Goldfields

Be amazed by the diverse character of the Goldfields.

 

 

 

Discover imposing architecture and tree-lined boulevards, explore dappled botanical gardens and the intriguing personality of the old gold rush towns. The legacy of the gold rush has endured for 150 years and becomes more dazzling every day.

 

Its cultural benefits resound throughout the region, from larger than life festivals to intimate cellar door experiences of the Pyrenees wine region.

 

Explore grand streetscapes like Pall Mall in Bendigo and Lydiard Street in Ballarat and be charmed by the character of gold rush towns like Castlemaine, Maldon and Dunolly. Take time out at some of the bustling cafes and fine dining restaurants.

 

Such places are rightly proud of the abundance of local Goldfield region produce and wine.

 

For those wanting some adventure in their life, try the Underground Goldmine Adventure, deep under Bendigo, or try a leisurely walk along the Goldfields Track, once travelled by the gold miners of past.

 

Discover even more unexpected delights by staying over night.  The Goldfields region has appealing accommodation of all kinds from opulent heritage hotels to bed & breakfast cottages.

 

However you choose to embrace the region, the Goldfields promises an engaging tableau of iconic attractions, refreshing artistry and cuisine, broad landscapes and unforgettable events.

 

Golden Nugget Discovery Tours offers a great selection of Victorian Goldfield tours.

 

A full list of our current Ecotourism Certified tours are listed below.

Click a region above to jump to the section you require.

Ballarat

Ballarat is filled with countless reminders of the day when it seemed half

the world had set sail for the Victorian Goldfields.

 

Ballarat sat astride the worlds largest deposit of alluvial gold, and almost a third of all gold found in the colony was wrenched from its rich quartz reefs.

 

For a first hand view of the splendour that gold build take a walk along Lydiard & Sturt Streets, one of the countries finest examples of Victorian streetscapes.

 

Ballarat also made its mark as the site of Australia's only armed civil rebellion, when in 1854 gold miners at the Eureka Stockade stood up against an unjust colonial rule.

 

Today Ballarat has a contemporary side to compliment its heritage. You'll find stylish cafe's

in Sturt Street, live music in the pubs, and restaurants by picturesque Lake Wendouree

 

At the city's shimmering heart and one of country Victoria's best known lakes.

 

Discover the legacy of the Ballarat gold rush, still evident in the magnificent architecture and tree-lined streets of the city today. Admire the city Victorian and Edwardian buildings, parks, gardens, statues, and churches by taking one our sightseeing tours or Inner City heritage walk.

 

For Hot Chocolate Highlights Tour go to Specials

 

 

Ballarat Discovery Tour

 

This full day sightseeing Ecotour is themed on History & Heritage, Local Food, and Wild Nature.

 

On this tour you discover the Iconic places of this city, visiting heritage & historic

homes/buildings and locations of the 1850's Gold Rush.

 

Your first stop will be the Blackhill lookout, where you will have panoramic views of Ballarat.

Your guide will bring to life the heritage buildings with stories as you walk along Lydiard Street, the best example of Victorian/Edwardian streetscape architecture in Australia, also in Lydiard Street, you get to enter the Fine Art Gallery to view the goldrush art exhibition and have morning tea at the famous Craigs Royal Hotel.

 

Entry to the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka is included to learn about the miners democratic struggle leading up the Eureka Rebellion, the only armed conflict between miners and Government forces.

 

View the jewel in the crown of Ballarat - Lake Wendouree & walk the Ballarat Botanical Gardens.

Travelling to the outskirts of Ballarat, to Buninyong, Victoria's oldest inland settlement, and to

Mt Buninyong, an extinct volcano with breathtaking vista's and wild koala's.

 

The afternoon is spent at Sovereign Hill, which is an outdoor living museum.

Walk down Main Street, go down Redhill goldmine, pan for gold in the creek, ride a stage coach,

try a hearty meal in one of the restaurants, and watch a $150,000 gold ingot being poured.

