Eldorado & Woolshed Valley
Scattered with remnants of a bygone era and nestled on the banks of Reedy Creek, Eldorado & the Woolshed Valley remains an authentic piece of Australian history. Once a bustling mining area, buzzing with gold miners, 80 hotels and four towns, it is now home to about 300 people and the Smallest Pub in Victoria.
Today it is a popular place to visit for its meandering creek and falls, bush walking, bike riding, farm gates and points of interest - the school, museum, cemetery and several churches still stand and provide visitors insights into life as it was in days gone by. Enjoy a relaxing walk along Reedy Creek on the 1km Reids Walk, or head up to Memorial Hill for views of the township and valley below with views towards Wangaratta.
Cock’s Eldorado Dredge is a must while visiting. One of the largest dredges in the Southern Hemisphere, the 1936 marvel was operating mining alluvial gold and tin until 1954. In operation this floating monster weighed 2.142 tons and pulled the third most power from the State Electrical Grid after Melbourne and Geelong. In its 18 years of operation the dredge produced 70,664 ounces of gold and 1,383 tons of tin concentrate. Today, you can get an insight into the workings of the dredge, with a foot bridge taking you to the heart of the operations, with interpretive signage inside. Or take advantage of the dredge walk that gives you a 360 degree view of the floating monster as you walk around the picturesque lake it sits in.
Explore the Woolshed Valley Self Guided Drive and discover stories of gold and bushrangers, including Joe Byrne and Aaron Sherritt, who both grew up in Sebastopol in the Woolshed Valley and as kids would spend considerable time in the Chinese mining camps, with Joe becoming proficient in Cantonese. It was only a matter of time before these two met the Kelly's, with Joe becoming one of the main members of the Kelly Gang.
While you are in Eldorado try your hand at gold panning and gem fossicking, where you can still find smoky quartz, agates, amathysts, topaz and many more gems, as well as petrified wood and broken ceramics many of these are beautiful relics of Chinese miners. Thinking of trying your luck gold panning or prospecting? You will need a miner's right for recreational prospecting in Victoria. This can be purchased at the Wangaratta Visitor Information Centre or online below.
Buy a Miner's Right