Garfield Mine Track

It was already 12:30pm when we arrived at Chewton about 5km from Castlemaine. The weather was cloudy with occassional break of sunshine. The temperature was around 16C and there was light wind. It was coolish when the wind was blowing and the sun behind the cloud. We found a picnic spot near the town oval and had lunch before the walk.

The start of the walk is at the end of North Street. There was plenty of car parking spots. Apart from a family that was there before us, there was no one else around. The family soon left and we were alone for the duration of the walk.

Near the car park was the ruins of the Garfield Waterwheel. There was no wheel but the foundation appears to be mostly in tack. There was an information board close to the wheel but, as we found out later, the map does not appear to correspond to sign posted track on the ground.

The walking track was littered with quartz pieces. We wondered if it was remanants of the mining activities in the past. We soon walked by a sign that said Manchester Reef. Closeby is an enterance to an abandoned mine. Near the enterance is a shaft that went directly downwards. It was really exciting to have discovered a geniue mine that has not been prepared for tourist (ala Sovereign Hill in Ballarat).

Beyond the mine, the track was leading us further away from the car. We had expected a loop as was shown in the map on the information. When we approached the Pyreneness Highway, we decided to backtrack and return via the same way we came.

The landscape and ruins on this walk hides the story of mining in this area. It was a shame that there are no sign boards to provide us with information along the way.

The track was not exactly flat but it wasn’t terrible difficult either. Anyone with reasonable fitness should be able to attempt it easily. However, in many parts of the track, there were loose stones. It was a very relaxing day for us. We will definitely come back again.

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