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Gold Puddler off M32 Track

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M32 Track, Daisy Hill VIC 3465

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  • Well defined remains of a gold puddler
  • Bushland
The remains of a gold puddling machine with well defined edges lies off M32 Track in Daisy Hill, VIC. You can find the exact location of this gold puddler on the map above. 

Puddling machines, or "puddlers" were pioneered on the Victorian goldfields in 1854. This technology was developed as an affordable way of processing gold-bearing clay on a large scale. Puddling machines are a very significant development in the history of Victorian gold mining, as they are the only technology or method developed entirely on the Victorian Goldfields.

The characteristic clay earth of the goldfields region posed a problem to the 19th century miners - gold was trapped within the hard lumps of clay and in order to retrieve it, these lumps needed to be effectively broken up. 

A circular trough in the ground, lined with wood or bark, was filled with clay and water. A horse circled the trough and dragged a harrow through the clay mixture, breaking up the lumps and turning it into a runny sludge. The gold released from the clay would sink to the bottom, and the watery clay would be drained off from the top. The residue at the bottom of the trough would then be cleaned up with a pan or cradle to collect the gold.

The remains of these puddling machines can be found scattered in abundance throughout the bushland of the Victorian Goldfields. Most now appear as little more than ring-shaped depressions in the ground, but are a fascinating testament to the region's prosperous gold digging days.



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Ray Swinnerton
The Gold Puddling machine was first Patented by a Victorian man. He had to build a model to obtain the patent.
The model still exists and is in a shed in Swan Hill.
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