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Outdoor recreation in the Central Goldfields Shire

Posted 11/05/2020 in Things to do

Great news! Some restrictions in Victoria will be eased starting from 11:59pm Tuesday 12th of May. Recreational activities including hiking, prospecting, fishing, boating and hunting will once again be permitted. Victorians will be able to travel for recreational activities, but stay as local as you can - no overnight stays.

Although there will be no limit to the distance you can travel, it is advised that you stay as local as possible and only travel as far as absolutely necessary. 

If you are located within Victoria's Central Goldfields Shire, this list provides plenty of places to get out and explore for recreation and exercise while still staying close to home.


Please keep in mind that outdoor recreation will be limited to groups of up to 10 people, public playgrounds are still closed, and social distancing measures are still in place. For a complete overview of the new rules which will be in place as of 12/05/2020 at 11:59pm, take a look at this official guide.


Mt Moliagul Lookout, Moliagul VIC

View from the top of Mount Moliagul

The top of Mt Moliagul offers spectacular views of the surrounding bushland and fields. 

The lookout is a large clearing with a steep, grassy slope at one side which is littered with interesting rocks, logs and trees. This side offers fantastic, clear views of the countryside as far as the eye can see. The other side has a much sharper drop off at the edge and offers amazing views of denser bushland, though the view is somewhat obscured in places by trees. 



Battery Dam and Distillery, Daisy Hill VIC

Cornish boilers at the Battery Dam and Distillery historic site.

The Battery Dam and Distillery 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 a eucalyptus distillery. Today it features a picnic area, walking tracks, gold processing and eucalyptus distillery relics, and beautifully illustrated information signs. 

Click here for more information and images.


Welcome Stranger Monument and Picnic Area, Moliagul VIC

Take a self-guided tour of the site where the world's largest gold nugget, the Welcome Stranger, was discovered in 1869.

The Welcome Stranger monument and picnic area is a peaceful, fascinating and educational place to go for a bushwalk. There is a walking track through the area where the famous Welcome Stranger gold nugget was discovered in 1869. 

The Welcome Stranger Discovery Walk is 850 metres long, a half hour circuit track. The walking track travels around the surrounding bushland and 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 (the two miners who discovered the Welcome Stranger nugget), puddlers, a Chinese grave and the site of a Chinese camp. 

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Tullaroop Reservoir, Majorca VIC

Visit Tullaroop Reservoir for recreational fishing, boating and walking. 

Tullaroop Reservoir is a great spot for fishing, boating and walking. There is a great recreation area at the Tullaroop Reservoir Picnic Ground, and another informal recreation area further around on Bucknall Church Road. Walk alongside the reservoir on Bucknall Church Road to discover the spot where the Rodborough School once stood on Rodborough School Island


Brian Dowie Conservation Park, Carisbrook VIC

Take a walk through the Brian Dowie Conservation Park in Carisbrook.

Brian Dowie Conservation Park is a beautiful patch of bushland on the outskirts of Carisbrook. There are several picnic tables and a heritage walkway lined with large, beautifully placed stones. These stones are great for kids who love to climb. 

In the middle of the park there's a gazebo with fantastic information signs. There is lots of great information on aboriginal history, pioneer history, gold mining history, local geology and wetlands.

There are ruins of a brick structure at the far end of the park and the main entrance to the park is an interesting feature - a stone wall and gate which was built in 1999 by the Green Corp Group.

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Bucknall Reserve, Carisbrook VIC

Bucknall Reserve is great creek-side recreation area in Carisbrook. 

Bucknall Reserve is a large, shady picnic area beside Tullaroop Creek (aka Deep Creek). There's a large grassy slope which is well shaded by enormous, beautiful trees, an undercover barbecue at the top of the slope, rubbish bins and a toilet block. There's also a lovely nature trail which follows the creek, and across the bridge in Bland Reserve you can take a short walk up to the historic Carisbrook Log Gaol.

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Settling Pond Track Picnic Area, Daisy Hill VIC

Take a bushwalk from the Settling Pond Track Picnic Area in Paddys Ranges. 

The Settling Pond Track Picnic Area lies within Paddys Ranges State Park. It is an excellent picnic area with multiple picnic tables, wood fire BBQ, fire pits, water tank with tap, and a drop toilet. There is a walking track heading off from the picnic area which leads to an old eucalyptus distillery dam (40 mins return). There are multiple educational signs along the way. The track is well formed, easy, and pram/wheelchair accessible. Another walking track will take you over to the Paddys Ranges Campground.

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Picnic Point, Cairn Curran Reservoir, Joyces Creek VIC

Enjoy fishing, boating and walking at Cairn Curran Reservoir's Picnic Point

Picnic Point on Cairn Curran reservoir is a popular spot for boating, fishing and swimming. There is an undercover area which contains wood fireplaces at each end, a large grassy lawn and gravel parking area. Following the road down to the water will bring you to a concrete boat ramp.

