Go 228 Metres Underground

 
Oval-motel-9-levels-of-darkness

Australia's Deepest Underground Mining Tour

Got a sense of adventure? Definitely worth a trip to Bendigo! Book at least 48 hours in advance. Post By Gary (Oval Manager).

I had no idea what to expect when I arrived.

I realised pretty quickly that this was no ordinary mine tour.

I’d been on a mining tour at the Central Deborah Gold Mine before. I remember a small lift taking us down 2 or 3 levels and having a great time learning about the mine and the history of gold in Bendigo.

The Nine Levels of Darkness Tour was not what I expected.

Getting Ready

After a quick safety briefing, we were kitted out in the full mining outfit:

  • Overalls
  • Flannellette shirt
  • Boots
  • Helmet
  • A cap lamp.

We were given a backpack with our lunch, water and safety equipment and we were ready to go.

What You Can Expect

After all bundling into the lift you head down.

(If tight spaces worry you or are even a little claustrophobic, don’t read on. This experience won’t be for you)

The lift is TINY and like everything else on this tour, authentic. The shaft you travel down is the actual shaft that was sunk 80 years ago.

 Me (on the right) with a fellow miner in the original lift.

Me (on the right) with a fellow miner in the original lift.

How Deep is 228 Metres?

Let me put some context around how deep you'll go.

The Central Deborah offer two other mining tours. The Mine Experience Tour and the Underground Adventure Tour which go to level 2 (61 metres) and level 3 (85 metres) respectively.

The Nine Levels of Darkness Tour on the other hand goes 228 metres underground!

That’s below sea level.

Here’s an illustration that might help grasp how deep 228 metres really is.

If you’ve been to Melbourne you’ve probably passed 568 Collins Street . This building is 4th tallest skyscraper in Melbourne.

This towering building (shown below) is 228 metres tall! That's exactly how far underground you'll be when you're eating your lunch on this tour!

 This building is 228 metres tall... Exactly how far underground you go. Image By MelbourneStar - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=59173452

This building is 228 metres tall... Exactly how far underground you go. Image By MelbourneStar - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=59173452

Once Underground

Once underground the experience is incredible.

You get to walk the actual tunnels the miners worked up to 80 years ago, hear how the gold formed over millions of years and how it gets extracted from the ore.

You'll learn how 930 tonnnes were extracted from Bendigo, making it the second richest Goldfield in Australia (behind Kalgoorlie). You'll also discover that at one point, Bendigo was the richest city in the world - no mean feat!

You’re guided by real miners with vast experience in the industry and who actually still work on keeping the mine safe.

As well as the knowledge, it’s very hands on. You get to:

  • Operate the machinery
  • Have lunch in the crib room
  • Wear the miners gear
  • Walk in their footsteps.
 Learning how miners would setup for a blast at the end of each day. 

Learning how miners would setup for a blast at the end of each day. 

Costs, Duration and Times

Cost: $199 Per person (Cost Accurate at 27th Jan 2018. See Central Deborah Gold Mine's website for  up-to-date pricing)

Duration: 3.5 to 4 hours

Times: Tours depart at 10:30am each day but you'll need to arrive 15 minutes earlier.

Note: If you want to stay with us the night before you take the tour just let us know. We'll keep your belongings safe while you take the tour.

Getting There

By Car:

If you’re driving from Melbourne the Central Deborah Gold Mine is easy to find. The Calder freeway becomes High Street. You’ll see the mine on your right – Just before the Cathedral.

From the Train Station:

It’s about a 15 minute walk. Walk straight down Mitchell Street. Turn left at the fountain and walk down High Street. You’ll come to the mine on your left.

From the Oval Motel:

Head down View St. Turn right at the fountain and walk down High Street. You’ll see it on the left hand side.

It’s about a 15 minute walk or 5 minute drive.

Who Should do This Tour?

I would recommend this tour to everyone who is even a little interested in history and has as a sense of adventure.

I do caution you if you’re not comfortable with tight spaces. You might not enjoy some elements of the tour.

Truly this is an experience that will stay with me forever. I urge you to give it a go or buy this for someone you know who you think might enjoy an adventure like this. My wife Carolyn bought me this for Christmas. 

Feel free to give me a call if you'd like some more information.

Gary - Owner Oval Motel.