THIS two-hour walk explores Cornish Hill Reserve, Daylesford in the traditional lands of the Dja Dja Wurrung people. This was once a spectacularly successful gold field from the 1850s till the 1920s. The river valley, traversed by Smith Creek, is rich in former mining sites including adit, mullock heaps, puddling circle, shafts, old mine workings as well as birdlife, fauna and flora.
Daylesford, 90 minutes north-west of Melbourne, was a fabulously rich goldfield and has been a popular holiday retreat since the 1880s for its historic architecture, lakes, mineral springs and Swiss Italian heritage.
OUR tour provides insights into gold rush history as well as the extraordinary restoration of an Indigenous landscape ravaged by mining.
WE start from Bonnard’s Lookout with a spectacular view of the town’s key buildings and surrounding forest and mountains. From there we visit several mine sites before descending to the delightful Smiths Creek. Walking along the old water race, we come to the former water wheel site and ascend to the South Cornish Mine site. On route, we pass bushland restoration sites and learn about the rich bird and animal life and traditional Indigenous foods and tools. Traveling west we visit the former mine site of Swiss-Italian pioneer Giuseppe Scascighini and finally an underground spring site before following a scenic ridge back to our starting point.
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