The Prospectors Guide
Central Victorian Goldfields
Featuring a collection of information about gold, gold prospecting and metal detecting in the Central Victorian Goldfields.
The Nature of the country in General:
The Central Victorian Goldfields generally speaking consists of an undulating landform which can range from shallow gullies (some times they can be hard to recognise as a gully) through to steep hillsides which only cover a minority of the terrain. The countryside is normally not densely populated with under growth and the trees are widely spaced which is ideal for prospecting allowing operators to work freely. The species of trees varies from area to area and the amount of debris covering the forest floor also varies accordingly depending upon the particular species populating the area. Well formed tracks wind through the forests and are easily negotiable in a normal street vehicle and so long as you stay on the tracks (a normal requirement by the responsible bodies) you should not get bogged even in winter.
Hotels and Motels:
We have not listed hotels or motels separately as experience shows that they are not usually the accommodation of choice for most prospectors except maybe for the occasional hotel, and as the facilities and the available accommodation of these venues seem to change regularly you need to enquire as to what is available at the time of your intended visit.
Caravan Parks may be found throughout the Central Gold Regions at the following locations - Ararat, Avoca, Ballarat, Beaufort, Bendigo, Bridgewater, Castlemaine, Clunes, Creswick, Daylesford, Dunolly, Inglewood, Laanecoorie, Maldon, Maryborough, Melville Caves, Morong, Talbot, Welshman’s Reef, Tarnagulla, Wedderburn.
The Caravan Parks listed above usually allow camping and you can also check out - Laanecoorie (along the riverside), Newbridge (along the riverside), Logan Hotel (by arrangement), Moliagul Hotel (by arrangement), Waanyarra (bush facilities only).
In Victoria camping in the state forests is allowed providing that you abide by the fire restrictions in force at the time and that you take your rubbish with you. You may gather sufficient firewood for your camping needs but you cannot cut down trees or take any firewood with you without a permit.
Fresh Water Supplies:
These days most of the townships throughout the Central Goldfields region have potable water which has been treated by the water supply authorities. Finding a source of supply in these townships may well be another matter and while we are not sure about the other authorities, Coliban Water which services a large section of the Goldfields area has removed all public taps and standpipes from the townships which they supply (such as Dunolly). Water may still be found in places such as Gordon Gardens in Dunolly but in many other places you should make sure that water taken from taps in public gardens is actually from the treated reticulation supply.
You will find food of some description is readily available in most of the Goldfields Townships although your choice may be rather limited in the smaller places especially as regards takeaway foods. Your best sources of fresh foods would be from towns such as - Ararat, Avoca, Ballarat, Bendigo, Beaufort, Castlemaine, Clunes, Creswick, Daylesford, Dunolly, Inglewood, Maldon, Maryborough, Melville Caves, Talbot, Wedderburn.
Before taking your dog or any other pet with you should check with all the caravan parks that you intend to stay at, as some do not allow pets and those that do, usually require that they be on a lead at all times they are outdoors. If you should take your dog camping with you should be aware that restrictions governing pets apply in both State and National parks which differ to those that apply to State Forests. You should also be prepared to keep a constant eye on your pet and not let them roam too far, as although normally you would never see them< they do seem able to find those snakes and other wildlife like kangaroos etc. that may do them serious harm (this applies to dogs in particular).