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.
It’s worth exploring the area near the entrance as there’s a lot to see. 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.
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.
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.
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. If you are heading north, the turn-off in Peak Hill is to the right in Peak Hill. It is well signposted.
Length: Gold Mine Discovery Trail is 1.3km; Peak Hill Bush Walk Trail is 1.8km.
Opening hours: The walks are open from 9am to 4pm (closed Good Friday and Christmas Day).
Time: About 30 minutes for the Gold Mine Discovery and 45 minutes for the Bush Walk Trail, but give yourself extra time to fully experience this engaging site.
Type of path: Gravel, plus a section of boardwalk. It is a bush walk, so wear appropriate shoes.
Gradient: The Gold Mine Discovery walk is steep in places, so is rated more difficult.
Nearest public toilets: Located near the entrance.
Take care: Ensure you carry water with you.
There is an information sign in the undercover shelter at the entrance.
Some of the tourist facilities were updated in 2017 and these have added tremendously to the experience. There is ample parking.
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 is a link trail between the two walks. This means you can start on one and finish on the other if you wish.
The facility is managed by Parkes Shire Council. More information is available from their website: Peak Hill Open Cut Experience.