Track information

The Betley ride is reasonably easy and is through farmland rather than forest. The section from Dunolly to Betley is a quiet sealed road and then the the road is unmade along Howards Lane and Middle Road. This path takes you past what once were the thriving communities of Bromley and Burnt Creek plus a number of sites of commercial goldmining of the 1890s and 1900s.


Additional notes by Margaret Van Veen

Burnt Creek
has its source around Mt. Moliagul and was auriferous throughout its 17 mile length, passing through the gold towns of Moliagul, Inkerman, Goldsborough and Dunolly before joining up with the Bet Bet Creek in Betley. Where there once was the thriving town of Burnt Creek, the remnants of alluvial mining and Reef Mining are still obvious. As you cross the bridge on the Betley road you pass along the main street that boasted a population of 4000 to 6000 and shops, dance halls and businesses stretching out to almost a mile.

Chinese at Burnt Creek.
Burnt Creek already had a large Chinese population, which increased dramatically in 1858 with 2000 arriving in one huge group and smaller groups up to three hundred arriving from time to time often from China. By 1861 they had opened a Joss House and later a Chinese Theatre that was enjoyed by all. Chinese planted many of the orchards and vineyards that are still evident along the ride, during the goldrush. Although the Chinese at Burnt Creek seemed to have amicable relations with their European neighbours, it was not so in many of the diggings, with conflicts and violence often forcing the Chinese out. The Chinese were noted for their meticulous methods of working what was considered 'poor ground' by Europeans and reaping just rewards. While Europeans sank rectangular holes, the Chinese opted for circular shafts claiming they were safer and less prone to cave ins. Examples of these differences are still evident in Wild Dog Diggings just off the bike track (beware of shafts).

Deep Lead Mining.
As you pass through Betley you will notice in the distance the enormous mullock heaps of the Burnt Creek Deep Lead Mines. Only the lone old gum tree growing upon the top alludes to the age of these mullock heaps. This is the only spot in the district to have Deep Lead Mining due to numerous waterways past and present ending up in this basin. The Deep Leads are formed over centuries of earth movements and lava flows, causing old streams to be buried deep under the surface. At the peak of the Burnt Creek Mining company they sunk a shaft 247 feet deep to work a gutter about 250 feet wide existing between the two Deep Lead Mines you pass on the ride, (one on Betley road the other just off Howards Lane). In the 22 years of the mines, 47,230 ounces of gold were obtained. To do this the company had to sink numerous shafts, excavate tunnels, lay tramways down to transport rock, erect batteries to crush the rock and continually run pumps to be rid of water from pockets in the rock. Deep Lead Mining was extremely dangerous work, especially for the unlucky sod who had to make the final break into the old stream, as the design was to sink a shaft next to the lead, then cut across under the old creek bed and finally up into its base. Burnt Creek Mine finally closed due to the pump not being able to match the amount of water filling the shafts.

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