 

Highlights

 

Blackhill lookout,

Lydiard Street historic walk, including morning tea at the famous Craigs Royal Hotel,

Entry to the Fine Art Gallery

Museum of Australian Democracy Eureka, the battlefield site of the Eureka Stockade rebellion,

Buninyong historic town & Mt Buninyong,

Historic mining sites of Red Hill mine and Union Jack reserve,

Arch of Victory & Avenue of Honour,

Lake Wendouree & Botanical gardens,and

Entry to Sovereign Hill & Gold Museum.

 

Prices & Departures

 

Ex Ballarat Adult $179 per person Child $107 per child (6-15yrs)

Departs 8am daily

 

Ex Melbourne Adult $232 per person Child $145 per child (6-15yrs)

Departs 8am daily

 

Morning tea is included / Lunch is not included.

Return Train Fare Included (Melbourne/Ararat customers)

Pickup/Drop off - Ballarat/Avoca/Maryborough/Daylesford accommodation

Please refer to our Terms and Conditions  prior to booking

 

 

 

Ballarat Highlights Tour

 

If you are pressed for time and you wish to see Ballarat, this 1/2 day tour is for you.

 

This tour takes in the iconic places of the city, visiting heritage and historic buildings/homes and locations of the 1850's gold rush, which gives you a greater understanding of why this is one of the great goldfields and cities of the gold rush.

 

Walk down Lydiard St Heritage walk, then have Morning/Afternoon tea at Craigs Royal Hotel,

 

View panoramic vista's of Ballarat from the Blackhill and Whitehorse Hills lookouts and see the jewel in the cities crown - Lake Wendouree, as well as, take a walk in the Botanical gardens.

 

The Arch of Victory is one of the most historic war memorials of WW1 & the Avenue of Honour is the largest in Australia.

 

Another memorial which is unique to Ballarat is the Museum of Australian Democracy  - Eureka,

sited on the battlefield site of the Eureka Stockade.

 

Highlights

 

Blackhill & Whitehorse Hills lookouts

Lydiard Street Historic walk, including morning tea in the historic Craigs Royal Hotel,

Visit the site of the Eureka Stockade rebellion,

Historic Red Hill mining site, where they found the 69kg Welcome Nugget

Lake Wendouree & Botanical gardens

Arch of Victory & Avenue of Honour

 

Prices & Departures

 

Ex Ballarat Adult $62 per person Child $17 per child (6-15yrs)

Departs 8am & 2pm daily

 

Ex Melbourne Adult $89 per person Child $44 per child (6-15yrs)

Departs 7am & 12.15pm daily

 

Morning tea is included

Return Train Included (Melbourne/Ararat customers)

Pickup/Drop off - Ballarat accommodation

Please refer to our Terms and Conditions  prior to booking

 

 

Ballarat City Walking Tour

 

This walking tour brings to life the history and heritage of the inner city of Ballarat

 

Taking in the gold heritage streetscapes of Lydiard, Sturt and Camp streets with their magnificent Victorian and Edwardian buildings, statues and gardens.

Morning or afternoon tea is taken at the magnificent Craigs Royal Hotel.

 

Walk duration 90 minutes.

 

Highlights

 

Gold Monument, showcasing the 69kg Welcome Nugget,

Lydiard Street Heritage walk,one of the best examples of gold heritage architecture in Australia,

Sturt Street, a wide boulevard with gardens, historic Town Hall and Mechanics Institute

Camp Street, former law & order site of the Government Camp, Law Courts and Police station,

Ballarat Railway Station, an impressive building with train hall

Craigs Royal Hotel,one of Victoria's grand hotels.

 

Prices & Departures

 

Ex Ballarat Adult $32 per person  Child $12 per child (6-15yrs)

Departs 10am & 2pm daily

Morning tea / Afternoon tea is included

Please refer to our Terms and Conditions  prior to booking

 

 

 

Night Eco Spotlight Walk

 

An Ecotourism Experience

Ecologically sustainable tourism with a primary focus on experiencing natural areas that foster environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation.

