The Storyteller's Guide to the Goldfields is an entertaining collection of short audio tours that introduce you to the historical goldfields and Jaara Aboriginal Sites on self-navigating tours. Produced by Jan 'Yarn' Wozitsky - a local story-teller and musician - each audio tour has rich stories told by fun and entertaining historians, complemented by wonderful music to help set the scene. By clicking on the below podcasts, you will be taken directly to Jan's website where you'll find maps and more details, and links to each audio tour.
In the 1850s the Eureka Reef was a thriving, noisy, gold mining village. Today the site is a peaceful walk in the bush, where the story of the people who lived and worked at Eureka is etched into the landscape.
This walking tour brings these archeological remains to life, with your guide Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky plus special guests relating and singing the stories of the original Jaara people and of the miners, with their stone houses, cacophonic stamping batteries, and puddling machines. Today all is quiet, with the birds singing in the trees around, and a story written in the land.
The Diggings Tour is a three-part driving or cycling tour that takes you to many sites of the original gold rush, including Chinese cemeteries, sites of political agitation and poignant graveyards. Original music is from folk legends Kate Burke and Michael Kennedy and Chinese music master Wang Zheng-Ting.
The full tour is made up of 3 sections. If you are driving, allow an hour plus for each section.
The Castlemaine Town Tour is a walking tour, approximately one kilometre in total, within the central business area of the town. It will take 60-80 minutes, or longer if you stop for a coffee.
For those who like a stiff climb to a good view there’s an optional extra walk to the Bourke & Wills monument (Stop 3) – add 15 minutes.
Your storytelling guide, Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky, is joined by local historians Robyn Annear, Felix Cappy and Brian McCormick, who together spin the ripping yarns of the early days of Castlemaine – Lola Montez at the Theatre Royal, policeman/explorer Robert O’Hara Bourke (who when drunk couldn’t find his way home), the Greek Goddess, Demeter, on our Market Building – and lots more. There is fabulous music throughout.