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Duffy's Gully Gold Puddlers

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South of H11 Track, Havelock VIC 3465

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  • Two gold puddlers, side by side
  • Gold diggings
  • Bushwalking
The remains of two gold puddlers sit alongside one another within the Havelock Nature Conservation Reserve, just out of Maryborough. Set four metres apart, both puddlers are very weathered but still have well defined outer edges along with outlet channels. 

The northern puddler has an 18 ft diameter, while the southern one is slightly larger at 20 ft and has some remnants of its inner mound. An embankment runs alongside the puddlers, and an area of alluvial workings runs to the south-east. 

The weathered condition of these puddlers suggests they were in use in the 19th century, and they are a great example of how multiple gold puddlers were sometimes operated in favourable locations. 

Gold puddlers

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.

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  • Bushwalking is an excellent way to get outdoors and exploring nature.


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