Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park upgrades

Wednesday 27 July, 2022

Visitors to the historic Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park will have an improved experience thanks to a partnership between Parks Victoria, DJAARA and Mount Alexander Shire Council.

Car parking upgrades, new interpretive signs and conservation works on some heritage-listed sites are on the way for the northern section of the park.

Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park is on Dja Dja Wurrung Country in the heart of the central Victorian goldfields, surrounded by Castlemaine, Chewton and other small townships.

The park is a place to see relics of the late 1800s gold rush, including abandoned mines and miner’s settlements, scattered among shady Box-Ironbark woodlands. 

Work will occur in northern sections of the park, including Garfield Water Wheel, Scotchmans Gully, Specimen Gully, Monster Meeting site, and Nimrod Reef Mine/Welsh Village.  

Upgraded trail heads, walking tracks, and stone conservation works on the Specimen Gully hut are included, along with improvements to car parking, new signage, and information boards in other locations.  

To improve visitor safety and protect historic heritage sites there will be minor changes to vehicle access at on roads around the Welsh Village, Nimrod Reef Mine and Garfield Water Wheel. 

New interpretive signage will display stories from the goldrush era alongside stories shared by the Traditional Owners, the Dja Dja Wurrung people. 

The project is supported through almost $400,000 funding from the Commonwealth Government’s Australian Heritage Grants program.  

On ground works and installation of signage is expected to be completed end of July.  The second stage of work will be undertaken in the central section of the park over the next two years.

Quote attributable to Karen Doyle, Parks Victoria Area Chief Ranger

“Castlemaine Diggings is Australia's first national heritage park and contains many relics of Victoria’s gold rush history. Parks Victoria is committed to sustainably managing historic places on behalf of the community.”

“Once complete, the new interpretive offerings will provide opportunities to learn about the extensive Aboriginal cultural heritage in the park with Dja Dja Wurrung stories sitting alongside information about the the impacts of Victoria’s gold rush history.” 

The Garfields Water Wheel surrounded by mist in Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park

Works at the historic Garfield water wheel will improve the experience for visitors. Credit: Parks Victoria

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