Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine

Guided tours of the underground workings of Long Tunnel Extension Gold Mine
  • 1 Hour
  • Museum
  • Accessibiliy
  • Tour guide

Description

Mine Tour

Tours of the Long Tunnel Extended Mine are conducted every day of the year except Christmas Day. On weekends, public holidays and school holidays scheduled tours are conducted at 12:00 noon; 1:30pm and 3:00pm. On all other days tours are conducted at 1:30pm. Tour numbers are limited to 30 people per tour. No bookings are required however bookings can be made by phoning the Mine Office on 03-5165 6259 between 12:00 noon and 2:30pm or by email to info@walhallaboard.org.au. If ever there are more numbers than can be accommodated on one tour, additional tours will be conducted – no one is turned away.

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The Mine is well lit and ventilated – the tour doesn’t enter confined spaces and the whole tour is conducted on flat walking. The tour is accessible by wheelchair and children’s pushers. The Mine Office has a wheelchair and children’s pushers available for the use of patrons. Tour last for about 50 minutes.

Tickets purchased at the Mine Office prior to the tour cost:

  • Family – 2 adults and up to 4 children - $50
  • Adults - $20
  • Children under the age of 16 - $15 (children under the age of 5 are free)
  • Seniors, bona-fide students and concession card holders - $15.

Group tours may be conducted by arrangement. Costs for groups of over 12 people are $10 per head.

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Each tour is conducted by a Mine Guide who is familiar with the Mine’s history and the history of Walhalla. Tours are informative as well as entertaining. The Mine is managed by an experienced Mining Engineer and the Mine is operated under strict State Government enforced protocols. The safety of our patrons and staff is of paramount importance.


Schools and Projects

The Long Tunnel Extended Mine caters particularly for school groups. Bookings can be made directly with the Mine by phone to 03 5165 6259 or email to info@walhallaboard.org.au. Alternatively if school groups are staying at

Rawson Village, arrangements can be made by staff there.

Costs for school groups are $10 per head with one adult free of charge to every 10 students. A higher adult/student allowance applies for special needs students. The maximum number for each group is 30 but multiple tours can commence at 20 minute intervals.

(To download a student project sheet or Teachers Information sheet please click here)


Technical Tour of the Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine

The Mine Manager, Geoff Anderson will, by arrangement, conduct a technical tour of the Mine starting at 1.45pm on the first Sunday of each month, or otherwise by arrangement. Geoff is an experienced Mining Engineer having worked first as a miner in the deep gold mines of Kalgoorlie and in the tin mines on the west coast of Tasmania – and later as an engineer in most countries of South-east Asia.

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The tour will last approximately two hours and the tour group will be limited in size to 10 people. During the tour, shrinkage stope mining methods used in deep quartz reef mines will be explained with discussion on how these methods have developed into the 21st Century. The group will also learn how the mine was ventilated, kept dry and lit. Haulage methods in the Long Tunnel Extended Mine, and its neighbour, the Long Tunnel Mine were unique and arrangements for vertical and horizontal haulage will be explained.

One hundred and fifty metres underground, the tour group will enjoy tea or coffee in the Crib Room while viewing plans of the Mine’s 8½ kilometres of underground workings.

The tour will cost $50 per head and tours must be pre-booked. Bookings may be made by email to aldbar@sympac.com.au or by telephone to 03-5165-6259, or 0412 285 913.

Students and academic staff of recognised engineering faculties will be charged $25 each with one staff member admitted free of charge with every nine students.

Preserving Victoria’s mining heritage and making it known.


Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine History

In 1863, a group of prospectors led by Ned Stringer travelled down the Aberfeldy River from the Goulburn valley at the same time as the goldfields of the Jordan and Jericho were being opened up. The group reached the Thomson River and followed it downstream exploring tributaries as they travelled. Reaching the tributary we now know as Stringer’s Creek, they found good gold prospects. By following this creek upstream for a day the gold in the creek was reaching significant levels – each man in the party was finding around an ounce of gold daily and the news soon got out, inspiring a rush to the area to the place that is now called Walhalla.

Men experienced in quartz reef mining soon came to the site and realising the gold must have come from a nearby lode began a search that soon revealed a number of gold bearing quartz reefs – among them Cohen’s Reef which would become well known on the stock markets of the World.

A number of mines commenced operation in 1865 including the Hercules Mining Company which opened up the Long Tunnel Extended Adit. This tunnel reached Cohen’s Reef in 1867 at a distance of 160m from the entrance and a depth of about 120 meters below the surface. Unfortunately the gold content in the quartz reef at this point was quite low at about 5gm to the tonne. Some exploratory work continued along the reef and to lower levels but in 1871 the operation was sold out to the newly created Long Tunnel Extended Mining Company N/L. This company was managed by very experienced mining people and was well financed. The adit was continued to a point some 230 metres from the entrance. Huge chambers were excavated for machinery and boilers, chimneys were excavated to the surface and the boilers and machinery were installed. The LTEM Company used “state of the art” methods and equipment of the day and kept abreast of developments as they occurred. During periods of full production, the five large Cornish boilers burned 30 tons of wood daily.

Work commenced on the construction of the deep shaft and at every 100 feet (30m) a crosscut was constructed from the shaft to the reef and drives were constructed along the line of the reef in each direction. Using shrinkage stope methods, the quartz reef was mined from each level up to the level above, this process continued downward to a depth of 3,000 feet (940m). By the time the mine closed in 1914, a total of 859,540 tons of Quartz had been mined from which 13.7 tonnes of gold had been extracted. During the 1890’s the Long Tunnel Extended Mine was the biggest gold producer in Victoria for five consecutive years and in one of those years it was the biggest producer in Australia.

The adjoining Long Tunnel Mine is the LTEM’s neighbour to the North and the South. Initially Long Tunnel quartz mined in its Northwest Ground was hauled up a blind shaft, then horizontally along a 2,400 feet long haulage drift, through the LTEM lease, to a shaft to the surface. In 1902 these inefficient haulage arrangement were replaced by an Inclined Shaft which also passed through LTEM ground.

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.


Diagram of Winding Gear
(Click to download the diagram below)

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Open Hours

Sunday 12noon, 1:30pm, 3pm
Monday 1.30pm
Tuesday 1.30pm
Wednesday 1.30pm
Thursday 1.30pm
Friday 1.30pm
Saturday 12noon, 1:30pm, 3pm