Mudgee History | Buried gold part 1

The only problem is that seekers do not know accurately where the bushranger’s loot was  planted.

Many Australian bushrangers buried their stolen gold in caves and caverns and died before they were able to claim it. 

Later the lucky ones who did seek and found remained silent unless the real owner or the government “staked” a claim.

So lets have a look at some of the local instances.

The Gulf Track: Used by early bush rangers making fast track to the West as they could cross the Castlereagh River at Togarlan Crossing.

The Gulf Track: Used by early bush rangers making fast track to the West as they could cross the Castlereagh River at Togarlan Crossing.

Buried Gold at “The Gap” on the Digilah to Botheroe on the Neilrex  Road

When I first came to Coolah in 1957 I read in an old edition of the Mudgee Western Post that two gold bags were hidden near “The Guff”, now known as “The Gap” on Digilah to the Neilrex Road, north of Dunedoo.

In the early 1870s a bushranger stole gold from a coach that was being loaded at Home Rule near Gulgong. 

He intended to head north-west into Queensland but passing the Talbragar River his horse began to tire as the gold bags were proving too heavy. 

To place a greater distance between himself and the pursuing troopers he planted the gold in or near “The Gap”. 

Today if found its present value would be more than several million dollars. 

When the story first broke an enthusiastic fossicker took up the challenge and arrived at “The Gap” with a pick and shovel.

His only find was a large lump of sandstone containing several immature opals – almost worthless.

However, the search was now on for hidden gold and opals. In 1915, the Mining Court at Leadville issued a licence to William Davis to mine for opals in the close by parish of Bullinda.

Buried Gold at “The Gap”

The original track, covering a distance of 32 kms, ran on the northern and southern side of “The Gulf,” was known officially as “the Gulf” track but later was referred to as “The Gap” track. 

The physical gap existed  on the extended Coolah range  where Gulf Creek ran into Four Mile Creek. 

The latter then entering into Botheroo Creek.  The Gulf or Gap road commenced at Redbank, later Dunedoo, ran over the range, ending near the Glendarock  property on the Neilrex Road  2.5 kms east of King Tooge’s  grave.   

The Coolah Shire Council applied three sectional names to the road being, Digilah Road, Bullinda Road and the Gap Road from the Gap to the Neilrex Road.  The latter section was closed to traffic some years back.

The Gulf Track was used by early bush rangers making fast track to the West as they could cross the Castlereagh River at Togarlan Crossing near present day Neilrex and avoid the police who were stationed at Mundooran  (Mendooran). 

A frequent user of the track was bushranger Charlie “Ringtail” Johnson who knew the Nevilles of Botheroo and frequently called there to water his horse and obtain sustenance. (See Mudgee Guardian of 12 Aug 2013 – page 14)

Opalised wood has frequently been found along the nearby Mount Hope road which starts off the Coolah Common, travels in a westerly direction to enter the Digilah Road.  

When first arriving in Coolah an old timer informed me that on an area of  the Mumbedah run off the Mount Hope Road, grew a coppice of pine trees of an ancient variety.  

The trees were felled for timber and the stumps not burnt but pull out by bullocks.  The roots bought to the surface sandstone slabs which contained opals.  

One of the many stories I have not been able to confirm.

On the eastern side of the Bullinda section of the Gulf Road exists a small volcanic fissure.  This basaltic feature was one of several geological sites inspected by members of a week-end school in the 1970s organised by the former Coolah Shire Council with lecturers provided by the New England Univerisity.

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