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Grand Duke Mine, Timor VIC

Explore the historic Grand Duke Mine in Timor.

The Grand Duke mine site in Timor is a fascinating glimpse into the area's rich gold mining history. The impressive stone arch is all that remains of the pump house that used to remove water from this mine. There's a picnic table near the arch, and there are mullock heaps and bush to explore.

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Craigie Park Reserve, Craigie VIC

Craigie Park is a great spot for the kids to run around, climb trees and explore. 

Set well back from Majorca Road on Craigie Park Road, just a few minutes drive from Maryborough, Craigie Park Reserve is a large fenced area with a few basic picnic facilities. A large grassy field (what remains of an oval) is bordered by trees, fallen logs, and a small dam at the far end. The fallen logs are great for kids to climb on, and the various clusters of trees offer many interesting places for children to explore. A large, impressive pine tree stands along the left side of the park. 

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19th Century Chinese Baths, Amherst VIC

19th century Chinese baths in Amherst.

These fascinating baths were carved into the ground by Chinese miners during the 19th century and are still clearly visible today. This is believed to be the site of the original Chinese joss and bath house. One of the baths is well finished with smooth, hard edges, and the other is a much more basic excavation in the ground. The area is excellent for bushwalking and popular for gold prospecting.

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Bristol Hill Pioneer Memorial Tower and Pioneer Cemetery, Maryborough VIC

Explore the bushland and history around the Bristol Hill Pioneer Memorial Tower in Maryborough. 

The Bristol Hill Pioneer Memorial Tower was built in 1933 during the Great Depression. It was based upon and named after Bristol Reef, which was mined from the late 1850's. It was constructed largely of material from the old Maryborough Gaol. The tower is located at the edge of Bristol Hill Reserve and offers amazing views of the town and surrounding bushland. Old tailings are visible to the west of the memorial tower. Maryborough's pioneer cemetery is located down the hill from the hill from the tower. 

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Craigie State Forest Dam and Walking Track, Maryborough VIC

Take a bushwalk through the Craigie State Forest just outside Maryborough.

This peaceful dam is surrounded by bushland in the Craigie State Forest, just outside Maryborough. A walking track begins here and takes you on a dirt road which winds through the Craigie State Forest, where you can see abundant evidence in the land of gold digging efforts from over 150 years ago. A short way along the walking track is a cairn which commemorates the discovery of a 537 oz gold nugget by J.W. Rice in January, 1858.

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Goldfields Reservoir, Maryborough VIC

A great walking track travels around Maryborough's Goldfields Reservoir.

Goldfields Reservoir was built in 1862 and was Maryborough's former water supply. It is now used for recreation, boating, swimming and fishing. A pram-friendly scenic walking track circles the entire reservoir, about 1.7 km long. The track features multiple bridges, interesting hand made wooden barriers, wetland areas and water views.

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Lake Victoria, Maryborough VIC

A gravel walking track circles the scenic Lake Victoria in Maryborough. 

Lake Victoria is a picturesque lake in Maryborough Victoria. There's a well formed gravel walking/cycling track which travels in a loop around the lake with many varieties of trees and water birds to see along the way.

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Bealiba Reservoir Recreation Area, Bealiba VIC

Enjoy bushwalking, fishing, or cycling at Bealiba Reservoir

The Bealiba Reservoir Recreation area is a fantastic spot for fishing, swimming, bushwalking, cycling and birdwatching. The dirt tracks around the reservoir make great walking/cycling tracks, and there are several great trees for kids to climb around the picnic areas.

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Caralulup Nature Conservation Reserve, Caralulup VIC

Bushwalking and gold prospecting are popular activities in the Caralulup Nature Conservation Reserve.

The Caralulup Nature Conservation Reserve is a large area of bushland between Talbot, Caralulup and Stony Creek. The reserve is filled with extensive evidence of historical gold workings. The area is filled with mine shafts, gullies and uneven ground, so be careful if walking off the track. The remains of gold puddlers can be found near Potter Dam and off Quarry Track. Gold prospecting is permitted within this reserve.

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Dredge Hole Walking Track, Dunolly VIC

Take a peaceful walk around Dunolly's scenic Dredge Hole.

The Dredge Hole in Dunolly is a picturesque little lake surrounded by some bushland, lots of peppercorn trees, and a pleasant walking track. The walking track offers an easy 550m walk around the lake.

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Maryborough to Carisbrook Cycling Track, Maryborough VIC

Take a bike ride between Maryborough and Carisbrook on this great bitumen track.

There's an excellent paved cycling and walking track that runs the whole way between Maryborough and Carisbrook. The Maryborough side of the track winds through pleasant bushland, and the carisbrook side runs alongside paddocks until it reaches town. The whole track is about 4 kilometres long.

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Velodrome, Maryborough VIC

Bring the bikes out for a ride at Maryborough's Velodrome

This velodrome on the outskirts of Maryborough is great for cycling. This is also a popular place for dog walking, as well as being surrounded by bushland for bushwalking and cycling. 

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