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.
Take a trip back in time to the Victorian Goldrush at Castlemaine Diggings Heritage Park. Located at the heart of the central Victorian goldfields, this is a rare place where you can see authentic traces of days gone by. Explore abandoned mines and settlements among shady Box-Ironbark woodlands.
The discovery of gold in July 1851 lured tens of thousands of migrants to the Castlemaine area. Between 1851 and 1854 it was the world’s richest shallow alluvial goldfield. By 1852, the population on the Castlemaine Diggings was 40-60,000.
Today, the Castlemaine Diggings harbours fascinating tales of the area’s golden past. Much of the gold-rush character has been retained. From the remains of house sites and puddling machines, to the gold mines and gullies that yielded fortunes. Less visible, but no less dramatic, is the impact the gold rush had on Djaara people.
Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park is popular for a variety of activities. Enjoy bushwalking, scenic drives, cycling, picnics, exploring the mining relics and gold prospecting.
Take in the many historic sites at the park by taking a scenic drive. Along the way you’ll see an ever-changing landscape of rolling hills and forests, gullies eroded by sluice mining and picturesque rural communities.
There’s plenty of enjoyable trails in the park. Take a gentle stroll along the Loddon River. Take in the park's mining history on a heritage walk. Or for the adventurous, The Goldfields Track will appeal to hikers and mountain-bikers alike.
At Vaughan Mineral Springs you'll find everything you need for a family picnic. There's a shelter, free electric barbecues and large open grassy areas. Picnic tables can also be found at numerous other locations in the park.
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
Many species of birds can be seen around the diggings. From resident species to migratory species that follow the blossoms through Victoria’s Box Ironbark woodlands. Good spots for birdwatching include Eureka Reef, along the Loddon River at Vaughan Springs, Central Spring and Glenluce Spring.
Explore the different areas
When you're there
The Castlemaine Visitor Information Centre provides an excellent introduction to the history and heritage of the park. Tours of the park can be booked through the centre.
Find out more about where you can go prospecting using the Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park prospecting areas map (PDF).
- Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park visitor guide (PDF)
- Garfield Water Wheel, Garfield Mine Heritage Walk and Garfield Bush Walk heritage notes (PDF)
- Monster Meeting Walk, Pennyweight Flat Cemetery Walk and Forest Creek Trail heritage notes (PDF)
- Quartz Hill Walk and Welsh Village Walk heritage notes (PDF)
- Specimen Gully Hut and Gold Memorial heritage notes (PDF)
Need to know
Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park
Visiting a park can be more of a challenge for people with disabilities, however in Victoria there are a wide range of facilities to help people of all abilities enjoy our wonderful parks around the state.
Assistance dogs are welcome in Parks Victoria parks and reserves. Entry requirements apply for parks and reserves that are usually dog prohibited, such as national parks.
Change of Conditions
Nature being nature, sometimes conditions can change at short notice. It’s a good idea to check this page ahead of your visit for any updates.
Vaughan Springs closed due to flood impactVaughan Spring day visitor area is closed due to significant impact from the October flood event. Crews are working hard to assess and reopen flood impacted sites when it is safe to do so.
Tours and adventure experiences in parks
One of the best ways you can get into nature is with a Licensed Tour Operator.
There are more than 400 Licensed Tour Operators across Victoria who are ready and waiting to help you experience and connect with Victoria’s spectacular parks and waterways.
Discover more than 60 different types of nature-based experiences including hiking, mountain biking, boating, four-wheel driving, indigenous culture tours, birdwatching, surfing, diving and so much more.
Licensed Tour Operators know all the best places to go and will plan and prepare your visit to ensure you are safe and can enjoy your nature-based adventure to the fullest.
How we keep it special
Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park is the largest historic mining landscape in Australia, and was added to the Victorian Heritage Register in December 2003.
In January 2005 the park was added to the National Heritage List recognising its outstanding heritage value and importance in the course of Australia’s migration history.
The Management Plan for Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park and The DDW Recognition and Settlement Agreement and Dhelkuny Dja Country Plan guide the management of the park.