Aboriginal Rock Pools

Leaders: Lyle and Eileen Courtney


Many of us had never heard of them!

They would have taken a long time to make. Possibly they were worked over hundreds of years.
The three wells are oblong in shape, and up to 1.3m deep.
Coversor lids were put over the wells to conserve the water by limiting
evaporation and also to keep them clean from contamination by birds and other animals.
The nearest permanent water is at least 8km from here.

Rock wells are found in other places, but this design is unique to the Djadja Wurrung
people who lived in this area.


Battery Dam Historic Site


The discovery of gold in 1854 left its mark

  • Hundreds of holes
  • forest cleared of timber, used for mine shafts and boiler fuel


Some of the remains of the gold mining era that were seen included


  • a puddler; an early method of gold extraction. Wash dirt was placed in a circular
    trough with water. The wash dirt was then broken up, or puddled by a horse pulling
    a harrow-type implement through the trough. It was easy to see where the horse had walked
    around and around.
  • Remains of two quartz batteries, used to crush quartz.
  • cyanide vats. Use of cyanide to extract gold enabled so much extra gold to be recovered
    that it was economic to reprocess old tailings.
  • The remnants of an old eucalyptus still.


A Little Eagle was seen circling in the thermals, and the lovely sounds of Grey
Shrike-thrushes were heard. Other bird calls included Olive-backed Orioles and Crested Bellbirds. Another highlight was a Black-chinned Honeyeater on a nest, possibly with fledged young.Many other birds were seen, with total of 25 from this locality.


Aboriginal rock wells.
Photos: 1. R Smallwood. 2: G. Broadway.