Tag: Mountain bike trails

Goldfields Track – Ballarat-Creswick-Daylesford-Castlemaine-Bendigo – 210km one way

At 210km long, the Goldfields Track is the longest shared use track in Victoria. From its southern end at Mt Buniyong, it links the 1850s gold rush era towns of Ballarat, Creswick, Daylesford and Castlemaine to Bendigo.

Whether you ride or walk, the Goldfields Track offers challenge and exhilaration as it crosses the Dividing Range and descends through forest to the northern plains. Unlike any other trail, the Goldfields Track embraces the boomtown heritage in towns strung out en route and follows the traces that the hundreds of thousands of ‘diggers’ left behind in forests and gullies, beside creeks and rivers, and on plains and mountaintops.

Cultural heritage is at the forefront of the Goldfields Track. With the diggers long gone, you contour high on water races through narrow, high-walled gullies pockmarked with mine shafts and riddled with stone ruins. You follow abandoned railway lines and timber tramway systems on embankments and through cuttings. You walk or ride beside the heritage-protected Coliban water channel, with its artificial bluestone-sculpted waterfalls and views across golden paddocks.

And when your legs are weary, there are plenty of pit stops and diversions at towns en route from the gracious elegance of Buninyong, Ballarat and Creswick to the mineral spas and bars of Daylesford and the arts and culture of Castlemaine and Bendigo.

Four interlinked tracks make up the Goldfields Track. The Eureka Track (43km), Wallaby Track (52km), Dry Diggings Track (58km) & Leanganook Track (61km)

From an entry station or vehicle access point, it is just a matter of following the gold-painted posts with their distinctive Goldfields Track (GT) logo. In towns, you will see blue signs on street posts with the GT logo. Each of the four tracks that make up the Goldfields Track is accessible by train. All major towns have good car access.

Maps and a recently updated guidebook (December 2017) can be purchased from Hepburn Shire visitor Information Centres. Each of the four tracks can be broken into one day rides or shorter walks as highlighted in the Goldfields Track Walk or Ride Guide. Information on a walks program is available from the Great Dividing Trail Association (www.gdt.org.au) and accommodation and mountain bike information are available from the Goldfields Track Inc. (www.goldfieldstrack.com.au)

Photos courtesy of Gib Wettenhall

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