The Klondike Gold Rush (1897-1899) in Canada’s remote northwest was the last great gold rush of modern times. Over a thousand Australians and New Zealanders set out on the epic journey to the goldfields in the Yukon Territory, across frozen mountain passes and through deadly river rapids.
The film draws on a decade of research by Dr Robin McLachlan (co-producer and co-director): he has identified over 700 individuals, men and women, who successfully reached the Klondike. DIGGERS ON THE KLONDIKE explores their experiences, both individual and collective.
While there is a vast literature on the Klondike, it is America-centred and in the case of cinema more Hollywood than history. Australians and New Zealanders are rarely mentioned. However, Dr McLachlan’s research reveals that these men and women have their own unique stories. Only a handful found their fortune in gold. To have reached the Klondike, though, to have been a “Stampeder”, was a badge of honour.