Life on the Goldfields

By Jessica berry

Life on the Goldfields

Life on the Goldfields was hard for the men and women. They where hard workers and they didn't have much. Can you image working at the goldfields.

The different types of mining


At this stage, people were looking for small nuggets and flecks of gold lying in creeks, or buried in shallow underground streams or rivers. This can also be called alluvial gold.

Reef gold

Reef gold is found in underground shafts. As more and more miners worked on the diggings the gold near the surface ran out. By the end of the 1850's most of the easily mined gold in Victoria and New South Wales had been dug up.


Men dug shafts about 1m square and shored them up with timber to stop the sides collapsing. At various depths they dug tunnels (called drives) out from the main shafts, to look for new leads. As the shafts got deeper the problems got worse. Ten to twelve meters down, the shafts started to fill up with water.

The tools used

The Californian rocking cradles, pick axe, Gold pan, shovel, puddling, dolly stick and windless. These are just some of the tools used. The Californian rocking cradles were used to find the gold, nuggets, even really small specks.

Chinese diggers

There were many nationalities on the goldfields: English, Irish, Germans, French and Americans. But the Chinese were different because they dug circles because bad spirits hid in corners. In 1853 there were 3,000 Chinese people on the Bendigo fields. With their baggy trousers, large coolie hats, pigtails, and louds carried on long bamboo poles. The Chinese looked very different.

Women at the digging

Women where a big part of mining even though they didn't dig. When the men got home they wanted dinner so the women cooked. And also the women washed all the cloths and washing was hard work. This year we all got told how they used to wash the cloths it is a very long process.


I would not like to work on the goldfields would you? So I hope you will learn something about the gold rush.
Big image