 

Your Wild Nature Experience begins when the sun sets and the Australian Bush COMES ALIVE!

 

Chance to encounter with some local wildlife such as Kangaroos, Possums, Gliders, Owls, Frogs, Bats and other night wildlife

 

PRICE AND DEPARTURES

Adult $27 per person

Child $13 per child (6-15yrs)

Family $90 (2 Adults 3 Children +)

 

Departs Sunday – Thursday (Inclusive)

 

Please refer to our Terms and Conditions prior to booking.

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Bendigo

Bendigo in the 1880's was deemed the richest city in the world, with more

found here between 1850 and 1900 than anywhere in the world.

 

Around 9 billion dollars worth of gold was found in Bendigo, making it the second highest producing gold field in Australia after Kalgoorlie.

 

Majestic buildings and monuments from the golden past line the main streets offering an ever present reminder of the riches from the gold fields.Their legacies are evident everywhere, in the city's tree-lined Pall Mall, you will find the Shamrock Hotel with ornate gold-rush architecture, the impressive Post Office and Law Courts.

 

The magnificent art gallery and the Gothic majesty of this sandstone cathedral are other fine examples.

 

Another rich aspect of Bendigo's cultural landscape is the history of the Chinese,the goldrush saw many thousands of Chinese arrive in Bendigo, The Golden Dragon Museum houses Sun Loong, an Imperial Dragon and artifacts dating aback to 1500BC.

 

A traditional Chinese Joss House (temple), the oldest in Australia is another reminder of the Chinese heritage.

 

Bendigo is literally and often called the 'City in the Forest'. The Greater Bendigo National Park surrounds the city and protects some of the highest quality Box-Ironbark forest in Victoria.

 

 

 

Bendigo Discovery Tour

 

This Full day sightseeing Ecotour is themed on History/Heritage, Food & Wine and Wild nature.

 

The Bendigo Discovery tour is a great way to see Bendigo with its beautiful Victorian buildings and also to discover its colourful history. The grandeur of Bendigo's ornate architecture nestled among century old gardens is testimony to the incredible wealth found in Bendigo's quartz reefs.

 

Take a ride on Bendigo's Talking Tram, sit back , relax and let the tram do all the talking as you journey through the past 150 years.

 

At Central Deborah Goldmine you have unique opportunity to explore a real gold mine that operated during the gold rush era. Experience what is was like to be part of the gold rush back int eh 1940's, 61 metres below the ground.

 

Through the 1850's thousands of Chinese miners had arrived to prospect for gold.  Get an introduction the Chinese heritage in Bendigo's Chinese quarter exploring the Golden Dragon Museum, and the city's original Emu Point Joss House (temple) built during the gold rush, which is still in use and has been classified by the National Trust of Australia.

 

Bendigo Pottery is Australia's oldest working pottery, established in 1858, Bendigo Pottery has the most significant collection of ceramic wood fired kilns left in the world, which are now part of the Interpretive Museum.

 

The first grape vines were planted in 1856, just after the massive gold rushes.  The climate of central Victoria , coupled with deep soils make ideal for growing Shiraz  and Cabernet Sauvignon for which the region is famous for.  Balgownie Estate is an  award winning winery boasting cellar door wine tasting, cafe' and wine museum.

 

We visit the Diamond Hill Historic area, part of the Bendigo Regional Park.  In the 1880's Diamond Hill was a bustling town of 10,000 people with churches, hotels cottages and a Gold Commissioners Camp, Today in the eucalyptus forest , many relics remain, mullock heaps, water-races, deep sluiced gullies, building foundations and remnant gardens.

