Goldfields, NSW: 1852

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This extract is taken from Australia As It Is: Its Settlements, Farms. and Gold Fields, Vol. II, by F. Lancelott, Esq., published by Colburn and Co., London, 1852.

pp. 1-6.

“HAVING briefly detailed the discovery and progress of the New South Wales gold-fields, we will now glance at the chief localities where, up to the present time, gold has been discovered in sufficient quantities to pay for working.

“Bell’s Point. - These diggings are on the river Bell and some of its tributary creeks. The river itself borders the western portion of the county of Wellington, and falls into the Macquarie in Wellington valley. In November, 1851, there were about 300 persons at these mines. All who laboured were doing well, and some were realizing fortunes.

Braidwood. - These diggings are in the county of St. Vincent, 16 miles from the town of Braidwood. Arabian Creek [Araluen Creek], a tributary of the Duah [Deua] and the Bronlee Mounyas, is the chief seat of the mines, although gold has also been found in considerable quantities on the Little river [Mongarlowe River], at Major’s Creek and Bell’s Creek, and small nuggets have been found at Mount Ebrington [Elrington], six miles from Araluen. The gold is nuggetty, and often found in the schist rocks. The deposits are irregular in quantity, but all who work the cradle get more or less.

Bungonia, or Shoalhaven. - These gold mines are in the vicinity of the Shoalhaven river, in Argyle county, about 125 miles from Sydney.

Carraway Flat and Black Swamp are quietly worked but productive mines, in the vicinity of Lake George, in Murray county.

Hanging Rock. - These diggings are progressing on a small creek below the precipitous part of the Liverpool range, known as the Hanging Rock. This creek flows into Dungowan Creek, a tributary of the Peel. Several other streams that flow into the Peel in this neighbourhood have lately been examined, and found to be auriferous.

Louisa Creek, 30 miles from Mudgee, is situate on a flat table-land, somewhat marshy, and abounding in quartz boulders and pebbles. The auriferous soil is nuggetty, and but 9 inches beneath the surface.

Major’s Creek are productive diggings, in the vicinity of the Shoalhaven river. Many of the miners are reported to procure from 2 to 3 oz. of gold a day per man.

Maneero [Monaro]. - These new diggings are on the Snowey [Snowy] river, and some of its tributaries. They promise to be highly remunerative.

Meroo, or World’s End. - These diggings are on the Meroo Creek, 18 miles southward of Mudgee. The gold is found in an alluvial deposit, from 4 to 6 inches thick, lying upon a bed of yellow greasy clay. In and below the clay no gold occurs. The gold of the table-land through which the Meroo flows, instead of being in scales, like the Turon gold, or in water-worn nuggets, like that of Ophir, is in nuggets of all sizes, from 4 oz. to a pin’s-head, with exactly the appearance of gold broken carefully out of the quartz. The diggers have been earning on the average 30s. a day per man.

Mookerra. - This auriferous creek is a tributary of the Macquarie, in Wellington county. Although productive, it is frequently so dry that the diggers have to cart the earth several miles in order to obtain water to wash out the gold.

Moruya. - These diggings are on the banks of a river of the same name, which extends along the western boundary of St. Vincent’s county. They are situate about twenty miles from Bateman’s Bay, and 100 from Sydney.

“Oakey Creek. - A stream in the Liverpool Plains’ district, whose banks are so highly auriferous, that a man in six days found 8 oz. of gold in seme [sic] of the miners’ refuse earth.

Ophir includes the Summer Hill Creek, Lewis Ponds, and Frederick’s Valley diggings in the county of Bathurst, and excepting those of the Turon, are the richest gold-fields in the colony. In Frederick’s Valley lies Mr. Wentworth’s estate of 6000 acres, all believed to be rich in gold. The land around is well watered, and exceedingly fertile. Basaltic rock is abundant, and, in many places, the soil is a mixture of red clay and quartz. The roads here may truly be said to be paved with gold, as the rocks with which they are metalled are auriferous. In Summer Hill Creek, with its mica-slate hills, its numerous quartz veins, and its broken bed and narrow tortuous course, the gold is massive in character, the dust being exceedingly coarse, in comparison with the Turon. The find, therefore, in this locality, although in the aggregate great, is uncertain. Nuggets, varying in size from a pea to a walnut are common, fine dust is not met with, and seales [scales] but seldom occur.

Parshish. - These diggings are in the vicinity of the Abercrombie river, about 50 miles to the southward of the town of Bathurst.

Tueena [Tuena]. - These diggings are about 60 miles from Goulburn; and the miners are making great gains. In some instances, a single individual has obtained L100 in a week.

Turon. - This is the principal gold-field at present discovered in the province. The river itself takes its rise near Hartley, and after a course of about 100 miles through the counties of Roxburgh and Wellington, flows into the Macquarie. During its course it receives several tributary creeks, and most of these are auriferous. Little Oakey Creek, near the head of the Turon, at a place called Golden Point, and portions of Cunningham’s Creek have yielded an immense store of the golden treasure. The diggings in the valley of the Turon, are very numerous, and extend all along the stream for a distance of about 40 miles.”