Day 3 of our outback adventure – our plans for today, were Silverton and the Daydream Mine. Whilst I slept through the sunrise, some of the group went out hunting down a good sunrise spot and a couple went out tracking down the Indian Pacific as it stopped in town. The morning skies were sunny, blue with a light breeze, but cloud was forecast for the afternoon. It was a free morning for all.. some went to Bells Milkbar, some checked out the Palace Hotel and others roamed the galleries. We met up for lunch with part of the crew and then everyone met at Bells Milkbar to head out to Silverton.
The historic Daydream Mine lay between us and our destination, just out from Silverton and 20kms from Broken Hill. Established in the 1880’s the mine and the town surrounding it was once home to around 500 workers, wives and children. The mine closed only a few years after it was opened when the ore ran out and the NSW government heritage listed the site in 1999. Today, above ground, only the foundations of the old town and part of the smelter remain. The road in was around 10km of up hill and down dale, winding dirt roads and through two gates.
After the above ground tour we had to gear up with hard hats and lights for the underground section. Three levels underground, down narrow steps (and I do use the term loosely) cut into the rock underground. The entrance tunnel was just a tad bigger than our bodies…. if I hadn’t been in the lead behind the guide, with everyone else behind me I would have turned back.. but I couldn’t get past them!
It did get taller in parts (small parts) where we could stand upright.. but most of the time the tunnels were about 4ft high… built for short people!
After getting back up, and getting our heart rate down and air intake back to normal…. we headed 6kms down the road to the Silverton Pub. Plonked ourselves in the beer garden, downed a couple of quick drinks and declined to move. Until tomorrow.
While the others who could all walk (because they hadn’t done the mine either through farsightedness or cowardice) headed off for the Mundi Mundi Plains lookout and the sunset… we stayed put… drinking and groaning.. until Bill announced the sunset was starting to look good…photographic OCD got us up moving..just as far as next door where we had a clear view… ran off some shots and limped, hobbled back to the pub
After dinner at the pub the entire group relocated to across the road for some more light painting…no steel wool as Bill was reluctant to start a fire and burn the town down…. but we had fun with LEDs
At the end of the night we took a careful drive back into BH, dodging a few roo’s, rabbits and goats making it safely to our motel. Next morning was to be an early start as we had to be on the road by 7.30am and heading to Mungo……
Coming Up Next Day: Mungo NP and Great Walls of China