Located on a country road near to the town of Maldon in rural Victoria stands the Porcupine Flat gold dredge and dragline. Despite being easily accessible, this site is not well-known to tourists. It consists of two very large, rusting structures from bygone years.
Work on the site started in 1958 when it was discovered that there was a source of gold in Porcupine Creek. The owner of the mine brought in some heavy equipment to help with their operation, most notably this large crane and gold dredging boat. The site was moderately successful when utilizing the boat, however, the crane actually had limited use by the time it was brought in and has spent most of its life decaying alongside the creek.
The gold dredge utilized large rotating steel buckets that could dig into the river bed. The buckets would bring up dirt and gravel onto a platform that could separate the gold from other materials. These would have originally been driven by steam, with electricity taking over in later years.
This is a very interesting site to visit and makes for some great photographs. The operating machinery within the crane is well preserved.
Know Before You Go
There is adequate parking right beside the crane and just off the main road. There is also a small picnic area with a fire pit located between the two structures, making this a great stop for lunch.