This walk is an opportunity to get out into the Australian bush while staying close to the nearby town of Peak Hill. The Gold Mine Experience provides glimpses into mining history in the area, and there are spectacular views of the open cut pits. Mining began in 1880s, then stalled for a number years before starting up again. The open cut mine only ceased production in 2006.
Some of the tourist facilities were updated in 2017 and these have added tremendously to the experience. The walks are open from 9am to 4pm.
Peak Hill is located on the Newell Highway, 48km north of Parkes. The Gold Mine Experience is only 200m to the east of the town. The turn-off (to the right) in Peak Hill is well signposted.
Length: Gold Mine Discovery Trail is 1.3km; Peak Hill Bush Walk Trail is 1.8km.
Time: About 30 minutes for the Gold Mine Discovery and 45 minutes for the Bush Walk Trail.
Type of path: Gravel, plus a section of boardwalk.
Gradient: The Gold Mine Discovery walk is steep in places, so is rated more difficult.
Nearest public toilets: Located near the entrance.
There is an information sign in the undercover shelter at the entrance.
It’s worth exploring the area near the entrance as there’s a lot to see. There are a number of mining artifacts, as well as a children’s play area. The information panels and map are located in the undercover shelter. There’s an interactive sound installation and sculpture just to the left of the entrance. You can also fill your water bottle here.
There are two walks, with the Busk Walk Trail being the easier of the two. It is signposted in green, whereas the Gold Discovery Trail is signposted yellow.
There are lookouts at various places along each walk where you can safely get close to the edge and see into the pits. There are five pits, and they range in size and design.
There is a link trail between the two walks. This means you can start on one and finish on the other if you wish.
The signposts are helpful. For example, below is the sign on the Bush Walk Trail that points to the link trail that takes you up to the boardwalk. There are also some silver-coloured benches scattered along the way if you need a rest.
The boardwalk is not to be missed. However, if you are squeamish about heights and see-through mesh walkways, you might have to grab the handrails and look to the horizon for a couple of steps (like I did!). It is worth it to see the spectacular rock formations left by past digging.