Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park

Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park is part of the traditional lands of the Dja Dja Wurrung People whose 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.

Found at the heart of the central Victorian goldfields, this is a rare place where you can see real traces of days gone by. Take a trip back in time to the Victorian Goldrush era.

The discovery of gold in July 1851 brought tens of thousands of migrants to the Castlemaine area. At one point it was the richest goldfield in the world! Today, the Castlemaine Diggings holds fascinating tales of the area’s golden past. Much of the gold-rush era can still be seen. Explore abandoned mines and settlements among shady Box-Ironbark woodlands. From the remains of house sites and puddling machines, to the gold mines and gullies that yielded fortunes.

The Garfield Water Wheel near Chewton is the perfect place for families to start exploring the Diggings, with new interpretive signs and several short and longer walks exploring Dja Dja Wurrung and gold rush heritage among Box-Ironbark woodland. The spreading wattles are flowering, fungi are starting to pop up, and migratory birds are passing through, so don’t forget your cameras and binoculars! The nearby Eureka Reef Heritage Walk (1.8km loop) is also ideal for families. You can download heritage notes (factsheets) and maps for both here.

Whilst in the area you can lose yourself in the autumn glory of Castlemaine itself. Tree lines streets hold fun family experiences for all interests! Visit the beautiful Buda House, an authentic goldfields villa house. Three acres of heritage gardens surround this Museums Australia accredited museum. Also on the must do list is a wonder around the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens, housing original 19th century features such as elm and oak avenue, taking in the incredible sight of the authentic steam heritage train linking the historic gold mining towns of Castlemaine and Maldon in Central Victoria (steam, whistles lights and all!) and a visit to The Mill; home of Castlemaine vintage bazaar, an artisan precinct and a must try food precinct comprised of individual small businesses offering a smorgasbord of delightful treats to feed the hungry explorer!

Castlemaine happens to be a SPECTACULAR place to enjoy the crunch of autumn leaves under your feet and have your breath taken away by the stunning pops of red, orange and gold foliage.

Check out the Junior Rangers Victorian Goldfields activity book to learn all about this historic area.

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