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Walhalla - Long Tunnel Extended Mine




What became known as the Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine was first started by Hercules United Gold Company in 1863. After eight long hard years, the company collapsed without finding any gold. The mine was then taken over by the Long Tunnel Extended Company in 1871. They looked in the opposite direction and found a remunerating part of the reef. The company then built a large machine chamber supporting three huge Cornish boilers, ventilation shafts and flumes whilst sinking the main shaft, that eventually reached a depth of over 900 metres. This mine soon became the second most productive mine in the area (after the Long Tunnel) and in total produced 13,695 kg of gold until it closed in 1911. Overall, the Long Tunnel Extended mine was Victoria’s 5th largest gold mine during the colonial era.

Today, underground daily tours of this historic site are operated by the Walhalla Board of Management Incorporated on behalf of the people of Victoria. The mine’s 8.5 kilometres of underground workings extended to a depth of 923 metres below the machinery chamber which in turn is some 150 metres below natural surface. The tour takes visitors 300 metres into the huge underground machinery chamber hewn from the solid rock over a century ago. Old mining methods are discussed and a large outcrop of the famous Cohens Line of Reef can be seen from inside the mine.

In recent years, there has been a complete overhaul of the visitor experience, including additional rock bolting and other safety works, drainage, pathway construction and interpretive signage within and around and the site. External improvements have included providing a new access bridge across Stringers Creek to safely take coaches, sealed access roadway to the mine entrance, main carpark sealing, upper and lower carparks surfaced in crushed rock and extensive stormwater undertakings. A new alpine walking bridge has been built across the mine entrance to increase visitor safety.

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The chance to go underground fitted out with a miner's safety helmet and imagining that you are about to find some gold - no wonder our kids were excited about the tour!

Before or after the the tour there are a number of exhibits and old equipment to explore including a free museum with old mining tools, exhibits and a video presentation. The underground tour goes 300m into the mountain and 150m down and the floor is fairly even (although a bit muddy when we visited) which means that you can even take a pram. Inside it was quite cool, even on a hot day outside. In fact- a jumper might even be handy.

The guide was very interesting and kept the kids at the front of the line so that he could interact with them. The tour takes about 45-50 minutes and is very interesting for adults and the kids can still enjoy the experience.

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Main Street,  Walhalla 3825, Victoria, Australia. View Map Map opens in new browser window
Telephone: (03) 5165 6259
Map: X928 Ref: D6

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  Reader Feedback  

Darren      Posted:    6:03 PM October 11, 2012

When I first got in this mine in the mid '70's via the air shaft none of this stuff was there. Good to see history is being looked after.

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