News from the golden days


The gold fever that gripped Victoria from the 1850s until the early decades of the 20th century left an indelible mark on the historic towns and places linked by the Indigo Gold Trail.

Gold worth billions of dollars in today’s currency was extracted from the area once known as the Ovens Goldfield. Lone diggers searching for alluvial gold used tools as primitive as pans, picks and cradles, while wealthy mining consortiums developed more sophisticated techniques like high pressure hydraulic sluicing, and later, as the gold became harder to get, deep lead mining and dredging. The evolution of these gold mining technologies as well as their often devastating environmental impact tell a fascinating story in their own right.

Today, in and around Beechworth, Chiltern, Rutherglen and Yackandandah, and the villages and countryside in between, the legacy of the rush for gold remains - from the perfectly preserved streetscapes of the towns to the countless mine shafts and mullock heaps to astonishing water races sluiced through solid granite; from Chinese Burning Towers and pioneer graves to historic government buildings, schools and museums all dating from those early, heady days of the gold rush.

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