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Self Guided Victorian Goldfields Walk

Self-Guided Victorian Goldfields walk

A 6-day Pack-Free walk

The Victorian Goldfields “Dry Diggings Track” offers the opportunity to step back in time, when the height of the 1850s Goldrush saw tens of thousands of people flocking to this region seeking their fortune. Covering approximately 60km of the Great Dividing Trail, the “Dry Diggings Track” from Daylesford to Castlemaine is divided into four walking sections: ‘Tipperary’, ‘Mt Franklin View’, ‘Golden Mountain’ and ‘Cry Joe’. This walk presents a diverse landscape, from wet temperate forests to eucalypt-dominated bushland to the drier northern plains. The area boasts an array of seasonal wildflowers and attracts a variety of birdlife, including honeyeaters, scarlet robins, fantails, superb blue wrens, and the ever-present “noise-makers of the bush” – kookaburras, cockatoos, and corellas. The track follows creeks, gullies, and ridges, exposing relics of the Goldrush long ago, which appear to be slowly succumbing to the forces of nature.

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Self-Guided walking App

A Life's an Adventure exclusive

Designed by Life’s an Adventure to fully support your hard-copy track notes, our Walking App provides additional information to help keep you “on track”. With real-time GPS tracking that translates onto a Google map platform with GPS references, and detailed route directions supported by photos of waypoints and junctions, you will be reassured of your location as you go. Our Walking App also offers additional information, including distances, optional side trips, flexible walking options and interesting facts about the local area.

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Pack-Free Self Guided walk

Keep it light, simply pack your camera, lunch, and water

Being Pack-Free, all you need for your daily adventure will fit in your day pack. Transfers to and from the trail each day are organised for you, as is the relocation of your luggage between your accommodations as required on your final day of walking.

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Private transfers

To the trail

Our self-guided walks include private transfers to get you to and from the trail each day. For those taking public transport to the Goldfields, complimentary private transfers between the train/bus station and accommodation are available.

EPIRB

Personal Locator Beacons

Enhanced safety and peace of mind

Life’s an Adventure want you to relax and enjoy your self-guided walking experience. To enhance this, we offer you the option of hiring a Personal Locator Beacon to carry with you.

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Flexibility and freedom

Discover on your own

Take advantage of all the hard work being done for you in advance, so all you’re left to do is turn up and enjoy your self-guided walking experience. Walk independently at your own pace, relying on detailed track notes created by our guides who have a thorough knowledge of this region.

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Pre-departure on-line meeting

Chat with one of our Guides

Our experienced Guides are available for an online pre-departure meeting, should you wish to discuss any aspects of your upcoming walking adventure.

On “The Goldfields Track”, there are several vehicle access points along each section. Feel free to discuss options with your guide should you wish to vary the regular drop-off or pick-up points on any day to personalise your walking experience.

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Period Cottage

in the heart of Hepburn Springs

Enjoy 4 nights at cute accommodation in the heart of Hepburn Springs with local restaurants and shops at your doorstep Bedrooms are ensuited, accounting for couple, single, or twin share requirements. There are several areas to relax, both indoors and out. (Please note after November our accommodation will changes to a newer renovated property).

Your final night on tour will be spent in a charming hotel in Castlemaine, one of the more central points of the Victorian goldfields

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Meals Included

Home-style meals prepared on-site

Enjoy delicious meals at the retreat each day. including an expansive continental breakfast each morning, with barista-style coffees and a large variety of teas. A packed lunch will be ready for your departure each day, and a hearty evening meal will be provided for your enjoyment.

To find out more click on any of the below links:

Why should you choose us?

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Tour Itinerary

Walk Inclusions
Self Guided Victorian Goldfields Walk

  • Pack-Free walk – Keep it light, simply pack your camera, lunch, and water
  • Detailed track notes supported by access to Life’s An Adventure’s Walking App
  • Transfers to/from the Goldfields Track each day and flexible walking options
  • Transfer of your luggage to Castlemaine
  • Optional hire of a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)
  • Online pre-departure meeting with one of our expert Guides (if required)
  • 4 nights accommodation in the heart of Hepburn Springs
  • 1 nights accommodation at Castlemaine
  • 5 x dinners
  • 4 x packed lunches to enjoy whilst walking
  • 5 x breakfasts
  • No Credit Card Fees
Day 1: Arrival in Hepburn Springs
Self Guided Victorian Goldfields Walk

TRANSFERS: There are several options to get to this walk. Choose to drive to Hepburn Springs, or catch the regional train/coach service from Melbourne and walk directly to your accommodation.

