This page is a directory of resources dealing with the Copeland Tops State Forest, near Gloucester in New South Wales, Australia.
What's on this Page:
Copeland Tops is reached via a sealed road from Gloucester. It is on the road that continues on over the Barrington Tops to Moonan Flat and Scone. Copeland Tops reaches an altitude of around 800m at its highest spots.
HISTORY OF THE AREA:
The Ghutarng Aboriginal people were the original occupants of the land in this area. The aboriginal people were quickly dispossessed by European farmers and cedargetters. Timber was removed from the area by teams of axemen and bullocks.
Gold was discovered in the Copeland area by two cedargetters (Saxby and Barrett) in the Back Creek area in July 1876. The type of gold discovered was that of alluvial gold. Soon it was determined that the alluvial gold had to have come from a reef somewhere in the area. Soon gold mines were being worked throughout the area, including the Mountain Maid, Hidden Treasure, Rainbow, etc.
At the height of the goldrush in 1879 the Copeland area, the township of Copeland had some 3 000 people living in it. By looking at the township today you would never know that this was once a thriving gold town with 8 pubs. There were some 51 mines operating in the Copeland area, with the last closing as a major gold mine in 1978 (though it has continued as a tourist operation - the Mountain Maid Gold Mine).
The area was extensively cleared for timber throughout this period, with much of it being used in mining operations. The regeneration of the area over the last century has been incredible. The area was declared state forest in 1968 and now is included in a flora reserve.
Access to this area is being developed and it is expected that further walks will be made available in the future.
Hidden Treasure Trail:
The Hidden Treasure trail is an easy 1.5 to 2 hour walk. See the Anzac Day 2003 trip description below for further details of the walk.
Hidden Treasure Trail: Anzac Day - April 25, 2003:
For information and photos of this trip visit the link below:
BROADBENT'S TRAIL WALK:
This walk also begins from the Mountain Maid Mine Car Park and follows the route taken for the Hidden Treasure Mine Walk above until the fork in the road is reached. The route for this walk is to continue along the Old Copeland Road. An area is then reached which is quite open. This area was once occupied by the gold miners of earlier times.
The road continues uphill from here until another fork is reached. The track to follow is the one heading off to the left and continuing uphill. The remains of an old gold mine can be found on the left (Centennial Gold Mine). The track continues uphill until Broadbent's Trail is reached.
Broadbent's Trail is then followed to the left, with the track continuing uphill to a height of around 670m. Good views over both the Copeland and Barrington River Valleys can be had along the way and at this final destination point. From here the return is the same way until the Broadbent's Trail junction is reached. Instead of returning the same way from here, Broadbemt's Trail is followed to The Barrinton Tops Forest Road. Follow the road down to the right until the Old Copeland Road is reached a little down hill. The road will lead back to the car park at the Mountain Maid Gold Mine.
In all the walk may take between 4-6 hours, and may be combined with the Hidden Treasure Gold Mine Walk.
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