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Tunnel Hill Mine

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  • 20170408 135053 Main entrance to Tunnel Hill Mine
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  • 20170408 135554 Second entrance to Tunnel Hill Mine, very small tunnel.
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  • 20170408 134844 From Gladstone Street, take a left just after this sign and follow the dirt road you can see in this image around into the bush.
Gladstone Street, Talbot VIC 3371

Explore other locations around this area using our interactive map

Just outside Talbot, in the Tunnel Hill Bushland Reserve, lies an abandoned gold mine tunnel 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. 

From the main entrance you can walk straight up and over the hill to find the second entrance on the other side. There is a dirt road that goes over the hill as well, but you may require a 4wd vehicle.

The whole reserve is great for birdwatching, bushwalking, cycling, horse riding and gold prospecting. Please stay to marked tracks within the Reserve. Parks Victoria requests that current day prospectors fill in their holes and take care of the site.


Entry is prohibited into the mine itself and gates are locked at entrances. Parks Victoria advises it is not safe to enter the tunnel.

History and information

The Victorian Heritage Database provides extracts from Talbot and Clunes Conservation Study, Richard Aitken 1988 regarding the reworking of Tunnel Hill in the 1980s:

Adit - The adit is currently being worked. Modern mining buildings erected on the site. - large (13ft long) elongated diamond with circles top and bottom. The tunnel at this site is still open and is currently being reworked by a small operator. Other evidence of former gold mining operations is also located in the immediate area. (p178) SOURCES: Talbot and Clunes Conservation Study, Richard Aitken 1988

HERITAGE INVENTORY SIGNIFICANCE: Local integrity of the site reduced as to have very little interpretive value.

EXISTING HERITAGE LISTING: Tunnel Hill mine, off Lexton-Talbot Road, Talbot. Schedule One: Buildings recommended for inclusion in the Shire of Talbot and Clunes Interim Development Order; This gold mining site is significant for the intactness of its physical remains, being one of the few early reef mines in the shire where a tunnel is still intact. (p178)

INTERPRETATION: This is one of the few former mining sites within the shire where a tunnel of such an early date is still open. The current reworking is of such a small scale that it does not jeopardise the integrity of the site, although more intensive working could easily destroy attributes of this site. (p. 178). Source: Victorian Heritage Database

How to get to tunnel hill

When heading out from Talbot, travel along Gladstone Street until you see the "Tunnel Hill Bushland Reserve" sign on your left. Just after the sign, there is a dirt road on the left that sweeps around behind the sign into the bush.

Follow this dirt road, ignoring the first turnoff to the left, and continue off into the bush.

You will soon come to a fork in the road, turn left.

Follow the dirt road for a few more minutes until you reach the entrance to the mine.

GEOLOGICAL MAP OF THE Maryborough GOLD FIELD, Early 20th century

Geological map of the Maryborough gold field which shows historical features in superb detail, including reefs, leads, gullies/flats, and old workings. Originally published by the Department of Crown Lands and Survey, early 20th century. High quality, durable A1 print in a satin finish. Large, 594 x 891 mm. Go to online shop.

Murder and Mayhem on the Maryborough Goldfields! Shop high quality A1 print.

More information on Tunnel Hill

The Historical Underground Mines of Victoria Australia have an informative video exploring the Tunnel Hill mine.

The Historical Underground Mines of Victoria Australia are a group of historians and rock climbers who explore Victoria's historical mines and record Victoria's lost mining history. They record and share videos, images and information about their explorations - you can check out all their videos on their YouTube channel and be sure to like their Facebook page for regular updates.

The following text was published in the Talbot Leader, 26 Dec 1914:


The committee of the above met on Monday evening, when there were present Messrs Ead (president), Jessup (treasurer), Allen, Gale, and Chalmers (secretary).


From Secretary for Mines, asking if the association was willing to let any part of the Tunnel Hill lease on tribute; also, asking for certain information in connection with the lease; and intimating the rent of same was now due.

The secretary said had replied that the association would be only too pleased to allow tribute parties on the lease. He had also furnished the information asked for.

The replies sent by the secretary, as appearing in the outward correspondence, were approved, and the rent of lease passed for payment.

From Lands Department, with reference to the desired permanent reservation of the Dulapwhang Waterhole." (Chapman's reserve), asking the secretary to indicate the position of site on the accompanying plan, and return to the department.

Referred to the secretary.

From the Postmaster-General, stating that with the view of avoiding circumlocution and delay. he had arranged for certain matters in connection with postal, telegraphic, and telephonic services, including minor facilities, to the public, to be attended to by the Postal Inspectors in their respective districts. He there fore asked that all communications in connection with the business before mentioned be sent to the district Postal Inspector.

The proposal was considered a good one, the contents of the letter to be noted.

Tunnel Hill

The secretary read letters from the Secretary for Mines, with reference to the association's application for a grant to prospect Tunnel Hill, stating that grants could only be made to bona-fide miners.

The secretary said after receipt of the foregoing letter, he had seen Mr W. Thomas, when it was agreed that he and his brother should apply for a grant for the the purpose of sinking a shaft and doing the necessary prospecting. Terms were discussed, and after consulting the president, he (the secretary) had informed Mr Thomas what it was thought the association would accept. It was now for the committee to say if the terms were acceptable.

In order that there should be no delay, an application for a grant of £250 had been made, and on Friday last Mr A. H. Howitt, of the Mines Department, had made an inspection of Tunnel Hill and the various workings in company with Messrs Jessup and Thomas. Mr Jessup said Mr Howitt had gone very exhaustively into the matter, gathering a great deal of data in regard to Tunnel Hill. He understood that Mr Howitt's report to the Minister would be sent in. as soon as he had received certain information from the secretary of the association.

Mr Thomas explained where he thought the shaft should be. 

Considerable discussion ensued in regard to what share, in the event of payable gold being struck, Thomas Bros, should take
after wages and other expenses were paid. Eventually it was decided that Mr Thomas should furnish the committee with a list of articles required in sinking the shaft, with cost of same.

Finance - Accounts, amounting to £2 12s were passed for payment. The meeting then adjourned until Monday evening next, when the question of terms with Messrs Thomas Bros, will be decided on.

The following text was published in the Talbot Leader, 02 Mar 1918:

Mr H. Mantell, who has been prospecting on the Tunnel Hill reef, had 11 tons put through the Government battery this week, for a yield of 3 oz 9 dwt 12 gr, a little better than 6 dwt to the ton. The shaft is now down 20 feet. 


Established in 1980, the Prospectors and Miners Association of Victoria is a voluntary body created to protect the rights and opportunities of those who wish to prospect, fossick or mine in the State of Victoria, Australia.

You can support the PMAV in their fight to uphold these rights by becoming a member. You'll also gain access to exclusive publications, field days, prospecting tips, discounts and competitions.

Check out the PMAV website for more information.



  • Bushwalking is an excellent way to get outdoors and exploring nature.
  • Evidence of the mid-late 1800's gold rush can be found throughout the Victorian goldfields in the form of abandoned mine shafts and tunnels, mullock heaps, buildings and ruins, circular puddling troughs, remains of cyanide vats, and quartz kilns.
  • Gold prospecting is the recreational act of searching for natural gold deposits in the ground using tools such as gold detectors, gold pans and gold sluices. The Goldfields region of Victoria is a popular destination for gold prospectors, with many of the world's largest alluvial gold nuggets found in the area!


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