Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre
West Street, Beaconsfield, Australia
(03) 6383 1473
Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre Reviews
Entombed Alive - Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre, Tasmania Nov 11, 2009
After the two gold miners were trapped underground for two weeks after a mine collapse, the town of Beaconsfield in Tasmania, erected a Heritage centre documenting lifestyle and the gold mining history of the area.
The mine itself consists of a new shaft which can be seen in operation through the safety fence and an older shaft that was closed in the early twentieth century due to excess flooding. Today's technology means that it has been viable to mine gold here again, despite the famous collapse in 2006, which occured after an underground seismic event. Three miners were buried alive underground, one was killed, the remaining two were rescued alive and well, after two weeks of entombment under the ground in an extraordinarily difficult operation. Today the mine is extracting tonnes of gold each week and is highly successful due to the high price of gold on the world markets.
The Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage centre is an interactive museum which is excellent for little and big kids. There are over 50 hands on working exhibits including a 1950's public telephone and switchboard where you can ring and chat to your friend in the next room. Heaps of old working agricultural machinery from the 19-20th century some on loan from private collectors includes a full scale working Apple grading machine which my daughter loved. Try your hand at sorting and packing the apples with this baby!!!
History really comes alive here. The staff were very friendly and eager to answer any questions. As there is a lot to see here, they maintain the kids interest by sending them on an animal treasure hunt. Figurines of animals are hidden throughout the museum and the children get a free gift when they finish, (whether they find all the animals or not). It kept my daughter intrigued whilst we read up on the written information detailed in each room.
She also got to try out weaving an old rag rug, riding in an old wheelchair, writing with an old quill pen and ink, trying on old style clothing etc. There is a re-creation of an original miners hut, and spookiest of all, you can experience what it was like to be entombed in the small space that the two miners Todd and Brant were trapped in the 2006 mine collapse. That was eerie!
The Heritage centre also examines Mining methods and miner's lifestyles both in displays and 2 continuousy running DVD presentations. One chronicles the 2006 rescue of the entombed miners. This is very emotional to watch so keep the tissues handy. We even spotted one of the locals depicted in this DVD outside in teh main street of the town on his Harley Davidson motorcycle.
More than just a mine, it is really worth spending up to 2 hours wandering around in here. Reasonably priced entry and souvenirs are available too. No cafe though, so eat before you come. A great attraction located within an easy drive from Launceston. (50 kms) on good roads. Recommend for families or though interested in history.
Part of the list Launceston region, Northern Tasmania, Australia
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Historic Goldmine back in business Apr 09, 2008
On the 25th April 2006 a shaft deep beneath Beaconsfield became the focus of worldwide attention when it's collapse trapped two of the gold miners deep underground for a couple of weeks.
Beaconsfield mine is an historic mine that has been restarted thanks to the modernisation of the industry and techniques of gleaning every ounce of the precious metal from the lode.
The historic part of the mine is now making money through tourism rather than mining and it's a good place to spend a hour learning about the early practices in this Australian industry.
I suspect the attraction has had a major funding injection since the recent drama as there is some serious renovations going on at the moment, but the whole site can be explored by following a well designed route that leads neatly from the entrance, through the workings of the pumps and lifts, a reconstructed miners hut, to the noisy engine room and finally to the implement/tool shed next door.
Many of the exhibits are interactive and the children that were around us had a great time playing with those things.
From the top of a viewing platform you can see over the fence to the modern site.
Part of the Melbourne Mates '08 travel blog