EXPLORE one of Victoria’s most popular and historic country escapes – famous for historic buildings, hill scenery, minerals springs, and heritage goldfields. Daylesford, 90 minutes north-west of Melbourne, was a fabulously rich goldfield from the 1850s and has been a popular summer retreat since the 1880s.
THIS two-hour walk explores Cornish Hill Reserve in the traditional lands of the Dja Dja Wurrung people. This was once a spectacularly successful goldfield 1850s-1920s. This river valley, traversed by Smith Creek, is rich in birdlife, flora and former mining sites including adit, mullock heaps, puddling circle, shafts, and old mine workings.
OUR tour provides rich experiences into Victorian gold rush history as well as the extraordinary restoration of an Indigenous landscape ravaged by mining. We start from Bonnard’s Lookout above Daylesford 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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