17/10 – 20/10/2013
This is the place for lots of stories about good fortune, bad luck, innovation, mysteries, ghosts and a bit of skulduggery too – as well as a great big hole in the ground. We arrived and the temperature was 35 and we leave with the temperature dropping to 15.
The super pit is huge and leaves you gobsmacked. We have seen the amazing power of nature causing chasms, gorges and caves and I do have to say nature does do it better, much better but it is still something to be in awe of. The massive trucks and diggers look like match box cars moving about, stirring up the dust and getting on with the job of making the hole even bigger.
I want to check out Gimlet trees, sounds like something goblins run around after dark, so we take some walks through Karlkurla Bushland Park and an Arboretum and see plenty of them. (They are similar to a mallee shrub but taller and have waxy looking brown trunks and branches.)
The Hammond Tourist Mine has some great stuff to look at and you can hop in one of the big trucks with Brad – the tour guide ….. so does that make him Brad Super Pit! Very reasonable with real miners to chat with – more great stories.
There is this pub, Metropole Hotel, built over a mine shaft here and this is where my favourite story comes from. It seems back in the day when miners, who couldn’t afford there own claim, would work for a bigger mining company. Perhaps the conditions or the pay was pretty bad as a plan was formed and with some extra digging they built a shaft across and up to this pub. They would appropriate a few nuggets and bring them up to the publican who would negotiate how much beer and food they could have for how long, depending on the size, maybe some cash, plus a beer for the long haul back down the shaft. (The beers are pretty good too, nice and cold, very friendly locals and staff.
The Loopline and Railway Park is also a great place to see some very interesting memorabilia and a very interesting guy who knows so much about this area, the people and a few scary ghost stories.