Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park
In the 1850's forty thousand gold diggers teamed up the road from Melbourne to Castlemaine to claim their share from what they called the 'bank till free to all', the richest shallow alluvial goldfield in the world.
Today, towns like Castlemaine, Chewton and Maldon tell part of the story of the great gold rush with their streets lined with buildings grand and humble. But the surrounding bush harbours its own tales of a golden past: crumbling stone walls of huts and pubs, and the gold mines and gullies that yielded up fortunes.
The best way to discover the Diggings is to take an podcast audio tour.
The gold diggers gave names to almost every metre of ground. Sometimes it was their own name - Cranky Ned and Dirty Dick were real people. Others named their new homes after old ones, Adelaide Flat, Californian Gully. Often the old places would convey something of the misfortunes suffered there; Murdering and Chokem Flats, Deadman's Gully, Bung-eye Gully and Burying Ground Flat.
Touring the Diggings allows the visitor an opportunity to step back in time and see the remnants of a goldrush and times that shaped Australia's history.