On his release from gaol, all Patrick Flanagan wanted was a good woman, a family and a peaceful life. Then he heard the call that reverberated around the world. Gold! Leaving Moreton Bay behind, he jumps aboard The Cumberland to work for his passage to the goldfields. On the voyage he befriends Fergus, an old sailor at the crossroads of new technology. Together the pair jump ship in Melbourne and head towards the Ballarat Goldfields to make their fortune. But, their dreams of easy riches are soon shattered as they not only battle the elements and the elusive nature of the gold, but also corrupt administrators and brutal law enforcement officers of the Colony, including an old acquaintance of Patrick's. As the group struggle to make a living from the unforgiving earth, events move inexorably towards a fateful collision between the authorities and goldminers, testing the loyalties of the group and finding Patrick on the frontline facing Government forces as they emerge from the early morning mist.