Garfield Wheel and Northern Castlemaine Diggings


Garfield Wheel and Northern Castlemaine Diggings

Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park

Womin-Dji-Ka (Welcome)

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.

Things To Do

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

Garfield Water Wheel

The historic Garfield Wheel site contains stone foundations of one of the world's largest water wheels. The wheel was constructed in 1887 and used to power the mines quartz battery to process gold.
Forest Creek Goldmine in Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park

Forest Creek Gold Diggings

Discover how generations of miners won gold from the rich alluvial ground along Forest Creek along the short, family-friendly interpretative trail at the Forest Creek Gold Diggings.
Pennyweight Children's Cemetery in the Castlemaine Diggings Heritage Area

Pennyweight Cemetery

Take a walk in Pennyweight Cemetery and explore the sadder side of the Victorian gold rush. The cemetery is located on a hill overlooking Forest Creek with views over the goldfield where 30,000 diggers once lived and worked.

How to get there

Garfield Wheel and Northern Castlemaine Diggings

Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park is about 120km north of Melbourne. Turn off the Calder Highway at Elphinstone and travel 13km through Chewton to Castlemaine. The Park can also be accessed via the Pyrenees and Midland Highways. A regular rail service runs between Melbourne and Bendigo stopping at Castlemaine.



When to go

Need to know

Garfield Wheel and Northern Castlemaine Diggings

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.

  • Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park

    Loop track closed due to Phytophthora outbreak

    Loop access will have limited vehicle access to reduced the risk of spread of phytophthora cinnamomi pathogen. 

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