Eureka Trail

Follow in the footsteps of history

A 3.5 Kilometre walk following the route taken by the government forces on 3rd December 1854
(Click on the map image for a larger view)

Historical Route

In the early hours of December the 3rd, 1854 police and soldiers combined forces and marched from the Government Camp to the Eureka Stockade. To avoid detection they marched along established goldfield walking trails and typically followed gullies, rivers and hills. Upon arrival they attacked miners who had taken up arms and formed a stockade in defence of, amongst other grievances, their refusal to pay a license fee that they believed to be excessive.

The violent battle that took place was brief but remains a significant and powerful event in Australian history.

The route taken by the Government Forces has been interpreted from historical maps and records from the time.

 Development Background

The Eureka Trail, aimed at enhancing the "Eureka Experience", is managed by the City of Ballarat and was developed in 1996 with funding assistance from the State and Federal Governments as part of the Eureka Project.

Much of the work was undertaken as an employment scheme initiative under the New Work Opportunity Programme and the works generally included:

  • the installation of signs and directional bollards
  • the removal of rubbish and weeds
  • development of granitic sand walking trails
  • the construction of steps, fences and seats
  • treeplanting using local native tubestock

 The Eureka Trail Today

The landscape along the trail has changed considerably since 1854 as Ballarat has continued to develop as a major Regional Centre. Gravel roads have been formed and sealed, open drains and creeks have been piped, and the vast expanses of mining fields have been developed and built over. It is perhaps difficult to imagine what the trail may have looked like at the time however the major landmark features remain and so the trail still follows, as closely as possible, the route taken at the time.

The trail starts outside the Post Office in Lydiard Street on the site of the former Police Camp. It then meanders through the CBD, the Eastern Oval, and alongside the Yarrowee River. After crossing the Yarrowee it winds its way through some of Ballarat’s older residential areas in Ballarat East before arriving at the Eureka Stockade Centre. There are many other points of interest along the way including:

  • the majestic Victorian architecture of Lydiard Street
  • the Eastern Oval and grandstand (home of Ballarat’s cricket)
  • formed bluestone channels and quiet resting spots under the shade of Willow trees on the banks of the Yarrowee River (Ballarat’s major river)
  • the Black Hill Lookout and Reserve (a short diversion off the track)
  • linkages with the Yarrowee River Trail and the Great Dividing Trail (which goes from Ballarat to Castlemaine)
  • fine examples of intact mining huts in Ballarat East

Walking the Eureka Trail

The Trail is marked by a series of blue bollards incorporating a logo of a troopers head and directional arrows. These is also a series of interpretative signs which provide additional graphic and historical information about features along the way and the troopers march.

The Trail is relatively flat and is 3.5 kilometres long. It takes approximately one hour to walk it in each direction however if you intend to take your time and allow time to visit the Eureka Stockade Centre you should allow half a day for the return trip. Another option is to catch public transport for the return trip or, if you have access to two vehicles, to park one at either end before starting.

If you have any difficulties walking the trail, have any other comments or would like further information please contact one of the following:

City of Ballarat: Ph: (03) 5320 5500

Eureka Stockade Centre: Ph: (03) 5333 1854