Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Gold Fields

We went hiking at an old gold mine area not far from home. Back in the mid 1800s, gold was discovered in the Adelaide Hills and miners came from near & far to see what they could do for themselves. Old historical areas are interesting to explore. Most of those pits are surrounded by wire fences, but there are a few little ones which are still open and this big tunnel has been opened to the public. There's me coming up out of it, just before I smacked my head really hard on the rock. Ouch! I'm glad we got a "before" photo and not an "after" one.
Here's the inside with Andrew & Blake. We were intrigued to see what the flash of the camera shows up. Inside this tunnel is so intensely pitch black that you can see absolutely nothing without the light of a torch. I've hardly ever seen darkness so thick, and that was what those nineteenth century miners were working in almost 24/7. So only when we got home did we really see these rock walls ourselves. It was quite a hot Aussie bush day but that underground air seemed refrigerated. Probably a good place for a summer visit.

Here they are on the way out. Alas, if there is still any gold around, it'd probably wouldn't be enough to cover the costs of setting up a modern expedition. We were all on our own when we explored the area (I'm glad nobody was around to hear me yell when I belted my head). It was quiet and a little eerie, as historic sites sometimes are, but the old photos posted on info boards around the place showed what a busy, bustling, teeming place it was in the 1860s and 70s.
The photos that follow are what the world looks like up above those tunnels and mines.


  1. Sounds like a great adventure.

    We were able to visit an old coal mine in Pennsylvania near where my grandfather mined coal. (His family came from Wales before he was born.) It was absolutely sad what conditions in which they had to work!

    Oh~ sorry about your head!

  2. Looks a lot like the caves we have here - limestone. We are next to the Goldfields here, yet have not visited them. I guess we'll get around to it one day. Kalgoorlie would be interesting. They mine differently there now, superpit, not as pretty as the mine you were in. I remember whacking my head in a cave down south, rock doesn't move. I sympathise. Hope you don't have too much of an egg.

  3. That looks like so much fun! We love exploring places like that. And I am usually the one who bonks their head. LOL

  4. What a neat place to explore! Sorry you hit your head, I hope you didn't too much of a headache from that. I can't imagine working in such a dark place. It's interesting to see how the tunnel actually looked, with the help of the flash.

    Todd was wondering if you saw any Ambrosia Juice seeping from the walls or if your path was blocked by Grite Plaster (LOL!)

  5. What a neat trip! That would be a great setting for a ghost story. And there may not have been any gold, but the cave walls look pretty and golden!

    Hope your head is OK. I can imagine how much it must have hurt!

    Peace and Laughter,

  6. What a fun trip. I'm not keen on dark tunnels but I think the lure of gold would get me in!

  7. something about the way I began hyperventilating when I scrolled down to that first photo tells me this is a tour I'd better skip.