Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tin Mine In Oz

Litchfield National Park was first visited by Europeans in 1856, and in the late 1800's Pastoral occupation began.  However, the harsh conditions kept the area from becoming  popular.  When copper and tin were discovered in the area in the 1900's, several small scale subsistence mining operations were established.  

Today visitors can visit the abandoned tin mine at Bamboo Creek.  It operated from 1906 to 1955, before Litchfield became a National Park.  The site, which is heritage listed, is in ruins but visitors are able to catch a glimpse into the life of the miners--their living quarters as well as the tools they used to extract, process and transport the ore.  A short path takes visitors past stone ruins up to the old mine shaft.  If you visit late in the evening you can see the exit of the dozens of bats that now call the cave home.  At the end of the path are the ruins of the mill.  Much of the old machinery, including the old engine that ran the mill, is still in place.  

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