The Rutherglen Gold Battery was built in 1908 to crush quartz from nearby reefs to extract gold. The Battery required 3,000 gallons of water to crush 10 tons of quartz. In August 1910 the steam engine was replaced with a suction gas engine of 16 horsepower, which enabled the battery to crush 10 tons of quartz in 16 hours at one-sixth of the cost of the steam engine.
Collect an access code from the Rutherglen Wine Experience & Visitor Information Centre to enter the battery and view informative storyboards and video demonstrations.
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Start Walking: Rutherglen Wine Experience and Visitor Information Centre
Start at the Rutherglen Visitor Information Centre. Head south west to connect with Douglas Street and continue past the Senior Citizens Club on the right. At 300m turn right at High Street and continue on the footpath. At 400m cross the bridge and Audley Street. At 600m cross High Street at the school crossing and turn right.
The town formerly known as...
The discovery of gold in 1851 brought with it tens of thousands of prospectors who established the township of Rutherglen. Many heritage-listed buildings still stand today, including the Rutherglen Gold Battery. No, not that kind of battery, but instead a secure structure that once used massive amounts of water to extract gold from granite and quartz.
At 700m follow the footpath to the left on High Street following the Gold Battery sign. The convent is on the right. Cross High Street again at 800m and continue to follow the footpath to the left.
Before you start your walk, go see the lovely folks at the Rutherglen Wine Experience and Visitor Information Centre, and with a knowing nod they will hand over the access code to the Battery. Being in the centre of a wine town, the Visitor Information Centre doubles as a very decent wine cellar and gift shop. Pick up a bottle or two of the region’s renowned wines and, of course, a tasteful souvenir tea towel.
At 1.1km at the roundabout head straight to join Hopetoun Road. At 1.2km turn right onto Battery Road following the Gold Battery sign. The Gold Battery is at 1.4km and ready to explore.
Do a U turn and head back along Battery Road. Turn left and head to roundabout. Cross at the roundabout to join the blue metal gravel path on the left heading towards the Rutherglen Wine Bottle in the distance. Cross Tower Place at 2km and Hopetoun Road at 2.2km to reach the bottle.
On your way out to the Battery, enjoy a moment to take in the iconic Rutherglen Wine Bottle. It’s the town’s water tower sassed-up into a ginormous wine bottle. We like to imagine that it provides the town with a peppery Shiraz, instead of the overrated, “essential” water. The lovely picnic area also provides some pretty stunning vistas, especially at sunrise.
Take the gravel path at the rear of the bottle and head towards the Murray Valley Highway. At 2.9km cross Hopetoun Road and turn right to join the footpath on the Murray Valley Highway. Cross Hunter, Booth and Audley Streets on the way to the Rutherglen Visitor information Centre.
Gold may have come and gone around these parts, but wine became the lifeblood of Rutherglen. At peak production in the late 1800s, there were more than 3000 acres of vineyards producing around one third of Australia’s wine. Splish splash! So after you’ve hung up your walking shoes, another history lesson beckons, with an excursion out to these famed cellar doors for a little bit of regional “research”.
End Walking: Rutherglen Wine Experience and Visitor Information Centre