LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE I PAGE 119 BERMAGUI Travel seven kilometres north of Bermagui to discover a place that was once a golden beach; literally. A Canadian with an eye for metals discovered gold in September 1880 and a relatively short-lived gold rush occurred which took over the area named Montreal Goldfield. Within weeks of the discovery prospectors came from the New Zealand and New South Wales goldfields to try their luck. A town quickly grew and included a blacksmith, three hotels, grocery stores, a newspaper, and even a school that once had more than 40 students. Some people used a blanket and the power of the tides to collect the heavy metal from the beach while others did it tough and headed inland where they dug shafts into the buried river bed to seek alluvial gold below. More than $14 million worth of gold was mined in under three years with the Montreal Goldfield yielding nearly 250kg. This is an intact example of the alluvial diggings of the 1880s and the only goldfield in Australia that This is a truly golden beach Take a guided tour of the only Australian goldfield to extend into the sea. goes into the sea. A mystery of this area occurred in October of 1880 when a party of five led by geologist, Lamont Young, set sail along the coast off Bermagui to search for potential gold mining sites. Three days later their boat was located 15 kilometres up the coast in what is now called Mystery Bay. The crew were missing and never seen or heard of again. This is believed to be one of Australia’s greatest unsolved crimes. The goldfield has a mystery of its own. In October 1880, a party of five explorers, led by geologist Lamont Young, set sail along the coast of Bermagui to search for potential gold mining sites. Three days later their boat was located 15 kilometres up the coast in what is now called Mystery Bay. The crew were missing and never seen or heard of again. It is one of Australia’s greatest unsolved crimes. Then on Saturday, October 12, the goldfield’s heritage day begins at 9.30am with entertainment and children’s 1880s-style activities. There will be several stalls and demonstrations, and tours will run continuously with the last tour leaving at 2pm. Billy tea and damper are included in each tour.