 

Highlights

 

Central Deborah Goldmine - Mine tour

Chinese Joss House - Original temple

Golden Dragon Chinese Museum - Chinese history on Bendigo goldfields / artifacts

Bendigo Pottery - Australia's oldest pottery

Bendigo Tramways - Talking tram

Victoria Hill - Deepest gold mines in Bendigo

Balgownie Estate winery - Taste award winning wines

Bendigo Regional Park - Diamond Hill Historic area and Wild nature

 

Prices and Departures

 

Ex Ballarat Adult $204 per person  Child $165 per child (6-15yrs)

Departs 7am daily

 

Ex Melbourne Adult $241 per person  Child $202 per child (6-15yrs)

Departs 7am daily

 

Morning tea is included / Lunch is Not included

Return Train Fare Included (Melbourne customers)

Pickup / Drop off - Ballarat/Maryborough/Daylesford accommodation

Please refer to our Terms and Conditions  prior to Booking

 

 

 

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Maryborough & Dunolly

A testament to the rich past of Maryborough shows in the grand buildings,

historic cottages and gracious homes.

 

A splendid cluster of heritage building centred around the Mc Landress Civic Centre, the elegant architecture of the Court House, Town Hall and Post Office. No visit is complete without experiencing the Maryborough Railway Station dating aback the 1890's.

 

Creswick built on the proceeds of gold mined from the 1850's, the town displays many excellent examples of the grand architecture of the era.

 

The historic town of Clunes, where gold was first discovered in Victoria. Here the shopfronts have lost none of the patina of ages past and the streets are still wide enough to turn a horse and buggy.

 

Dunolly, with its red-brick buildings and original store signs, the splendid tree-lined main street of Dunolly truly evokes the spirit of the Gold rush, At its peak the town boasted a population of 45,000 and the main street ran for more that five kilometres. During the gold rush more gold nuggets were found in the district than anywhere else in Australia,the area was known as the 'Golden Triangle.

 

Moliagul, a tiny gold mining town just north of Dunolly, came to fame with the discovery  of the ''Welcome Stranger'' nugget weighing 72kg, the biggest gold nugget in the world.

 

Talbot is a fascinating gold town with picturesque winding street of brick and bluestone buildings.

 

Timor, once had a bustling population of around 27,000 miners who came in search of gold. The significant arches that housed the Cornish beam pumps at the Grand Duke and North Duke Mines still remain intact.

 

Paddy's Ranges State Park and Maryorough Regional Park house a number of relics of

the gold mining era. The spring showing of golden wattle blossom amind the Box- Ironbark

forest is a visual delight, as well as many other wildflowers.

 

 

Maryborough & Central Goldfields Discovery Tour

 

This Full day sightseeing Ecotour is themed on History/Heritage, Food/Wine and Wild nature.

 

We take you to the heart of the Goldfields - Maryborough, and to the Central Goldfields with its myriad of goldfield towns that seemingly time has forgotton. Its in the Central Goldfields where the largest nuggets of gold were found, including the ''Welcome Stranger'' , the worlds largest gold nugget.

 

In Maryborough we visit the towns splendid cluster of heritage buildings facing Mc Landress Square, Town Hall, Post Office, and Court house. as well as, Worsley Cottage Museum & Squatter Slab hut, where you find period pieces, photographs in the restored cottage and mining relics outside on display.

 

The original Squatters hut is the oldest building in the district, with its shingle roof,

rammed earth floor lined with walls of hessian.

 

No visit to Maryborough is complete without seeing the historic Maryborough Railway Station was built in 1890 and is reported to have the longest platform in country Victoria. Admire the highly polished timber ceiling and beautiful tessellated floor in the main entrance. Mark Twain was quoted as saying '' Maryborough is a railway station with a town''

 

The Bristol Hill lookout offers great views of the town, Bristol Hill is based upon, and named after Bristol Reef which was mined for gold from the late 1850;s

Paddy's Ranges State Park, Maryborough Regional Park and Craigie State Forest have relics of the gold mining era, view mullock heaps and remnants of a once- thriving Eucalyptus Distillery, as well as Aboriginal culture of rock wells and scar trees from the  Jajawurrong people.. The spring showing of Golden Wattle blossom amid the Box-Ironbark   forest is a visual delight to discover, these parks have over 230 species of wildflowers and about 30 Orchid varieties.

 

Visit the Creswick Woollen Mill, the last mill of its type in Australia, stroll through the Interpretive centre before going into the shop where you can buy garments of merino wool, cashmere and alpaca.

