It’s difficult for today’s students to understand the harshness of life during Australia’s gold-rush years. An excursion to the goldfields educational sites at Bathurst or Hill End can help to bring this period of history to life.
Bathurst Goldfields, Hill End & History Hill all offer brilliant gold-rush educational opportunities using a combination of artefacts, restored buildings & equipment, preserved sites, recreated buildings and mines, photographic records and more. Presenters engage students with tours, role play activities, stories, and student participation in gold panning and other activities.
We specialise in designing itineraries combining all three venues to give your students a comprehensive ‘gold-rush era’ experience. Alternatively choose to visit one of these venues and include other activities to achieve a cross-curriculum itinerary. Some schools extend their Bathurst excursion to include Dubbo and a visit to Western Plains Zoo, other schools include activities in the Blue Mountains en-route.
The Bathurst region also offers several other activities to complement a basic ‘gold’ itinerary. Include a guided tour of the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum, visit the National Motor Racing Museum at Mount Panorama, and for city children, the Sheep and Cattle Show at Heritage Park is something not to be missed!
Hill End is a tiny community centrally located between Mudgee, Wellington and Bathurst and about one and a half hours drive North West of Bathurst. It is both a tiny, functioning town and a Heritage Site managed by National Parks and Wildlife Service. Hill End Ranch offers school groups on-site accommodation and excellent gold tour programs throughout Hill End and surrounds.
In 1872 at the height of the gold rush boom Hill End was home to approximately 7,500 people and had over a mile of shop fronts. Students explore the remains of the village through a treasure hunt tour.
Hill End offers many unique ‘gold-rush’ learning experiences: the Hill End Village Treasure Hunt; the Tambaroora Cemetery Tour with excellent enquiry based worksheets; visit Golden Gully to see how alluvial mining once took place and maybe even find your own quartz crystal; see the clever engineering of the Cornish Roasting Pits; and nothing beats being shown by genuine gold-miners how to pan for gold at Tambaroora Creek!
History Hill is located a few kilometres from the Village of Hill End and is owned and hosted by Malcolm Drinkwater who even looks like a genuine miner from the gold rush era!
A visit to History Hill lets your students view a Stamper Battery, the most comprehensive collection of artefacts from the gold-rush era including many Chinese artefacts, and a fabulous underground mine tour. Malcolm’s knowledge of the Australian gold-rush era, his passion and attention to detail make a visit to History Hill an unforgettable experience!
Bathurst Goldfields is located at Mount Panorama, Bathurst, and makes an excellent base from which to explore the surrounding area. Bathurst Goldfields provides a range of accommodation options for school groups. Some aspects of the 1850’s – 1880’s gold-rush lifestyle have been recreated on site including huts, a machinery shed, and an underground mine.
At Bathurst Goldfields, students participate in a Gold Tour program which includes exploring an ‘underground mine’ where they learn about the ‘miner’s spider’ and the ‘talking timbers’. Discover the difference between fool’s gold, reef gold and alluvial gold, as well as various methods of mining.
Your students will see many household items from the gold rush period of history, learn about the Chinese workers on the goldfields, including their work practices and lifestyle compared to those of the European miners and also the prejudices that arose. The hands-on activities will help to engage students in learning about the hardship of life on the goldfields.