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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Whipstick Gully - Warrandyte State Park

The first gold prospecting licence in Victoria was issued in 1851, at Warrandyte, on the banks of Anderson Creek.

The gold mining period in Warrandyte peaked in the 1890s, the Caledonia Mine at Black Flat worked fromn 1904 to 1914, and the Victory Mine at Whipstick Gully closed down in the 1930s. Sporadic private gold exploration was still being carried out as late as the 1950s, and today panning is permitted in the creeks of the area.

Historic Whipstick Gully Reserve is just behind the Warrandyte village, with interpretative displays, an excellent self-activated audio/sound post, an information shelter, maps, and the rebuilt poppethead.

This poppethead was originally at the nearby Victory Mine, and is typical of the many which were built in the area, with deep shafts, and buckets pulled up filled with ore. This would be taken to the stamping battery and crushed.

Whipstick Gully was the main alluvial mining area, on the steep slopes of Fourth Hill.

Old excavations, mounds of tailings, and rusting machinery can be seen.

The trees on Fourth Hill were stripped in the early days, to provide fuel for the steam-driven machinery, heating, and washing.

The 1939 fires destroyed all of the houses in Whipstick Gully.

I went over to Whipstick Gully on Wednesday afternoon February 3 2010, a very hot day of 35 degrees.

From the main carpark, I ascended gated Whipstick Gully Track, steep and rocky, on the side of Fourth Hill, to the summit, then along the ridge via Waterman Track. From there, it was a steep descent past the old excavations and shafts down to the Victory Mine, then back the car. All this was about 3 km.

There is a change in altitude from 60 m at the car park to 126 m at the summit of Fourth Hill.

Warrandyte Historical Society aims to preserve and display the history of Warrandyte.The Society runs the Warrandyte Historical Museum which is located in the restored Post Office (1875). The Museum is categorised into four sections – gold, art, aboriginal and domestic and houses a large collection of historic photos. The Museum is open Saturday and Sunday 2pm – 5pm (Summer) and 1pm-4pm (Winter) or by appointment. Admission is free.

This is the link to the Societie's Website:!whsoc/about.html

See all of the Photos of my visit!

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