See the old Creswick Hospital, now the administration building of the Creswick school of Forestry.

 

The historic town of Clunes, where gold was first discovered in Victoria. Here the shopfronts have lost none of the patina of ages past and the streets are still wide enough to turn a horse and buggy.

 

Talbot is a quietly fascinating gold rush town with picturesque winding streets of brick and bluestone, and cottage gardens. This heritage village offers that unspoiled historic atmosphere of the Goldfields.

 

Timor was once a thriving gold town with a population in excess of 27,000. Timor had 38 hotels, three butcher shops, two banks, three bakeries, police station and several lock-ups. On the outskirts of town, the Grand Duke Mine produced 216,054oz of gold, nowadays worth $281 million dollars. The magnificent arch of the pump house still stands today

 

Rich in gold history, Dunolly nestles between stunning Box-Ironbark forests and productive

farmland. Dunolly once boasted 5 kilometres of buildings, shop lean-to's and canvas dwellings

in the main street. Today only the sturdiest survived, the Post Office, Town Hall, Hotels and the former Cobb & Co office are some to mention.

 

During the gold rush Dunolly and the surrounding district discovered more gold nuggets

than anywhere else in Australia  including the largest gold nugget in the world,

the ''Welcome Stranger'' weighing 72kg. The region become known as the Golden Triangle.

 

Highlights

 

Maryborough Civic centre - McLandress Square

Worsley Cottage

Maryborough Historic Railway Station

Bristol Hill lookout - views over Maryborough

Paddy’s Ranges State Park - Wild nature / Wildflowers

Dunolly Heritage Boulevard & Buildings

Moliagul - ‘Welcome Stranger’ Discovery site

Goldfield towns of Creswick - Woollen mills Interpretative Centre / St.Georges Lake

Clunes - original streetscape / 1st gold town of the Victorian Gold rush

Talbot - historic town

Timor - the Grand Duke mine

 

Prices and Departures

 

Ex Ballarat Adult $179 per person  Child $74 per child (6-15yrs)

Departs 8am

 

Ex Melbourne Adult $207 per person   Child $99 per child (6-15yrs)

Departs 7.30am

 

Morning tea included / Lunch Not included

Return Train/Coach Fare Included (Melbourne/Ararat customers)

Pickup/Drop off - Ballarat/Avoca/Maryborough/Daylesford accommodation

Please refer to our Terms and Conditions  prior to booking

 

 

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Ararat & Avoca

Ararat is an attractive old gold mining town that's become a thriving agricultural

and commercial centre.

 

It has a fascinating history as the only town in Australia to be founded by Chinese, who discovered gold in 1857, triggering a gold rush that saw 30,000 people descend on the town in a matter of weeks.

 

Beaufort started as a gold rush town when gold was discovered at Fiery Creek in 1854. These days the main street has several cafe's and provides a service centre for surrounding primary production.

 

Avoca is an idyllic rural town, with a backdrop of the Pyrenees Ranges and tall red gums along its river banks,   Initially settled for sheep and cattle grazing, it quick established itself as the administrative and commercial centre of the region when gold was discovered in the early 1850's. Avoca's wide main street, which reflects an era when bullock teams required a large turning circle, has maintained an historic facade that hardens back to its gold rush days.

 

Ararat & Avoca are the main towns for the Grampians and Pyrenees Wine regions.

These wine regions have established an envious reputation for dense purple, spicy Shiraz and sparkling wines renown for their cellaring capacity.

 

Natural diversity is a feature of the Western Ranges, which can be experienced in the State parks. The rocky granite peaks of Mount Langi Ghiran and Mount Gorrinn create an imposing presence from the surrounding plains east of Ararat. Named after the local Aboriginal term for '' Yellow tailed Black cockatoo'' , these birds can be seen flying through the wooded slopes of the park. Mount Buangor State Park offers a forest paradise, walk through cool fern gullies, to seasonal waterfalls and mountain plateaus to take in views across the plains

 

The Pyrenees Ranges offer a wonderful mix of natural and cultural history, spectacular views rugged mountain ranges, abundant wildlife, and a rich mix of wildflowers  Eastern grey kangaroo's, black wallabies, echidna's and variety of birds can be seen in the parks.

