Gold Heritage

The Gold Trails experience encompasses heritage mining landscapes such as the historic Hills End site, Reefers Mill at Adelong and O’Brien’s Hill at Grenfell with relics of the mining boom days. There are social echoes of the bushrangers and Lambing Flat, and the unique painted murals at Eugowra celebrating the 1862 hold up of the gold coach at Escort Rock.


On 12th February 1851 Edward Hargraves discovered Australia’s first payable goldfields in Bathurst, New South Wales. For several years after this memorable event, the history of New South Wales is dominated by the feverish rush to find Gold – the splendid triumphs and bitter disappointments, the ‘mateship’ of the original ‘diggers’ who worked the goldfields and the dramatic impact on rural populations and economies.

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There were several ways to lose your gold to bushrangers prowling the roads and byways of central and south west NSW at the start of the 1860s. There was the traditional threat long posed by random brigands who grabbed a gun and waylaid passers by. Then there was the risk of encountering the much more organised and formidable members of the bushranger gang led by Peisley and Gardiner and later by Johnny Gilbert and Ben Hall.

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Chinese Contribution

With the news of the very rich gold finds in Victoria echoing around the world in 1852, a new wave of Chinese emigrants began arriving in Australia from the start of 1853. Unlike the original labourers who came out on their own, the Chinese miners were organised into groups of between 30 and 100 men under the direction of a leader. This organised labour force made them very effective at winning gold.

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Gold is one of the first metals to have been used by humans and has been highly valued throughout history. Gold hasd long been considered the most desirable of precious metals. It is seen across many cultures as a symbol for purity and royalty and the value of gold was traditionally used as the standard for many currencies.

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Heritage Maps

In 1886 a “New Atlas of Australia” was published that provides us with an invaluable reference source from which to appreciate the extent and significance of the goldfields of central and south west NSW by the mid 1880s.

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