Garfield Wheel and Northern Castlemaine Diggings
Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park is part of the traditional lands of the Dja Dja Wurrung People. The Dja Dja Wurrung people’s rights were recognised through a Recognition and Settlement Agreement with the State of Victoria in March 2013. The Dja Dja Wurrung People maintain a close and continuing connection to Djandak, their traditional Country.
For a family day out with a dose of history, head to Garfield Wheel and Northern Castlemaine Diggings.
The discovery of gold in the narrow Specimen Gully started the gold rush. This makes a great place to start a driving tour of the Castlemaine Diggings. There is an abandoned house and monument marking the discovery site. On either side of the road, the remains of old gold workings can also be seen.
Explore the historic Garfield Wheel. The site contains stone foundations of one of the world's largest water wheels. Situated on the Goldfields Track, there are several family-friendly walking tracks and a picnic area.
Pan for gold in the ancient river bed at Forest Creek. See one of Victoria's unique mining gems — a massive Ruston and Hornsby gas engine. Take a short stroll on the Forest Creek Heritage Walk and discover how generations of miners won gold. Visit the 'Monster Meeting' site, where 15,000 gold diggers attended a protest meeting.
Located on a hill overlooking Forest Creek is Pennyweight Cemetery. Victoria’s most intact gold rush cemetery contains the marked graves of children and adults.
Expedition Pass Reservoir is great spot for the family to enjoy a swim in the cool waters. Fishing, canoeing and picnicking are also popular here. Nearby, the Nimrod Mine contains a variety of mining features and remains of a former mining village. The site is best explored with a licensed tour guide.
Another popular picnic spot is Kalimna Point. Located on a prominent ridgeline east of Castlemaine, here you'll find picnic table and a rotunda. Take a walk among the Box-Ironbark forest, which provides diverse habitat for native species. This includes 28 types of orchids and two rare species of butterflies — the Eltham Copper butterfly and Satin Azure butterfly.