About 10.5km in length, this easy-going walk takes in three cultural features, two of which are on the Goldfields Track, with the other one nearby. You will visit the foundations of the Garfield Water Wheel and get a close look at the ruins and abandoned slate quarries of the Welsh Village. The circuit also leads you to the dam wall of the Expedition Pass Reservoir.

Castlemaine circuit walk

Park in Chinamans Point Rd [1]  – where Forest Crk Trail crosses the road –  and head west clockwise. After 120m, left onto Ammons Rd to commenceyour circuit clockwise. Right uphill off Ammons Rd onto unsigned dirt Dead Cat Mine Trk – it’s next to a clearing. At crest of hill [2], hard right at the switchback – ignore faint track to the left.  Continue uphill to the ridgetop and the junction [3] with the Goldfields Track’s Leanganook Trk and Garfield Trk. Turn left and follow Goldfields Track posts from 500m to the Garfield Wheel [4].

From the information board, walk north to follow the ‘Garfield Mine Track’ grey posts, then turn left on  ‘Dirty Dicks Walking Track’ also marked with grey posts, and follow past the signed Blacksmiths Hut [5] to the signed Puddling Works [6]. Pleasant place to stop, then a steep pitch for 250m to Tobys Trk. Ignore sign to left and turn right, then in 50m turn left (north) onto the signed Garfield Track [7].  Walk north for about 500m, then take a smaller vehicle track on the right heading due north downhill. At this point, the Garfield Trk swings west.  Right at the T into the stone hut ruins and walls of the Welsh Village [8].

Leave the Welsh village at the terracing with rosemary growing, just before the dam, heading south on a footpad upslope. Past the fencing of the deep slate mine open cut [9], continuing downhill to a Goldfields Track post [10]. Left (east) on a track that becomes clearly defined Welsh St. 

At Chapel St turn left (north) for 600m to Llewellyn Rd.  After 250m north on Llewellyn Rd, just before a Goldfields Track post, take the footpad on the right [11], up the rocky spillway, crossing at the Garfield Wheel Flume remnants, and on to the Expedition Pass Reservoir wall. Return to the circuit walk’s start by following the red-top posts of the Forest Creek Walking Track south from the Reservoir for about 2.5km back beside Forest Crk to Chinamans Point Rd. It’s a relaxing finish to the circuit.

If there’s too much water on the rock spillway, to reach the Expedition Pass Reservoir wall, use the Llewellyn Rd causeway to cross Forest Creek [opposite feature point 12], then follow the walking track north uphill to the reservoir.  Again, to return to the circuit walk’s start, head back south along the signed Forest Creek Walking Track, retracing your route past the causeway [12] and continuing on beside Forest Crk to Chinamans Point Rd.

Castlemaine off-road bike circuit

This mainly off-road circuit is principally in a bush environment, taking in a local trail, the Castlemaine – Maldon rail trail and botanic gardens.

The circuit is mainly track and dirt road and a small section of tarmac. A trestle bridge on the rail trail is a good photo opportunity. You may wish to dally in the botanic gardens.  The south exit/entrance of the botanic gardens faces The Mill with its ice-cream shop, café and micro-brewery sure to refresh you.

The Green dashed circuit requires basic mountain biking off-road skills. The magenta shortcut avoids a few short hills in the north.

What you can expect to see