 

Ararat & Western Ranges Discovery Tour

 

This Full day sightseeing Ecotour is themed on History/Heritate, Food & Wine and Wild nature

 

We travel North West along the Western highway towards Ararat & the Western ranges of the Great Dividing Range.

 

We pass Lake Burrumbeet, one of the larger lakes in the region before stopping at Beaufort for morning tea at one of the cafe's.

 

We enter Mt Buangor State Park, and discover a hidden gem of a forest paradise.

 

As you walk along the Ferntree walking track, vista's of the surrounding plains appear through the towering forest open to you, gullies full of cool ferns, maybe a sighting of a black wallaby bounding through the undergrowth, before stopping at the Ferntree waterfall.

 

Enroute to Langhi Ghiran State Park, we stop at the Langhi Ghiran winery to taste their famous award winning wines.

 

As we travel through the Langhi Ghiran State Park, named after the black cockatoo's of the area, we walk along the Lar-ne-Jeering track which leads to an aboriginal shelter displaying rock art unique to the area of the Djab Wurrung people.

 

We also visit the reservoir make from locally hewn granite blocks in the 1880's.

 

Stopping in Ararat, we visit Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre, one of the few examples of a traditional Chinese pagoda building in Australia, the centre tells of the story of how Chinese miners travelled from Robe, South Australia to the Victorian gold fields.

 

We stop at One Tree Hill for spectacular 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains and plains.

 

Avoca is the heart of the Pyrenees wine region, and here we taste what the area is  famous for - Shiraz.

 

We discover the Pyrenees ranges - a mix of natural and cultural history, wonderful views of the vineyards below, abundant wildlife, rich mix of wildflowers, and historic sites.

 

Highlights

 

Ararat / Avoca gold rush heritage streetscapes

Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre - Chinese gold history

 

Western ranges consisting of;

Langi Ghiran State Park - Aboriginal culture / 1880's reservoir /Wild nature

Pyrenees Ranges - Lookouts / Wild nature

Mt Buangor State Park - Waterfalls & cool fern gullies / Wild nature

Beaufort - Gold rush town / Morning tea

Pyrenees & Grampians region wineries - wine tastings

 

Prices and Departures

 

Ex Ballarat Adult $179 per person  Child $74 per child (6-15yrs)

Departs 8am

 

Ex Melbourne Adult $207 per person  Child $99 per child (6-15yrs)

Departs 7.30am

 

Morning tea included / Lunch is Not included

Return Train Fare Included (Melbourne customers)

Pickup/Drop off - Ballarat/Avoca/Maryborough/Daylesford accommodation

Please refer to our Terms and Conditions prior to booking

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Daylesford & Castlemaine

Sensual, Spirited and effortlessly Stylish, Daylesford the jewel in the crown

of a region world famous for its health giving Mineral Springs.

 

This wasn't always the case, for in 1851 gold was found at Wombat Flat, and Daylesford was swept up in the 1850's Gold Rush, the greatest gold rush in Australia at this time.

 

Gold discovery changed the district completely, Squatters were replaced by gold diggers, in 1851 there were 12 men on the Wombat Flat and by 1852 the population has escalated to over 2000 and by 1890 the population including Swiss-Italians from Northern Italy and the Swiss canton of Ticino had steadied at 7000.

 

The Swiss-Italians realised the value of the health giving mineral springs in the area, and in late 1850's they started bottling the mineral water and by 1865, they protected the mineral springs from gold mining.

 

Today Daylesford/Hepburn Springs is acknowledged as the Spa capital of Australia with 80 percent of the naturally occurring mineral spring water in Australia coming from 72 mineral springs.

