Navigate your way around the historic streetscapes of Castlemaine and Surrounds with a selection of engaging audio podcasts. These one hour self-guided tours will bring to life the stories of colourful characters from our past.
GOLDRUSH TO MOUNT ALEXANDER - THE DIGGINGS
This is a self drive tour that requires a printed map. Please collect your free map and information from the Castlemaine Visitor Information Centre on Mostyn Street before commencing your tour.
This tour is divided into three sections:
1. The Rush (Stops 1-5) Experience the gold rush proper, at the very places it all began
2. The Characters (Stops 6-11) Travel to the ghost towns beyond the main rush and meet the characters of the times - civilized and otherwise
3. New Gold Mountain (Stops 11-16) Learn the stories of the indigenous Jaara people, where geology meets the Dreamtime, and the wonderful tales of the Chinese gold seekers. Note: Stop 11 is both the start and end of two tours. Allow at least an hour for each section. All of the sites are well signed and are on the Route 41 trail. You don’t need a 4WD
Located in Mostyn Street, Castlemaine
From the car park at the rear of the Market Building turn left into Forest Street (Pyrenees Highway) and proceed through the roundabout towards Melbourne. Cross Forest Creek and continue up the hill. After you have travelled 1.6km, turn left into Murphy Street (watch for sign to Pennyweight Flat Cemetery on the left side of the road near the phone box). After another 400 metres, turn left into Colles Road, cross the bridge and continue 500 metres to the Pennyweight Flat Cemetery car park on the left.
From Pennyweight Flat Cemetery, go back the way you have come, cross the bridge and immediately turn left into Farran Street (unsealed road). Travel 600 metres on Farran Street to the intersection with the Pyrenees Highway (road to Melbourne). Forest Creek Diggings Site is directly opposite. Take care crossing the highway.
From the Forest Creek Diggings Site, turn right into Pyrenees Highway (road to Melbourne) and drive 1.5 km into Chewton. Turn left into North Street immediately after passing the corner store (directly opposite the sports ground), cross the bridge and travel up the hill for 800 metres. Take the sign-posted branch to the right and 350 metres further on you will come to the car park. It is a short 50 metre walk from the car park to the Garfield Water Wheel.
From the Garfield Water Wheel Site return to Chewton. Turn left at the Pyrenees Highway and travel through the town for 1.1 km passing the Town Hall and the Red Hill Hotel. Turn left into Golden Point Road. The clearing and Monster Meeting monument are on the left, 200 metres along Golden Point Road – watch for the sign.
From the Monster Meeting site, return the way you have come back to the turn off to the Garfield Waterwheel. This time turn left into Fryers Road (road to Fryerstown), go under the brick railway bridge and travel another 800 metres. Watch for the sign to Wattle Gully Mine, turn right and follow the sealed road 350 metres to the Wattle Gully Mine tourist car park. There is a 200 metre walking track accessed to the left of the mine entrance through the fence, that takes you to a lookout and information area.
From the Wattle Gully Mine return to Fryers Road. Turn right and travel 1.9 km until you see the sign for Escott Grave on the left side of the road. Park on the side of the road and there is a 150 metre walk along a bush track to the grave site.
Continue on from Escott Grave towards Fryerstown, ignoring the 41 sign to Spring Gully. After travelling 2 km pull up at the Duke of Cornwall sign and the tall stone engine house is on the opposite side of the road. This site is on private property so no trespassing please.
A further 0.5km from the Duke of Cornwall engine house. MURDERING FLAT: After leaving Fryerstown and travelling 1km, you will come to the intersection with Campbells Creek Road. The river flat area, on your right and below the junction of the two roads, is Murdering Flat
After a further 3km on the road to Vaughan, take the right branch at the ‘Y’ intersection. Red Knob lookout is located a further 1km from here, on the right
A further 700 metres on from Red Knob. Vaughan Mineral Springs is a major recreation area with good picnic and other facilities. It is located on the left side of the road.
The track to the Chinese burial ground is located at the junction of the Vaughan road and the turn off to Vaughan Mineral Springs. Watch for the sign near the phone box. Park there and it is just a 50 metre walk to the Chinese burial ground.
From Vaughan, follow the road signage to Guildford. At 2.4 km from Vaughan, turn left at the T-intersection. There is a Guildford sign on the right. On arriving in Guildford you will come to the intersection with the Midland Highway. You are now in the heart of the town; there is a hotel on your right, and a corner store opposite. The Big Tree is 200 metres past the store.
From the Big Tree return to the Midland Highway. Turn left and drive towards Castlemaine. After 600 metres you will come to the turn off to the Guildford Lookout. It is on the right hand side of the road and is well signposted. It is a steep 500 metre drive up to the lookout.
From the Guildford Lookout, return to the Midland Highway, turn right and continue on towards Castlemaine. After 7km you come into Campbells Creek and you will pass the Five Flags Hotel on the right. Immediately around the corner on the left is the sign to the Castlemaine Cemetery just 500 metres down Alexandra Street.
To return to Castlemaine, travel back along Alexandra St and turn left onto the highway. After 4 km turn right at the first set of traffic lights and the Market Building car park is on your left
EUREKA REEF HERITAGE TOUR
Please collect your walking map from the Visitor Information Centre on Mostyn Street, Castlemaine before commencing your podtour.
This walk is just over one kilometre with 20 stops. The whole walk will take about an hour. For a shorter 15 minute walk, return after stop 9. Eureka Reef is part of the Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park. A unique cultural landscape, it tells the story of the indigenous Jaara people and the gold rush.
The Victorian gold rush changed the course of Australian history and in the Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park you can see the story of the gold rush etched into the landscape. For this reason, the Castlemaine Diggings is on the National Heritage list. As you walk, please respect the artefacts and our heritage for others to enjoy. This podtour has a separate track for each of the 20 sites you visit. Music will signal you to move between stops. Some stories will continue as you’re walking between sites, and others will ask you to pause and re-start again at the next site. Simply follow the directions of the narrator. You can also pause, or go forwards and backwards, anytime you like. Please ensure you have adequate water with you and a hat and sunscreen to protect you from the sun.
CASTLEMAINE HERITAGE WALKING TOUR (1 hour tour):