Take a deep breath of fresh air, and prepare yourself as you’re immersed into an underground world like no other. Australia’s mining background is intriguing and exploring a gold mine is one way in which you can truly experience this amazing part of our history.
The Long Tunnel Extended Mine in Walhalla, Victoria, was operational from 1865 until 1911 and leads into the side of a hill for 300 metres. There were 8.5 kilometres of tunnel, reaching almost 1 kilometre underground. Follow the tunnel along before you reach a cavernlike chamber which was originally built to house the machinery that worked the mine.
Over time, it became the 5th richest mine in Victoria – it produced nearly 14 tonne of gold!
If you are keen to experience a tour, the Walhalla Board of Management runs tours every day (except Christmas). The tour will take you the 300 metres to the chamber, and your experienced and knowledgeable guides will introduce you to the mine’s history and features. General tours last around 50 minutes, or you might choose to take a 2 hour technical tour (held the first Sunday of the month by appointment) if you want to learn more about mining and haulage methods used in deep quartz reef mines.
Whatever tour you choose, you’ll find it is informative, interactive and a lot of fun. Tours are suited to all ages, and if you suffer from a little claustrophobia or you’re a little afraid of the dark, you don’t need to worry. The mine is well lit and well ventilated and there is plenty of space.