Goldfields Track Walk or Ride Guide to the central Victorian goldfields cultural landscape By Gib Wettenhall
Similar to those produced by the Sierra Club for national parks in the United States, the Goldfields Track Walk or Ride Guide (2nd edition) is well designed with superb photographs and expert commentary on both the landscape aspects and cultural heritage.
‘A sense of place’ has deliberately been fostered by sourcing the guide’s designer, writers, cartographer and photographers from the central Victorian goldfields region.
Upgraded in 2010 to become the longest shared mountain bike riding and walking track in Victoria, the 210km Goldfields Track stretches from Mt Buninyong via Ballarat, Creswick, Daylesford and Castlemaine to Bendigo. Now the track’s original band of volunteer builders, the Great Dividing Trail Association (GDTA), has published via em PRESS a comprehensive full colour guide complete with 34 large scale (1:25,000) contour maps painstakingly produced by VicMap. As the publications manager for the GDTA, Gib Wettenhall acted as the lead writer and producer of the guide.
The map spreads are sandwiched between sections offering expert essays on, first, reading the landscape – from the underlying geology to the diverse range of plants and animals, through to the marks left behind by the various mining techniques employed during what is often described as “the greatest the gold rush the world has ever seen.” The second series of essays offers the cultural heritage context. The Goldfields Track – more than any other walking or bike trail in this country – embraces the rich heritage left behind in the forests and gullies, beside creeks and rivers, and on plains and mountaintops.
em PRESS Publishing specialises in Australian landscapes and their historical and cultural contexts. em PRESS is particularly interested in fusing Indigenous, European settler and nature-based readings of the landscape to provide a truer view of our country.