Ballarat was the site of Australia’s only armed rebellion during the gold rush in 1854. It was the place where the Southern Cross or Eureka flag was first unfurled before an angry crowd of 12,000 people – one-third of Ballarat’s population – in response to a provocative gold licence fee hunt ordered by the new Governor of Victoria, Sir Charles Hotham.
Eureka Track Elevation
The Eureka Track is a walk of contrasts with the walking environment ranging from urbanised areas of Victoria’s third largest city to dense forest regrowth covering devastated gullies, the legacy of one of Australia’s great gold-rushes.
The 745 metre summit of Mt Buninyong is the starting point of the Mt Buninyong Walk/Ride. The initial descent for walkers is via a steep zig-zag track into the crater where a left turn is taken to Blackberry Lane. From there an undulating and overall descending route is followed mainly on quiet roads and walking tracks to Buninyong township. The cycle route departs Mt Buninyong summit via the road before joining and then leaving the walk route at several points on the way to Buninyong. At De Soza Park in central Buninyong walkers and cyclists turn left towards the footbridge over Union Jack Creek. Cross the bridge and follow streets and creek reserves mainly on gravel tracks to Union Jack Bridge before a steady but persistent climb on a sealed dual-use track beside Geelong Road is encountered for about 1 km. The remainder of the Mt Buninyong Walk is 3 km on a similar but mainly level track to Olympic Avenue.
The Canadian Creek Walk/Ride goes eastwards from Geelong Road down Olympic Avenue to the Canadian Creek which is then followed downstream (northwards) on a popular and virtually level walk and bike track to the edge of Ballarat CBD. The next part of this route is northwards along Peel Street through a busy shopping precinct to finish at Ebden Street beside the historic and beautifully-maintained Eastern Oval. From this point a short westwards detour takes you to Ballarat Rail Station.
After leaving Peel Street some 200 metres north of Ebden Street, the Miners Walk/Ride goes beside the Yarrowee River for some 4.5km passing under the Western Freeway via a long tunnel. The river is crossed by a vehicle bridge and then follows a climb to Glenisla Road which is the boundary of the Nerrina Historic Area with its numerous relics of the mining era. This section has some short ups and downs and passes beside Nuggety Dam. The undulations continue after crossing White Swan Road with the main Ballarat water supply reservoir (White Swan) being seen on the right. From here to Creswick’s St Georges Lake the topography is a little challenging at times, and the track is often quite eroded, particularly at gully crossings. The cycle route diverges from the walk route from Shuttleworth Road almost to St Georges Lake, following forest roads. From the Lake to Creswick township is fairly level as you follow Creswick Creek to the Tourist Information Centre. From here a 600 metre walk or ride westwards takes you to Creswick Station.