 

Castlemaine is the golden city at the centre of the Mt Alexander goldfield, from 1852 this area was overrun by miners turning over the top two metres of soil of the richest shallow alluvial goldfield ever discovered. By late 1852 there were an estimated 40,000 to 60,000  people on these gold fields, greater than the population of Melbourne.

 

From the late 1850's Castlemaine also developed its own manufacturing industry, from confectionery to heavy machinery foundries, but the most famous brand, however, now lives on as the beer Queenslanders consider their own - Castlemaine XXXX.  In 1859 two Irish brothers, the Fitzgeralds, founded the Castlemaine Brewery, they expanded to Brisbane in 1877.

 

Today Castlemaine is renown for its arts culture, vibrant cafe's, quality shops, historic buildings/homes and gracious gardens.

 

Mt Alexander gold fields now forms the Castlemaine Diggings Heritage National Park - Australia's first Heritage National Park. The Park brings together natural heritage (Box-Ironbark forests) and cultural heritage (Aboriginal sites and the ruins and relics left behind by 19th century gold rushes)

 

Maldon is undoubtedly the best preserved of Victoria's gold mining towns. It was the first town to be declared''Notable'' by the National Trust of Australia. The 19th century streetscape features old weatherboard homes, solid stone buildings and charming old shopfronts.

 

 

Daylesford & Castlemaine Discovery Tour

 

This Full day sightseeing Ecotour is themed on History/Heritage Local Food and Wild nature.

 

Sensual, spirited and effortlessly stylish, Daylesford the jewel in the crown of a region world famous

for 72 health giving mineral springs, the largest collection of natural mineral springs in Australia. Daylesford's bustling main thoroughfare, Vincent Street with its eclectic shops, you'll find everything here from organic vegetables to antiques and art galleries.

 

Castlemaine is a town delighted by grand buildings, wide boulevards and stunning gardens, all reflecting the prosperity and grandeur of the gold rush.  This grandeur compliments modern day Castlemaine, where you can find a relaxed cafe', funky boutiques and a vibrant arts scene.

 

Maldon is Victoria's best preserved gold mining town, with a streets full of weatherboard homes, solid stone buildings and charming shop fronts.

 

Gold history was made on the Mount Alexander diggings; an area that now forms part of the Castlemaine Diggings Heritage National Park - Australia's first National Heritage park.

 

Highlights

Vincent Street Daylesford

Mineral Spa Water tastings - Daylesford/Hepburn Springs

Lake Daylesford

Wombat Hill Botanical gardens

Convent Gallery - Art Jewellery Sculpture

Hepburn Regional Park - Blowhole mining area / Wild nature

Castlemaine township - Historic streetscapes / Burke & Wills Monument lookout

Castlemaine Diggings Heritage National Park - Australia's only Heritage Park / Gold rush history

Maldon Township - Victoria's first notable town / Mt Tarrengower lookout

Buda Historic Home & Garden (Open Wednesday to Sunday)

 

Prices and Departures

 

Ex Ballarat Adult $179 per person Child $74 per child (6-15yrs)

Departs 8am

 

Ex Melbourne Adult $207 per person  Child $99 per child (6-15yrs)

Departs 7.30am

 

Return Train Fare Included (Melbourne/Ararat customers)

Pickup/Drop off - Ballarat/Avoca/Maryborough/Daylesford accommodation

Please refer to our Terms and Conditions prior to booking

BOOK NOW

Goldfields Track

Originally formed by gold miners in the 1850's, the Goldfields Track is a point

to point 210km track from Ballarat to Bendigo, that takes mountain bikers and

bush walkersthrough some of central Victoria's most historic towns and beautiful forests.

 

The Goldfields track provides a European style travelling walking experience.

 

Regional cities and picturesque towns are always nearby, with accommodation, cafés, restaurants, wineries, day spa’s and galleries.

 

From Mt Buninyong’s panoramic views to the relaxing bushland of the Wombat State Forest, you travel over mining country, rolling pastoral country and beautiful forests before arriving at Creswick or Daylesford.

 

Walking from Daylesford, you take in the forests and farmland of the Central Highlands

before entering the mining country of the Castlemaine Diggings Heritage National Park.

