Garfield Wheel


Print this page

The Garfield Water Wheel

The remains of the wheel today

The Garfield Water Wheel was the largest diameter wheel ever constructed in Victoria. It provided power to the stamp battery for extracting gold from ore produced by the Garfield Mine between 1887 and 1903.

The wheel's massive stone supports are very significant historic mining feature because of their association with a major gold mining area and important nineteenth century technology. The mine site is listed on the registers of the National Trust.


A walking track has been constructed around the site to highlight some interesting features and to help explain the history of the mine.

There are nine numbered posts along the walking track:-

1. Garfield mine shaft and winding engine foundations.
2. Example of small scale mine workings.
3. Another example of small scale mine workings.
4. Water race which brought water from the expidition Pass Reservior.
5. Point on the race from where water traveled via a wooden flume to the Garfield water Wheel.
6. Trees which have regrown since mining finished in 1942.
7. Sand from the battery where ore was crushed to extract gold.
8. Cyanide tanks where fine gold was extracted from the battery sand.
9. Water race which took away water from the Garfield Wheel to drive the wheel at the Manchester Mine.

Photo from visitor information available at the site

Water was transported to the wheel via a wooden flume 790 feet long built on a sapling frame which stood 20 to 50 feet high. The wheel had 220 wrought iron buckets and was designed to revolve backwards, (the reverse of the ordinary overshot wheel) the motive power thus being limited to gravity or weight of water in the buckets. The wheel revolved one revolution every 45 to 55 seconds, driving a 15 head battery from 70 to 86 falls per minute. When the battery was operating it could be clearly heard in Castlemaine.

State of Victoria Time Zone
Eastern Standard Time
1st. Saturday in April to last Saturday in October
Eastern Standard Time = UTC/GMT plus 10 hours

Daylight Saving Time
1st. Saturday in November to last Saturday in March
Eastern Daylight Saving Time = UTC/GMT plus 11 hours

Back to Central Goldfields Tourist Guide



You Like it?  -  Share it!