Life On The Goldfields

By Grace 6B


There are 4 different types of tools used in the goldfields. The tools on the gold rush were mainly used for mining and gold panning. The tools for mining were: shovel, miners pick, hammer and a chisel. The gold panning tools were: a metal bowl, sand from the river or creek, shovel to get the sand from land and water.

Clothes In The Goldrush

Clothing in the gold rush was a sign of one’s class and status in society. What you would wear could tell other people about your level of wealth, respectability and your occupation.

Some Of The Many People Who Found Gold


Women on the goldfields were mainly around their houses all the time. They worked all day to night. They normally did the laundry, made damper or other tucker, did the washing and cleaned up the house. The women wore long dresses with aprons over the top and a hat that covered the hair off their faces. When they did the washing out the back they first washed the clothes around in a bucket with a stick and then they put it in another bucket. In this bucket they scrubbed the clothes on the washing board to get the lice out of the clothes. In the next bucket the women rinsed the water out of the clothes then put on a mangle that made the clothes extra dry. Then they hang it up on the line to dry. Women on the goldfields had to do work on their own. Take care of the children and do the cleaning and cooking.
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different types of mining on the goldfields

Placer Mining:
Placer mining involves any type of mining where raw minerals are deposited in sand or gravel or on the surface.

Hydraulic Mining:

Hydraulic mining involves high pressure water. The water is sprayed at an area of rock or gravel and instantly the water breaks the rocks.

Hard rock Mining:

Hard rock Mining involves digging into solid rock with fine materials. Miners built shafts and tunnels which went straight down into rock faces.

food on the goldfields

Miners in the gold rush mainly had mutton, damper and tea. The mutton was sold by a butcher, who would have a tent set up in the camp. Fresh food, such as fruit and vegetables, were hard to find because it was not available or would go rotten before it could be delivered to the gold fields. Clean water was not easy to get either because of the living conditions.

health on the goldfields

There were barely any qualified doctors, surgeons, pharmacists or dentists on the gold fields so treatment for the sick or injured was unreliable. The seasons were hard on the miners- summer was hot and finding clean water was difficult. In winter the miners would be working out in the rain. This resulted injures such as broken bones and deep cuts. They would often not heal properly because they were not treated properly.

living conditions

When miners first came to the gold fields they lived in tents. The miner’s would sleep on makeshift mattresses which were stuffed with leaves. Outside their tent they would have a cooking fire, a bucket of water and something specific to the miners to help them identify which tent was their own, such as a flag or a symbol.

chinese diggers

Chinese diggers often travelled in large groups, with a cook, a barber and a scribe who could read and speak English. The numbers of Chinese on the goldfields grew quickly. In 1854, there were just over 4000 Chinese people in Australia in six years that number expanded to 50, 000.
The Australian Gold Rush for Australian Primary School Students