Getting active in the Goldfields
Australia’s premier heritage region is home to a spectacular natural track, perfect for both mountain biking and bushwalking.
The Goldfields is a unique place that blends nature and culture – mining legends, historic streetscapes, gold panning, beautiful building and some of the most beautiful bush scenery in Victoria. Now, the 210 km Goldfields Track has been upgraded and unveiled as a dual mountain biking and bushwalking track, providing the perfect active weekend getaway.
Winding its way through the forests and pastoral countrysides between Ballarat and Bendigo, the Goldfields Track was originally formed by gold seekers in the 1850s and known as the Great Dividing Trail. Passing through key townships including Creswick, Daylesford, Castlemaine, Ballarat and Bendigo, the track offers both spectacular natural lookouts and easy access to creature comforts and conveniences like cafes, bike shops and accommodation.
There are four sections you can choose to conquer by bike or by food. Ballarat to Creswick is 2 to 3 hours ride, Creswick to Daylesford is 5 to 6 hours, Daylesford to Castlemain is 5 to 6 hours, and Castlemaine to Bendigo should take another 5 to 6 hours. The track also links up to other trails, so you can combine on-road and off-road experience.
The undulating terrain varies from single tracks and grippy loam to rocky ledges and coarse sandstone, so it’s recommended for riders with a bit of prior mountain biking experience. Some sections of the track are easier than others though – the Wallaby Track, starting at Mount Buninyong and following the Yarrowee River through the heart of Ballarat is a great place to start for families and beginners. The Great Dividing Trail Association also runs guided bushwalks, which give you a great way to get immersed in the beautiful natural surroundings.
For a weekend away, you have your choice of nearby regional cities and picturesque villages to stay in, with plenty of comfortable accommodation options available. Find restaurants, wineries, day spas and galleries – all within close distance to the peaceful bushland.
To learn more about the different sections of the track, find accommodation and plan your trip, visit at goldfieldstrack.com.au