Situated between Geelong and Ballarat, Steiglitz is almost a ghost town today but in the 1860s and 1890s it was a busy goldmining township with hotels, shops, churches and a population of over 1000. At the height of the 1860s gold rush, Steiglitz township had more than 1500 residents, four hotels, a newspaper, a variety of shops and even an undertaker.
Now most of the town and its surroundings are included in the Steiglitz Historic Park. Enjoy a pleasant bushwalk, relax with a picnic or pan for gold. Of course, a trip to the park wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Steiglitz Court House, with its display of photographs, maps and relics of gold year. The court house is open on Sunday and public holidays, and at other times by arrangement.
Things to Do
Bert Boardman Recreation Area - Enjoy a picnic at Bert Boardman Recreation Area which offers plenty of space for families to explore.
The Crossing Picnic Area - Enjoy a secluded picnic at The Crossing Picnic Area.
Steiglitz Township - Take a walk around the old township of Steiglitz. Signs show where shops and other buildings once stood. Two churches, a former hotel and a few houses remain. The cemetery on Maude-Steiglitz Road is also worth a visit.
A trip to the park wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Steiglitz Court House, with its display of photographs, maps and relics of the gold years. The Court House is open on Sunday afternoons, and at other times by arrangement.
As you stand on the Court House veranda, look across the vacant lots down to Sutherlands Creek over to Gibraltar mine. A peaceful rural scene today - yet it’s not hard to imagine the bustle and activity of the last century when gold drew people from near and far.
Although most of the buildings have gone and mines have been filled in, there are still many traces of the golden years in and around the town.
Panning for gold - Gold panning is permitted only in the section one kilometre downstream from the Meredith-Steiglitz Road Bridge on Sutherlands Creek. Prospectors with a miner’s right are permitted to use pans, cradles and hand tools within the creek bed only.
Walk one kilometre south-west along Stawell Street to the creek. Follow the creek bed on western side approximately 750 metres and locate orange markers where a small waterfall joins the creek. Follow the markers north-west through bushland, turning right at the Meredith-Steiglitz Road. Return to Steiglitz along the road, passing the old Catholic Church (c1868) and cemetery.
Beards Gully Walk – 6km, 6hrs min - Difficult
Expect hard off-track walking, steep climbs and dangerous mine shaft areas. A car shuffle is recommended. Leave one car at the Court House and park another at the start of Sailors Track.
Drive south from Bert Boardman Recreation Area along South Steiglitz Road to Sailors Track, or walk from the Court House Carpark (1 hour). Walk down Sailors Track and turn north on reaching Sutherlands Creek.
Look for signs of early goldmining. Watch your step! Old mineshafts and uncovered holes are often hidden by long grass along the edge of the creek. Follow the creek north, rock hopping along the creek where possible.
Upstream you may see quartz in the creek bed. After walking about two hours, look for interesting rock formations on the left side of the creek, north of Miners Track. Continue along the creek to intersect Deadmans Track and follow Stawell Street to the Court House Carpark.
Bring along your imagination and use a combination of the buildings remaining and informative boards to visualise what the town was like in the gold mining era. Take a 30 minute stroll through the town and visit the impressive Court House, fenced mine shafts, St Pauls Church of England Steiglitz, old cemetery and remains of building and goldmines.