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Whim Platform at Bluchers Reef

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Off Bluchers Track, Maryborough VIC 3465

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This intact whim platform stands across the track from the Bluchers Reef mine site and ruins within the Craigie State Forest. Standing to the south of Bluchers Track, this whim platform is one of many around Bluchers Reef and Bluchers Gully, although most of them were partly bulldozed to fill their respective shafts. 

A whim is a device used to haul ore up a shaft, similar in concept to the man-powered windlass and the horse-powered whip, but more complex and capable of lifting more efficiently and from deeper shafts. A rope is wound around a vertically mounted wooden drum, with both ends passed over pulleys and then run down the shaft. A horse is harnessed to the device and led around a circular track, winding the drum, which will lower one end of the rope (carrying an empty bucket down the shaft) while raising the other (carrying a full load up). 

Horse-powered whim working at Tribute Duke Mine. Source: State Library Victoria

Also of interest

The Victorian Goldfields is filled with fascinating ruins and relics, where abandoned mines, diggings, boilers, machinery foundations and gold puddlers are scattered in abundance throughout the region. We've gathered together this list of abandoned mine sites where you can safely explore and learn a bit about this remarkable aspect of our local heritage. 

Historical resources such as old newspapers and goldfields maps are extremely valuable when researching gold rush history, or searching for potential new gold prospecting locations. A quick look through these historical resources soon reveals a plethora of both technical and casual terms relating to gold, mining, miners and geology, and you will find that having an understanding of some of this terminology comes in very handy.

This collection of gold mining terms and their definitions have been selectively extracted from R. Brough Smyth's The Goldfields and Mineral Districts of Victoria, originally printed in 1869 and made available online by the Geological Survey of Victoria. Smyth's glossary was written during the first few decades of the Victorian gold rush and offers a valuable insight into the terminology of the time. Click to read the glossary of mining terms.

Are you looking to try your luck gold detecting, panning or sluicing in the Victorian Goldfields? People have been prospecting for gold in the Victorian Goldfields since the 19th century gold rush saw the entire state turned upside down with gold fever! Many of the world's largest alluvial gold nuggets were found in the area, and modern day prospectors continue to make significant gold discoveries throughout the region today.

These handy online gold prospecting guides provide useful information on local spots for detecting, panning and sluicing, maps for the area, local gold shops and detector hire, free campgrounds nearby, and interesting gold mining history. 

The Victorian Goldfields are filled with ruins and remnants of the area's rich mining history, ranging from small alluvial diggings to the remains of huge mining companies. If you spend time in the local bush, you've probably come across some residual features of old mining operations. This page provides examples and images of these historical features as they appear across the Victorian Goldfields, which I hope will help others to recognise them along their own travels through the region. Click to learn more about the remains of mine shafts, mine adits, open cut mines, hydraulic sluicing sites, surfacing areas, gold puddlers, stamp batteries, boilers, water wheels, gold dredges, whims, water races, and cyanide vats.


Are you looking for in-depth gold prospecting training, tips and tricks in Victoria's Golden Triangle? Green and Gold Prospecting provide exclusive one on one gold prospecting tours and training days, specialising in the Bendigo and Castlemaine regions. Great to book on your own or as a fun day out with the family, a training session with Green and Gold Prospecting offers valuable insight into the world of gold prospecting, and equips you with the knowledge you need to successfully search for gold on your own.


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


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