–  Overland Gold  –

Overland from South Australia to the Victorian goldfields 1851-53; routes taken, modes of travel, conditions experienced

–  Recent Travellers  –

In late May 2013 a 'Cornish Convoy' of 10 vehicles and 17 participants traced one of the early routes from Burra to Castlemaine.  This was timed to coincide with their return from the Kernewek Lowender Cornish Festival in South Australia.  


In early May 2012, descendants of a group of Wends who travelled from Rosenthal in the Barossa Valley to Portland and then on to Hamilton in May 1852 will re-trace the journey in modern vehicles. Their forebears were travelling to find land on which to settle, but they followed the same route as overland travellers to the goldfields at least between Wellington and Kingston in south-east South Australia. Details are provided on the Albert and Deutscher families in Those Who Travelled, or visit Wendish Wagon Trek website at http://wendishwagontrek.com.au/


In early 2012, Jeremy Drew travelled from Castlemaine to Edenhope taken special note of topographical features and other aspects relevant to 1850's travel.


In 2009 Fern Matthews, returning to Victoria from the Kernewek Lowender Cornish Festival in South Australia, followed the route, keeping a journal and taking photographs.


In 2006 Tom & Libby Luke traced the journey taken by the Thomas Ninnes / Roach / Thomas group and produced a DVD. To order contact


In 2006 Vale and Noel Pederson followed the route described by Vale's great-grand-father Thomas Frost and subsequently published his account with the addition of contemporary photographs and comments, in Overland to the Diggings in 1850. The route described is the 'northern' route through the 90 Mile Desert, and the account provides a detailed description of their difficulty in obtaining water. It appears to have been written in retrospect, as the 'diary' contains a reference to the diary he kept on the journey being lost after he sent it home to England. There are several inconsistencies, the date is more likely to have been December 1851, not 1850, but it is of interest because of the detail of the day-to-day travel.

Copies of this publication are held in the Castlemaine Historical Society Inc.


In the mid 1980’s Margaret Ragless followed the route described by her great-great uncle Oliver Ragless as part of her research for publication of his diary - “Oliver’s Diary - an ‘andkichef of earth” in 1986. More detail is available under ‘Information Resources:


In 1982 Keith & Muriel Herman traced the journey related in the diary of Charles Rule, and compiled a list of the names of locations. This is lodged at the State Library of South Australia (SLSA).


Associated re-enactments:

There have been two major re-enactments of journeys related to this subject:

In 1986 as part of the South Australian 150th Anniversary celebrations, a re-enactment of the South Australian Gold Escort was mounted. This had been preceded in 1985 when a group from the South Australian Police and the Adelaide Gentleman’s Walking Club, representing gold miners, walked from Adelaide to Castlemaine to deliver a gold plated shovel to the Victorian organising committee of the event.

A re-enactment of the walk undertaken by many Chinese from Robe in South Australia to the goldfields was mounted in 2001 as part of the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the discovery of gold in Victoria.


Overland Gold Home | CAoV website