Mountain Maid gold mine tour

Copeland Tops State Conservation Area

Open, check current alerts 

Book now

Overview

Step back in time and uncover the hidden treasures of Mountain Maid gold mine in Copeland Tops State Conservation Area. Discover historic buildings and pan for gold on this tour in the rainforest.

When
  • Every Wednesday from Wednesday 5 January until Wednesday 14 December 2022, 10am to 12pm.
  • Every Saturday from Saturday 8 January to Saturday 17 December 2022, 10am to 12pm.
Where
Mountain Maid gold mine, Copeland Tops State Conservation Area
Accessibility
Medium
Grade
Medium. Suitable for adults and children 5 years and over. We’ll walk 4km and there are some steep staircase sections.
Price

Adult $15 per person. Child (5 to 16 years) $10 per person. Family (2 adults, 2 children) $40.

Meeting point
Copeland Tops State Conservation Area carpark
What to
bring
Drinking water, insect repellent, snacks, sturdy shoes
Bookings
Bookings required. Phone 1300 072 757 for more information or book online. For large organised groups and school tours contact the NPWS Newcastle Discovery Coordinator on 02 4927 3267.
Book now

Peek inside Mountain Maid gold mine and find out more about the history of mining in Copeland Tops. You'll get up close to old machinery like a battery stamper, whirly-gig gold separator, air compressor and gold carts.

Soak in the tranquility of the rainforest on Hidden Treasure track as we walk. Fun for all ages, we'll follow Copeland Creek and meander beneath the rainforest canopy, past remnants of the area's mining history. You can even pan for gold.

Mountain Maid gold mine was one of New South Wales' longest running operation gold mines. After the discovery of gold in 1876 at Copeland Tops, miners from everywhere descended on the area and the population grew dramatically. Step into their shoes and find out what it was like working in such a remote location.

Please wear enclosed shoes and bring insect repellent, drinking water and snacks. The weather in this area can be extreme and unpredictable, so please ensure you're well-prepared for your visit.

Mountain Maid gold mine and Hidden Treasure track are only accessible through a guided tour.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/guided-tours/mountain-maid-gold-mine-tour/local-alerts

Bookings

Operated by

Image of: NSW National Parks logo
  • NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Mountain Maid gold mine tour.

Getting there and parking

From Gloucester:

  • Follow Thunderbolts Way northwest out through the village of Barrington and over the single-lane bridge
  • Continue west on Scone Road until you come to Copeland village
  • Turn left into Copeland Road and follow this road to the carpark at the end

Road quality

  • Sealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Free parking available. On entering Copeland Tops State Conservation Area, located at the end of Copeland Road, Hidden Treasure picnic area has free parking available. Bus parking is available. It can be a busy place on the weekend, so parking might be limited.

Maps and downloads

Accessibility

Disability access level - medium

Not wheelchair-accessible.

Learn more

Mountain Maid gold mine tour is in Copeland Tops State Conservation Area. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

From little things big things grow

Wildflowers in bloom in Copeland Tops State Conservation Area. Photo: John Spencer

From the delicate epiphytes, only one cell in width, to the gnarled sprawling branches of the ancient grey myrtles, each plant has its place within the ecosystem of the rare dry rainforest. The tract within Copeland Tops is the largest accessible section in the district of Gloucester. Take a walk through the green corridors overhung by strangler figs, shatterwood and grey myrtle. On the ground between mossy rocks and on the sides of trees grow birds nest ferns, staghorns, elkhorns and orchids. The rare stuttering frog is commonly heard around these parts, its call emitting from a preferred habitat of stream-side leaf litter. Its repetitive song is often joined by the screech of glossy black-cockatoos, the "wollack-wa-hoo" of the wompoo fruit-dove and the unpredictable calls of lyrebirds. At night, the masked, powerful and sooty owls come out to hunt and hoot.

