The Empty Esky Tour, Day 10 – Yackandandah

Day 10 Sunday 1/3/20 Yackandandah, sunny 33

We finish the washing, clean the roof hatches and enjoy the sun. It is as pleasant as being in a garden here. Lush lawns, shady specimen trees and the little Yackandandah Creek bubbling. The creek behind us, Commissioner’s Creek, is barely running.

In the afternoon we take a drive out to Eldorado. It is a place that has always intrigued me as my mother always talked of the family riding bicycles out to the Eldorado pub from her sister’s house in Wangaratta back in the 1940’s. A distance of about 20kms.

Eldorado was a gold mining town and we don’t really know what to expect other than a hot, dry landscape and we’ve heard there are some mining relics. We find a quaint old stone church, St. Judes, and a quirky town. It is indeed hot and dry. There’s a broken old swing bridge over a dry creek. A new swing bridge now spans the gully.

We follow the signs to ‘the dredge’ and gasp. What we find gobsmacks us, it’s not just a bit of old mining equipment but a huge iron structure equivalent in size to the Victorian Parliament House building and when it was built in 1936 it was the largest dredge in the Southern Hemisphere. At one end buckets dig the gravel from the riverbed and transport it to the heart of the machine to be crushed. The tailings are then pumped out the back. This monster floated on the water and worked 24hours a day mining gold and tin and… it could be heard 10kms away. When it ceased operation in 1954 it had produced 2 tons of gold and no doubt a lot of headaches.

After our lesson in mining engineering we stop for a drink at the McEvoy Tavern in town. An adjunct to the general store it is billed as the smallest pub in Victoria. And no, it isn’t the pub that my Mum used to ride out to, that pub is long gone.

Now I must explain that every night at about 10:00 ‘Missy’ the cat from the motor home next door does a runner. Mother and teenage daughter tear about the park calling “Missy, Missy” sotto voce while Missy keeps giving them the slip.


Accom $35

Utilities: power, water, toilets, showers

Fuel: $0

Towing kms: 0

Gold Dredge, Eldorado, VIC

Swing bridge old and new, Eldorado, VIC
McEvoy Tavern, smallest pub in Victoria

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