ITINERARY: Arrive in Hepburn Springs at your leisure. There is no planned walking today, so take some time to explore this elegant township, rich in both indigenous and European history. Located on the traditional lands of the Djadjawurrung Nation, this area was opened to pastoralists as the exploration of Victoria grew in the late 1830s-1840s, with the gold rush of the 1850s heralding a new era for the area. The latter part of the 19th century saw an increase in population as the railway-line advanced, offering options for employment, travel, and the transport of goods; the tourism industry had its foundations laid. Settle into your accommodation and make the most of your surrounds on this expansive property. Tonight enjoy your accommodation in the heart of Hepburn Springs.

Day 2: Walk to Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve
Self Guided Victorian Goldfields Walk

TRANSFER TIMES: Morning transfer 10 minute drive. Afternoon transfer from the trail to your accommodation 6 minute drive.

WALK GRADE: 17km one-way, 6-7 hours walking plus breaks, Easy-Medium Grade; the track gradient varies from flat to mostly gentle undulations on a compact surface which can be quite rocky and uneven at times.

FLEXIBLE WALKING: There are several vehicle access points along this walk, allowing you to negotiate a shorter walk option should you wish.

WALK ITINERARY: After breakfast, your driver will transfer you to the start of your walk. Today’s walk winds its way through beautiful native bushland as it follows natural watercourses and man-made water-races on the outskirts of the charming hamlets of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs. Parts of the track are narrow and rocky, but rewards with interesting views of this typical central Victorian bushland environment. Working your way through the heart of the Victorian goldfields and the highly renowned “spa country”, rugged sheer-sided gorges will be revealed, as you follow the contours on the steep slopes above Sailors Creek for much of the day. Meet your driver after your walk for the short drive back to your accommodation. Tonight enjoy a superb dinner in a local restaurant

Day 3: Walk to Porcupine Ridge Road
Self Guided Victorian Goldfields Walk

TRANSFER TIMES: Morning transfer 6 minute drive. Afternoon transfer from the trail to your accommodation 20 minute drive.

WALK GRADE: 15km one-way, ~5-6 hours walking plus breaks, Easy-Medium Grade; the track gradient varies from flat to mostly gentle undulations, with some short, steep sections. The compact surfaces shift between uneven and rocky, to gravel back-roads and 4WD tracks

FLEXIBLE WALKING: There are several vehicle access points along this walk, allowing you to negotiate a shorter walk option should you wish.

WALK ITINERARY: After breakfast, your driver will transfer you to the start of your walk. Today’s walk takes you through a variety of landscapes, meandering up and down through natural bushland and exposing the canyon-like formation of Beehive Gully, bearing evidence of the bygone search for gold. You will enjoy a well-deserved break at the Chocolate Mill, and a chance to sample some delicious local Belgian-style chocolates and a refreshing beverage. From here, you mostly follow rough 4WD tracks as you continue through scrubby box forests which bear evidence of the toil connected to the search for gold. The volcanic cone of Mount Franklin formed about 500,000 years ago, will be visible from the track, and keep you company for some time. After you finish your walk your driver will meet you to whisk you back to your accommodation. Tonight enjoy dinner in a local restaurant..

Day 4: Walk to Fryerstown
Self Guided Victorian Goldfields Walk

TRANSFER TIMES: Morning transfer 20 minute drive. Afternoon transfer back to your accommodation 25 minutes.

WALK GRADE: 17km one-way, 6-7 hours walking plus breaks, Easy-Medium Grade. The track gradient varies from flat to mostly gentle undulations on compact surfaces which shift between narrow walking tracks to gravel back-roads and 4WD tracks; please ensure you remain on the track, as this area is littered with mine shafts

FLEXIBLE WALKING: There are several vehicle access points along this walk, allowing you to negotiate a shorter walk option should you wish.

WALK ITINERARY: After breakfast, your driver will transfer you to the start of your walk. Today’s walk provides additional insight into the gold rush of “yesteryear”, with stone ruins and abandoned mine shafts dominating the landscape as a reminder of our pioneering history and the harsh conditions that were faced. Vaughan Springs offers a delightful spot for a break at the heritage picnic-ground, and an old weir across the Loddon River provides the opportunity for a refreshing swim. From here, you will explore a fascinating section of the Goldfields Track. From 1851, mining gold without a licence was illegal. When troopers were “on the war path”, the diggers warned of their approach with the rowdy cry of “Joe, Joe, Joe”. Afterwards we walk into Fryerstown, a once-vibrant gold settlement that was home to 15,000 residents at the height of the gold rush. After your walk your driver will collect you for the transfer back to your accommodation to relax. Tonight enjoy dinner in a local restaurant..

