Winding roads, historic settlements, riverside walks and plenty of atmosphere; the valleys that run between Jamieson and the early mining settlements are fascinating places to explore. This is gold country and traces of early mining and miners’ settlements can be found everywhere you look. Stop in at the townships and settlements and you’ll find other relics of the past - old beer houses and hotels. In Woods Point alone there were 36 pubs. For a glimpse of those days, check out the local history museum in Jamieson and displays at Woods Point.
Jamieson - boomtown
Laidback, leafy and luscious on even the hottest days, Jamieson was once a bustling place. In the thick of the gold rush, miners poured into town from all over the world. Dancing girls travelled down the valley in human sized panniers strapped across the flanks of sure-footed mountain ponies. It was a harrowing trip on narrow tracks with sheer drops below. Local lads used to ride their horses for the best part of a day just to attend the pub dances. Hung-over, they relied on their ponies to get them home while they slept it off in the saddle. This was a modern, go ahead place then with a telegraph line connecting Jamieson with the other mining towns.
Motor touring and motorcycle
The road that snakes from Jamieson to Woods Point isn’t just a trip back into history; it is also a driver’s dream. Sweeping bends and dramatic scenery make this a great region to tour by car or motorcycle. Some of the driving on dirt road is challenging .For maps and suggestions, talk to the friendly staff at the Mansfield Visitor Information Centre.
These silent valleys were once full of voices as gold miners and their families made lives for themselves. Few of their homes still stand but every spring, their gardens bloom again with daffodils, tulips and old fashioned roses, a poignant reminderof the women, men and children who helped shape the High Country.
Country Pubs and a Brewery
There are great, historic pubs throughout this area. Check out the Kevington 'Hilton’ a pub at the foot of a rocky cliff on a narrow riverbend. This dramatic setting gives a new meaning to cosy - the pub and road only just seem to fit between rock wall and river. Despite the squash Kevington has an outdoor stage for live entertainment and a reputation for conviviality. A beerhouse first established here in 1862, just in time for the gold rush.
The Jamieson Pub and Brewery offers boutique beer brewed on the premises. It is a great spot to stop for lunch or dinner. Try a sparkling raspberry beer. If you’re game, tackle The Beast, a high alcohol brew.
Fun stuff for the kids
There are plenty of ways to keep the family amused in these valleys. Look for mine relics on a self-guided walk -maps are available from the Mansfield Visitor Information Centre. Take a picnic and spend the afternoon wading and swimming at the junction of the Jamieson and Goulbourn Rivers. Or try panning for gold. Licences for prospecting or fossicking are required and can be purchased over the phone by credit card from the Department of Primary Industry Office in Melbourne.
This rugged terrain is crossed with trails and forestry roads that make for great four-wheel driving. You’ll find many trails to choose from, whether you’re a novice or a seasoned driver.
Want to know more? Ready to plan your trip?
Explore the possibilities with ideas, information and tips from our staff, all of them High Country locals.
Mansfield-Mt Buller High Country Reservations
on 1800 039 049.