Backstairs Track and Scotchman's Creek

Scotchman's Creek was one of the earliest goldfields to open in the Upper Yarra district (late 1859) and was part of what was known as the Britannia diggings. It is believed a cunning old Scotchman finally revealed the secret place where he had fossicked for nuggets of gold – hence the naming of the creek.

In August 1860, The Argus reported that a party of gold prospectors extracted a great amount of gold in three months, making it one of the richest sources of gold in the Upper Yarra Valley. 

John  Croom, Peter Crerar, Daniel Cameron, and Walter McMinn are some of the gold miners associated with the Scotchman’s Creek goldfield prior to 1900.

Access to the Backstairs Track can be made either side of Scotchman’s Creek or follow the signs to "Dolly Grey" Park.

Melways Map 289 K4

Points of interest/history

I. YARRA RIVER - During the 1939 Bushfires, the fire crossed the Yarra near Scotchman's Creek and raced up the slopes of Mt Little Joe.

2. SYMPHONY 36 (Previously known as Henry's Cabaret and later the Patchwork Teahouse) built in 1936.  It has been tastefully restored.

3. OLD RAILWAY BRIDGE  – Now part of the Warburton to Lilydale rail trail.

4. THE CHALET - Was opened in 1928 by Phil Mayer. With 150 rooms catering for 280 guests, The Chalet was regarded as Victoria's most prestigious guest house. The Chalet burnt down on 16th July 1973.

5. "DOLLY GREY" PARK AND TROUT HATCHERY- 1921 (remnants of) note the Oak Tree and the infestation of Watsonia.

6. BACKSTAIRS TRACK - Linked the township of Old Warburton to the ‘new’ Warburton. The steps on the track were worn by packhorses. This track was also known as Blackstairs Track, the vegetation canopy being so dense it blocked out the light.

7. FRUIT SALAD FARM - Mr and Mrs Jennings  established the Fruit Salad Farm in the late 1950s. They specialised in morning and afternoon teas and were popular with locals and tourists.

8. OLD COLD WORKINGS – Hydraulic gold sluicing operations involved the use of powerful jets of water displacing large amounts  of rock and revealing gold deposits in the bed rock.

9. MT LITTLE JOE - Was named after Portuguese Joe the 'packer' friend of Yankee Jim (James McAvoy).