Day 5: Walk to Castlemaine
Self Guided Victorian Goldfields Walk

TRANSFER TIMES: Morning transfer 25 minute drive. Afternoon, walk into your accommodation at Castlemaine.

WALK GRADE: 14km one-way, ~5-6 hours walking plus breaks, Easy-Medium Grade; the track gradient varies from flat to mostly gentle undulations on compact surfaces which shift between narrow walking tracks to gravel back-roads and 4WD tracks

FLEXIBLE WALKING: There are several vehicle access points along this walk, allowing you to negotiate a shorter walk option should you wish.

WALK ITINERARY: After breakfast, your driver will transfer you to Fryerstown with time to explore this historic town before continuing your walk. Nestled in the Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park, the township boasts many fine old buildings reflective of its vibrant gold rush history. As you proceed, you will feel like you are wandering through an open-air museum of mine relics as you pass several old mining sites in this abandoned landscape. You will encounter Spring Gully Mine, one of the most famous in the district (1850s-1930s). A short side trip up to the summit of “The Monk” offers spectacular views of the surrounding region. The route follows a series of water-races as you work your way mostly “down” on the last leg toward Castlemaine. Initially named Forest Creek, then Mount Alexander, Castlemaine’s beginnings stem from the pastoral industry, but with the discovery of gold in 1851, the area soon became overrun with diggers seeking their fortunes. Spreading to over 100km2 by 1852, the Castlemaine Diggings peaked with a population of more than 40,000 and was considered home to the richest alluvial gold deposits in the world. The town’s many historic buildings reflect the wealth of the gold rush era. Here, you find yourself at the endpoint of your exploration of this region of the famous Victorian Goldfields, where you will walk into your accommodation. Tonight enjoy a superb dinner and celebrate the end of your historic walking journey.

Day 6: Departure day from Castlemaine
Self Guided Victorian Goldfields Walk

ITINERARY: Enjoy a relaxed breakfast this morning and then it’s time to check out of your accommodation. This is where our journey ends. Enjoy time exploring the town before departing if you wish.

TRANSFERS: If you drove to Daylesford your driver will return you to your car. If you caught public transport, there are regional train services to return you to Melbourne.

Tour Prices

and selecting a date of your choice

With self-guided walks you are able to choose a date of your choice subject to availability.
This walk can be done anytime during the year

Once you make your booking, it will remain pending until we confirm availability at your accommodation, once this is done we will contact you to make your deposit/payment. Please do not book flights until your walk is confirmed.


FIRST TIME TRAVELLER FROM
$ 1799 /p

First time traveller with Life's An Adventure

6 day walk………….$1799

Book Now

PAST PASSENGER FROM
$ 1699 /p

Travelled with Life's An Adventure previously

6 day walk……….$1699

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OPTIONAL
$ Xtras /p

SOLO TRAVELLERS
Unfortunately due to safety reasons, we require a minimum of 2 walkers on our self-guided walks.

Additional Information

  • Prices are per person in Australian dollars and include GST.
  • A non-refundable deposit of $300 per person is required to secure your booking.
  • Note: If you are booking within 90 days of your departure date – we will require full payment at the time of booking
  • Prices are based on twin share of rooms.
  • Payments must be made online via our NAB (National Australia Bank) secure payment page via credit card (Visa or Mastercard) or over the phone.
  • NO Credit Card fee applies.
  • Your detailed self-guided kit will be sent to you in the post 6 weeks prior to your walk.
  • Use of a Personal Emergency Beacon (EPIRB) is complementary however a $250 holding deposit will be charged at the time of booking which will be refunded to you after your tour. This deposit will be forfeited if the EPIRB is lost or returned damaged.
  • We advise taking our Travel Insurance to cover items such as cancellation of tour due to adverse weather conditions, injury, evacuation, delayed flights, lost luggage, illness, etc.

Booking Terms and Conditions

Before you book please read our Booking Terms and Conditions. Click here.

To find out more click on any of the below links:

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Get in touch

Friendly help is a quick email away...

Contact Us
  • Address: HEAD OFFICE: 4/23 Narabang Way,
    Belrose NSW 2085.

    WALKING THE THREE CAPES:
    Guests can meet this tour at our Life’s An Adventure Premises:
    29/6955 Arthur Highway, Port Arthur.
  • Phone: (02) 9975 4553
    After Hours: 0457 002 482
  • Email: walks@lifesanadventure.com.au
  • Monday - Friday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Saturday - Sunday: Closed
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