goldsborough in 1865. One shaft was 800 ft deep and the other was 600 ft deep. 100 men were working per shaft, day and night. 



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This little dam is a pretty spot during the early spring when it's full of water and bordered by wattle trees and wildflowers.To the right of the dam, when looking on from the M110 Track, you will find the remains of a gold puddling machine.



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The Seaham Mine Bushland Reserve is a fascinating patch of bushland where the Seaham Company mine operated with much success from 1869. Today there are many large mullock heaps, several dams, and a track which winds through the whole reserve.

This depiction of the Seaham mine was drawn by Australian artist William Taylor Smith Tibbits (1837-1906).



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Kong Meng Historic Reserve is a historic mine site from the late 1800's. The reserve is filled with interesting gullies and mullock heaps, and there are plenty of walking/4wd tracks throughout the area. Amongst mining investors in Majorca was Lowe Kong Meng, born in Penang in 1853. His mines at Majorca and Carisbrook helped keep the towns alive for more than fifty years. 


12. Battery Dam, Daisy Hill


The Battery Dam Historic Site is located just outside Maryborough in the Craigie State Forest. The area was used during the gold rush to crush and process quartz from mines in the area. After gold processing operations ceased, some of the equipment was adapted to be used for the Bull Gully Eucalyptus Distillery at the same site.


13. Kirk Dam, Adelaide Lead

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Kirk Dam in Paddys Ranges is a fascinating example of the effect gold mining has had on the local land.

A brief walk around the area surrounding the dam will take you among dozens of mining holes, some shallow and some quite deep, and you will be walking up and down countless mullock heaps. You will also find the remains of a puddling machine, which miners used to extract gold from the clay.


14. Tunnel Hill Mine, Talbot

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Just outside Talbot, in the Tunnel Hill Bushland Reserve, lies an abandoned gold mine which runs in a straight line under a small hill and has an opening at each end.

The Tunnel Hill Mine was supposedly driven in 1861 and was briefly reworked in 1917 when there was some cyaniding carried out.


15. Talisman Mine, Carisbrook

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There are many interesting features remaining, including a lot of machinery foundations, what appear to be two small boilers (in very poor condition), multiple shafts which are now filled in, an adit which has almost completely caved in (a small opening remains at the top, through which you can see the tunnel heading into the ground), and multiple large mullock heaps.




The stone fireplace of an old miners hut stands in the bush just outside Maryborough. There are several mine shafts up behind the ruins which head off in a line, and gold diggings all around.

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