The Goldfields Track was formerly called the Great Dividing Range, traces all the way from Daylesford to Ballarat and is over 200kms. However there are lots of shorter walks and day walks available. One of our favourites is the Castlemaine to Harcourt route and, if you are feeling fit, a further walk onto the Bress Winery in Harcourt is a great place to end up. Another good sized day trip is the walk from Vaughan Springs to Castlemaine. You can also take an alternative route to Daylesford and end up at the Chocolate Factory. For details on two day walks please read on below:
- Castlemaine to Harcourt (19km)
As you climb through the Chewton bushlands towards and beyond the imposing Garfield Water Wheel, spare a thought for the tens of thousands of miners working these once denuded gullies in searing heat, without water and with seemingly few rights as human beings. Puts that back pain in perspective huh? The native woodlands of the Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park soon give way to pine plantations and the apple orchards of the Harcourt valley. Harcourt is the perfect place to grab a great coffee, something to eat and fill the water bottles before you push on towards Bendigo.
- Vaughan Springs to Castlemaine (19km)
From this point there is a brief section of tarmac before the track reenters the forest and winds toward Fryerstown. Dense bushland is occasionally broken by moonscape like clearings revealing vast expanses of reef rock, look closely and you may spot a remnant streak of gold passing under your tyres. More flowy singletrack takes you past the Spring Gully mine site and following a steep pinch up the Monk you arrive at the Poverty Gully water race - this engineering marvel still carries water to paying customers 140 years after its construction. Nowadays it doubles as a shared walking and cycling trail providing an unforgettable finish to a great day’s riding.