Life On The Gold Fields

Read and learn about "Life on the Gold Fields"

The 2 different types of mining

There are 2 different types of mining, Alluvial and Shaft.

The Alluvial mining is gold that’s been chipped out of rocks caused by harsh weather.

The specks of gold wash into rivers, then sink into the riverbed.

Alluvial gold can be found when miners seperate the sand or dirt from heavier gold.

Did you know that you could do that using a pan or a cradle!

The Shaft mining takes place under the surface of Earth.

Did you know that the Shaft hole is usually about 1 meter wide to about 10 meters deep!

A windlass is used to lower a man down into the Shaft, the Windlass then is used to bring the man out from the Shaft, the dirt will be washed in the cradle, to see if there are any hidden pieces of gold!


These are the tools the tools that you would need to be able to mine Gold!

Women and Children on the Gold Fields

When was their first apperence?

In the first few years, women and children were hardly seen on the gold fields, as conditions were very harsh, it was not a place for women or children. The women and children stayed in Melbourne with little money, with promises from their husband’s that they would send money to them if they ever found gold. When the conditions got better, women and children joined the Miner's on the fields; in January 1853 there were 5,000 women and children, by June there were approxamently 10,000.

About the permit

The goverment had created a licence that the Miner's had to buy to have permission to mine on the goverments property/land.

Each Miner had to pay 1 pound and 10 shillings a month, or else they would not be able to claim the land, that they were working on and would be forced buy the Gold Commision Police to pay or they would be sent back from where they came from!

Chinese on the gold fields

It is believed about 7,000 Chinese worked in the Araluen gold fields in Southern NSW.

Chinese Miner's used different mining methods to the Europeans.

By 1850 the news of the gold rush in Australia reached to Southern China.

The Chinese Miner's usually worked in groups of 30 to 100 men.

By the 1880's there were less than 100 Chinese women in the colony.

There was a population of 10,000 Chinese men on the gold fields.

Life on the gold fields

When Miner's first came to the Gold Fields, the Miner's lived in calico tents.

Outside the Miner's tent they would have a cooking fire, a bucket of water and sometimes a flag to help the Miner's identify which tent was their own tent appart from the others.

The Goverment built camps which was built of timber barracks for the soldiers as well as a log jail.


The Miner's had a very simple diet which was; Mutton, damper (made from flour and water) and tea (which you buy at the Butcher's tent) . Fresh food, such as fruit and vegetables, were hard to find because it was not available or would expire before it could be delivered to the gold fields. Also clean water was also hard to find.


There were barely any trained doctors, surgeons, pharmacists or dentists on the gold fields so treatment for the sick or injured was hard to get.

Injures such as , broken bones and deep cuts would not heal properly because they were not treated properly with medication when they were received.

Concluding statement

As you can see, life on the gold fields was tought for the brave Miner's that sacraficed so much to try find gold and send it to their families. They also had to survive on not so many supplies. Don't forget that men lost their lives trying to provide for their own.