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