GDTA Heritage Walk – 22 May – Guildford to Strangways
GDTA is excited to partner with the Castlemaine – Maryborough Rail Trail Inc. group to offer a unique opportunity to walk along and interpret part of the former historic railway line (opened 1874, closed 2004) between Guildford and Strangways.
The walk on the morning of Sunday 22 May led by Barry Golding and Mick Evans begins in Guldford and follows the picturesque valley of the Loddon River, framed to the north by the extensive Guildford plateau, which we get great views of from the lookout high above Guildford.
Other walk features include The Big Tree, the historic Guildford Township, important remnant vegetation, extensive mining and railway heritage as well as excellent opportunities to learn about why the area was so incredibly rich in gold, as revealed in the many rock outcrops in the exposed railway cuttings.
Unsurprisingly, this fertile part of the Loddon Valley was for millennia a well-trodden Aboriginal highway, later followed by Major Mitchell, the invading squatters, alluvial and deep lead miners, and for 130 years, the railway service across the Moolort Plains connecting Castlemaine and Maryborough. We negotiated with VicTrack to gain this ‘one-off’ permission to explore this historic railway easement, otherwise rarely seen.
The walk concludes with a celebratory community picnic lunch (with gold panning opportunities) on the Loddon River off School Road at Strangways which those not walking from the GDTA, Castlemaine Rail Trail Inc., cyclists and the local community are warmly invited to join. Several local residents, historians, naturalists and geologists have agreed to provide interpretation along the way, consistent with the GDTA heritage theme adopted for all our monthly waks during 2022.
Intending walkers need to register by Thursday 19 May. The walk registration link, which we encourage you to widely share, is below:
Non-GDTA members who walk will pay $5 cash on the day in order to be covered as ‘visitors’ for GDT insurance purposes. Information about registering to walk and other practical details (about where to meet and exactly where and when the picnic lunch is) will follow. Meantime, put the 22 May event in your diaries!