 

Goldfields Track Walking Tours

 

This is Our Point of Difference to the other run of the mill tours;

  •   We are the only Ecotourism Certified tour operator on the Goldfields Track

       (Genuine Green Sustainable Tourism)

  •   You will walk with an experienced Eco guide, who will interpret the Wildlife/Birds, Native plants/

      Wildflowers in season, Geology and Ecology of the area being walked, Aboriginal and European

       history and culture,

  •   This Goldfields Track Walking tour is Ecotourism Certified by Ecotourism Australia.

  •   All Meals are in cafes or restaurants in nearby towns, where you can enjoy the local food and drinks

       – Wine/Beer and Mineral waters.

  •   Minimum 4 Star accommodation, so you get a good nights rest.

  •   All luggage is taken care of, no need to worry.

  •   Walks to suit all levels of fitness.

 

The Goldfields Track consists of 3 tracks:

 

Wallaby Track, (Buninyong - Daylesford)

Dry Diggings Track (Daylesford - Castlemaine)

Leanganook Track (Castlemaine - Bendigo)

 

We will walk on sections of the Wallaby and Dry Diggings tracks of the Goldfields Track.

 

For much of its distance, the Wallaby Track contours through what was once a productive, working forest on the top of the Great Dividing Range. It follows for instance, the State's longest timber tramway system, and takes walkers through an impressive 1 km long railway cutting.

 

From Mt Buninyong you get splendid views of the surrounding countryside, around Creswick you traverse through forests over old goldfields and near Daylesford you walk beside creeks and mineral springs, the Track passes by rich red-soiled spud paddocks and through the stately towns of Ballarat, Creswick and Daylesford.

 

Walks available are:

a.  Mt Buninyong walk,

b.  Creswick Miners walk,

c.  Anderson's Tramway walk, and

d.  Wombat Forest walk.

 

Total walking distance for the day is no longer than 15 km.

 

The Dry Diggings Track follows old 1850's gold rush water races from the wet temperate forests on top of the Great Dividing Range at Daylesford to the dry northern plains and Forest Creek gold diggings around Castlemaine.

 

The Tipperary walk contours on steep slopes through pleasant bush following

watercourses on the outskirts of the twin gold rush and mineral spa towns or Daylesford and Hepburn Springs.  The Mt Franklin View walk largely follows rough 4WD tracks through scrubby box forest, and the Cry Joe walk offers a fascinating insight into the gold rush era, traversing narrow high-walled gullies pockmarked with mine shafts and riddled with stone ruins.

 

Walks available are;

a.    Tipperary walk

b.    Mt Franklin View walk

c.    Gold Mountain walk

d.    Cry Joe walk

Total walking distance for the day is no longer than 15 km.

 

Prices and Departures

 

Golden Nugget Discovery tours offers Half Day, 1, 2 & 3 day walking tours along this marvelous track.

 

Half Day Walking Tour

Ex Ballarat  / Daylesford

Adult $105 per person  Child $45 per child (6-15 yrs)

 

Ex Melbourne

Adult $132 per person   Child $72 per child (6-15 yrs)

Departs 7.30am

 

1 Day Walking Tour

Ex Ballarat  / Daylesford

Adult $185 per person   Child $115 per child (6-15 yrs)

 

Ex Melbourne

Adult $212 per person   Child $142 per person (6-15 yrs)

Departs 8am

 

2 & 3 Day Walking tour packages

Each package includes a tour guide, all meals and all accommodation

 

2 Day Walking Tour Package

Ex Ballarat / Melbourne / Daylesford

Twin Share $1521

Single $1389

Departs 8am

 

3 Day Walking Tour Package

Ex Ballarat / Melbourne / Daylesford

Twin Share $2269

Single $2071

Departs 8am

 

Return Train Fare Included (Melbourne customers).

Pickup/Drop off - Ballarat / Creswick / Daylesford accommodation.

Please refer to our Terms and Conditions prior to booking

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TOURS & ACTIVITIES

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