Queenstown Tasmania Heritage Tours offer 3 unique and fascinating tours of...
Queenstown Tasmania Heritage Tours offer 3 unique and fascinating tours of this historic region which played an integral part in the development of this nation.
LOST MINES, ANCIENT PINES TOUR
Board the 8 seater 4WD bus and head southwest, out of town to the old gold mining precinct of Lynchford. Be guided through the ancient forests to discover old mining relics amongst the world famous Huon and King Billy Pine trees. Admire the pure tannin hued water in the beautiful creeks flowing through this stunning landscape. Marvel at the ferns, mosses, lichens and fungi throughout the forest. This is a photographer's paradise.
Take a spooky walk into the abandoned Mt Jukes Proprietary Mine. A horizontal tunnel mined into the side of Mt Jukes in the 1890's by the original pioneer miners. Find your own piece of copper ore on the ground as you walk through the mine. You may even be lucky enough to spot some silver or gold and look out for the surprise at the end of the tunnel.
Further along your journey you will come to the site of the world famous Franklin River Dam blockades of the early 1980's. The catalyst for the Franklin/Gordon River area becoming World Heritage listed.
Journey deep into the forest to the beautiful Bird River where you will rest awhile and savour the magnificent scent of this pure natural forest. Keep an eye out for the local inhabitants. You may see wallabies, pademelons, spotted quolls, and birds and if you are very lucky you may see a Tasmanian Devil.
As you head back to Queenstown, you will stop in at the Tasmanian Special Timbers sawmill and meet 4th and 5th generation piners working hard to mill the stunning timbers that will become magnificent pieces of furniture or crafted items. Purchase a piece to take home. These men are real characters and a tourist attraction in themselves. Arrive back in Queenstown invigorated from the fresh clean air and your encounter with the forests and mines that helped shape a nation. Tour duration 4 hrs.
HISTORIC LAKE MARGARET HYDRO TOUR.
Explore the century old Hydro Power town of Lake Margaret. See the original machinery still working to produce clean electricity to power the Mt Lyell Mine as it did when first built by the Mt Lyell Mining and Railway Company in 1914.
Board the 8 seater bus for a private tour of this historic village. As the only licensed tour operators for this village we are proud to be able to guide small groups on this exclusive tour. Tasmania's West Coast was one of the most remote places on earth when prospectors first discovered the rich mineral deposits in the area. With no coal to generate electricity and the forest being rapidly depleted to fuel the furnaces of the mine it was imperative that another power source be found. It was decided to harness the power of running water which was the most plentiful resource with an average of 3m of rain per year.
Hear the stories of how this was achieved and the thriving village of families that lived in this remote but beautiful spot. Watch the machinery work as it did 100 years ago and marvel at its immaculate condition. Admire the wooden pipeline that carries millions of litres of water to power the turbines that produce the electricity. Tour duration approx 2.5 hours.
MT LYELL UNDERGROUND MINE TOUR.
Experience life 700m below the earth's surface in a large historic working copper mine. Travel 6km down the mine decline to the cavernous workings below in an authentic mining vehicle decked out in regulation mining protective equipment.
For serious boasting power on return from your holiday, why not do something completely different. Get kitted out in your hardhat, miner's lamp, gumboots, high viz vest and self-rescue equipment belt. Jump into the back of a working miner's transport vehicle and head off into the bowels of the earth. Travel for 6km down to the heart of the mine where you will see how the copper that helps your mobile phone function, amongst many other uses, is extracted from the earth. Marvel at the huge cavernous working spaces and massive machinery that crushes the rock ready to be hoisted to the surface.
Hang out in the miner's "crib room" where they gather for meal breaks. See the refuge chambers and escape-way. Learn about the safe working culture, world's best practice that is an integral part of mining in Australia.
You will also learn about the 131 year history of mining in Queenstown by visiting some of the original mining sites. Hear fascinating stories of the impact these mines had on the development of our great nation. Also learn of the environmental impact and the work being done to rehabilitate the landscape.
Visit the site of the 1912 mining disaster, Australia's worst mining tragedy where 42 miners lost their lives when fire broke out in the pump room on the 700ft level of the North Lyell Shaft. Tour duration 3.5 hrs.