  • Basin loop track Basin loop track continues from Hidden Treasure track to form a longer walk with scenic views of Copeland Tops State Conservation Area via historic Old Copeland Road.
  • Copeland cultural connections tour Walk alongside an Aboriginal volunteer on this guided tour in Copeland Tops State Conservation area. We'll discover the traditional lands of the Worimi and Biripi people, at the foothill of Barrington Tops.
  • Copeland Tops twilight tour Experience the magic of Copeland Tops at twilight. Explore Hidden Treasure track and the historic buildings of Mountain Maid gold mine on this evening tour near Gloucester.
  • Exploring the rainforest Join us and explore a unique rainforest environment on this Stage 2 (Years 3-4) geography excursion at Copeland Tops State Conservation Area. Students will conduct field exercises and learn what makes rainforest areas so special.
  • Hidden Treasure track Take a walk through the rainforest along Hidden Treasure track in Copeland Tops State Conservation Area, near Gloucester. You'll pass remnants of the area's mining heritage, including a historic boiler and disused mine entrance.
  • Junior ranger: Copeland Tops Step back in time this school holidays and uncover the hidden treasures of Mountain Maid gold mine at Copeland Tops.
  • Koala capers at Copeland Tops Join a Discovery Ranger and NPWS koala expert this school holidays, for a morning of adventure at Copeland Tops State Conservation Area.
Show more

Land of plenty

Rolling hills of Copeland Tops State Conservation Area. Photo: John Spencer

This is the traditional lands of the Worimi and Biripi people who live in the area and previously moved around in response to the seasonal availability of food. Such a broad ecosystem would have provided many resources for medicinal, ceremonial and cultural purposes. It is very likely that people travelling from the coast to Barrington Tops area would have passed through Copeland Tops. Their history will forever be an integral part of this landscape.

  • Copeland cultural connections tour Walk alongside an Aboriginal volunteer on this guided tour in Copeland Tops State Conservation area. We'll discover the traditional lands of the Worimi and Biripi people, at the foothill of Barrington Tops.

Striking it rich

Abandoned gold mine relics, Copeland Tops State Conservation Area. Photo: Brent Mail

It was the red cedar cutters who, battling to log 'red gold' in this unforgiving terrain from the early 1800s, first discovered gold here in 1875. The area soon became known as Copeland and over the next 60 years more than 50 gold mines were dug in the area. According to the records, over 1800kg of the valuable metal were extracted during that time. Many relics of this mining heritage remain in the form of historic sites and derelict equipment. However, the bushland and rainforest now dominate once again.

  • Basin loop track Basin loop track continues from Hidden Treasure track to form a longer walk with scenic views of Copeland Tops State Conservation Area via historic Old Copeland Road.
  • Copeland cultural connections tour Walk alongside an Aboriginal volunteer on this guided tour in Copeland Tops State Conservation area. We'll discover the traditional lands of the Worimi and Biripi people, at the foothill of Barrington Tops.
  • Copeland Tops twilight tour Experience the magic of Copeland Tops at twilight. Explore Hidden Treasure track and the historic buildings of Mountain Maid gold mine on this evening tour near Gloucester.
  • Hidden Treasure track Take a walk through the rainforest along Hidden Treasure track in Copeland Tops State Conservation Area, near Gloucester. You'll pass remnants of the area's mining heritage, including a historic boiler and disused mine entrance.
  • It's gold! This excursion experience has been updated and is now being delivered in line with the new NSW Department of Education Curriculum. We will be revising this excursion's name and information online soon. Contact your local national parks office for more information about the updated excursion.
  • Junior ranger: Copeland Tops Step back in time this school holidays and uncover the hidden treasures of Mountain Maid gold mine at Copeland Tops.
  • Mountain Maid gold mine Guided tours through Mountain Maid gold mine are available for visitors to Copeland Tops State Conservation Area. Walking tours start from Hidden Treasure picnic area.
  • Mountain Maid gold mine tour Step back in time and uncover the hidden treasures of Mountain Maid gold mine in Copeland Tops State Conservation Area. Discover historic buildings and pan for gold on this tour in the rainforest.
  • The Mountain Maid gold mine ghost hunt As night falls, head deep into the woods of Copeland Tops State Conservation Area on a ghost hunt with Newcastle Ghost Tours. Explore Gloucester Museum and the relics at Mountain Maid gold mine by torchlight.
Show more

Education resources (1)

School excursions (3)