Biggest Gold Nuggets Found
The Burnt Creek valley was one of the richest nugget producing areas in Northwest Victoria. As many as 100,000 diggers and their supporters hurried to the area to get rich in a day or to face the drought circumstances and lawlessness that made robbery and violence a frequent place. In 1853 the lack of water forced diggers off the Burnt Creek diggings. In 1855, when the rains brought over water supplies, diggers were then able to puddle their stockpiled wash dirt and round it rich with coarse gold.
It was announced on the 3rd of April in 1851 that payable gold at Lewis Ponds and Summer Hill Creek had been found, and the Macquarie River in the districts of Bathurst and Wellington. By the 25th of May there were more than a thousand gold seekers on a square mile area at Summer Hill Creek. The biggest nugget found at that time was 4 pounds in weight.
On November 1906, a 19 inch shaft was sunk onto a 7 ounce nugget. Directly after an 88 ounce nugget was discovered close to the surface and a new gold rush started. Porter called it Poseidon. On December 12 a nugget that weighed 953 ounces was found. This nugget was 10 inches from the surface and 2 inches from the bedrock. In this same area, inside a strip of ground 84 inches long, and to a depth of 12 inches nuggets that weighed a total of 3000 ounces were found. Roughly every nugget had quartz and was angular, showing that the reef that had shed them was near by the area.
The western gold fields on the Turon River brought on the first rushes in New South Wales, and most likely a small town called Sofala produced the biggest and most plentiful nuggets. A gold rush went on in Sofala three weeks after the Ophir strike. In one of the first washes three hundred ounces were taken. A man by the name of Crosswell who decided to wait inside a cave during a severe storm at the junction of Big Oakey Creek and the Turon, located a 120 ounce nugget right at the entrance of the cave. Chinese diggers found a nugget at Spring Creek that took three men to lift. It was taken by ship to China.
In the 1850s Louise Creek produced quite a few nuggets that had approximately a weight of 6 pounds each, while in 1860 at Kiandra on the Snowy River, nuggets that had a weight of up to 33 pounds or 400 ounces were found. Some prospectors located a mass of gold and quartz that weighed 107 pounds, which yielded 1,127 ounces of gold at Burrandong close to Orange. This nugget was at a depth of thirty-three feet. Another huge specimen was found on the surface at Meroo Creek on the Turon River. The blocks of quartz yielded 60 pounds and 106 ounces troy of gold. Later bigger, richer specimens were found close by, as well as two nuggets that weighed 157 ounces and 71 ounces.
Two hundred and fifty pounds of coarse gold and nuggets were discovered under an old German miner's hut. The nuggets came from right on top of the bedrock 3.3 meters equal to ten feet below. Close by, Hill End also produced a good number of fine nuggets, some that were very big in size.
In 1860 an 11 pound 8 ounce nugget was found at the Tooloom diggings. Nuggets that weighed up to 7 to 8 pounds were found at Parkes Dubbo goldfield. A great number of pounds of coarse gold and nuggets that weighed up to 6 pounds were found in the gullies at Gulgong and at Stuart Town. At Gulgong a rich alluvium of quartz pebbles was covered with clay and in some with basalt in certain areas as well. After five years of its discovery in 1871 13 tons of gold had been taken from the field. The deepest depth of sinking was somewhere near to two hundred feet.