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On Walkabout at: Beaconsfield Mine, Tasmania

Prior Posting: Cradle Mountain, Tasmania

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The next day after my hike up to the summit of Cradle Mountain in the central Tasmanian highlands my wife and I then headed to Launceston where we began our tour around Tasmania in order to fly back to the Australian mainland thus ending our vacation.  Our flight wasn’t until the next day and on my original tour schedule this was a back up day to climb up Cradle Mountain if the weather was bad the day prior.  Fortunately I was able to climb up the mountain with no issues the day prior and thus had a free day at our disposal.  We used the day to drive north up to Devonport and then across the northern coast and then down the Tamar River down to Launceston:

Devonport is where the “Spirit of Tasmania” ferry boat from Melbourne docks at.  My wife and I thought about putting out car on the ferry and coming to Tasmania that way.  However, it was actually cheaper for us to fly to Tasmania and rent a car for 10 days than to use the ferry.  That is why we flew instead of taking the ferry.  In Devonport we had lunch at a park along the shore and had a pleasant but uneventful time in the city.  We then drove to the east towards the Tamar River which is the major river system that drains northern Tasmania:

beaconsville 3

We first stopped at Greens Beach which is near the mouth of the river.  The beach was actually quite pleasant though a little chilly despite being the summer time:

Northern Tasmanian Beach

Here is the mouth of the Tamar River as it flows into Bass Strait:

End of the Tamar River

From Greens Beach we then started driving south to Launceston where we passed through Beaconsfield.  When we entered Beaconsfield it jogged my memory that this was the place the famous mine collapse happened.   So we decided to stop and see the mine before continuing to drive down to Launceston.

Beaconsfield is a really small village of just over 1,000 people that had a really pleasant small town Australia vibe to it.  Being such a small town it was easy to find the mine which is located nearly in the center of city:

beaconsville 1

If you can find the local post office than you have found the mine because it is literally across the street:

Beaconsville Post Office

The mine just like the city we found to not really be all that big:

beaconsville 2

There is nice little park with old miner’s cottage out in front of the mine:

Cottage Outside the Beaconsville Mine

Here is the old building in the front of the mine that was constructed over 100 years ago in 1904:

Front of the Beaconsville Mine

Behind the old buildings in the front of the mine is the large mine elevator:

Beaconsville Mine 1

In the front of the building was this plaque that was presented by former Australian Prime Minister John Howard:

Plaque In Front of the Beaconsville Mine

Here is what the plaque says:

Present 29 May 2006 by the Prime Minister of Australia the Hon. John Howard MP on the occasion of a Parliamentary reception to recognize the many Australians who assisted in the rescue of Todd Russell and Brant Webb from the Beaconsfield Gold Mine on 9 May 2006; honour the memory of Larry Knight who lost his life at the Beaconsfield Gold Mine on 25 April 2006 and commemorate the resilience, generosity, and spirit of mateship of the Beaconsfield community.

On the building was this plaque commemorating the Beaconsfield community with the Australian of the Year Award;

Beaconsville Plaque

The front of the mine also had this old locomotive on display:

Locomotive Outside the Beaconsville Mine

After checking out everything outside the mine my wife and I then went inside to checkout the mining museum:

Beaconsville Mine Museum 4

We thought the museum  would discuss more about the mine collapse but it is mostly composed of old mining equipment and tractors:

Beaconsville Mine Museum 3

Beaconsville Mine Museum 1

There is even an old truck on display:

Beconsville Mine Museum 2

After checking out the inside of the museum we then went outside to take a look at some more mining equipment.  This large device was used to smash rocks with to look for gold:

Beaconsville Mining Equipment

Here is as close the mining operations as visitors can get:

Inside the Beaconsville Mine

Here is a look at the large mine elevator that can be seen all around the city:

Large Mine Shaft at the Beaconsville Mine

After finishing our tour around the mine we then continued to drive south towards Launceston and a few kilometers outside of Beaconsfield we drove across the Tamar River using the Batman Bridge:

Bridge Across the Tamar River

The bridge was constructed between 1968-1969 and was the first cable-stayed bridge in Australia.  If you are wondering the bridge is not named after the caped crusader, but instead John Batman, a pioneer of Tasmania who founded the Victorian city of Melbourne.  Here was the view from the banks of the Tamar River below the bridge:

On the Banks of the Tamar River

After checking out the bridge we continued to drive south towards Launceston and found the rural setting along the Tamar River to be quite pleasant:

The Tamar River in Tasmania

We eventually rolled into Launceston and found a caravan park to camp out at for the night.  The next day we had a flight in the afternoon back to Victoria so my wife and I decided to use the morning hours to explore the city’s Cataract Gorge.

Next Posting: Launceston’s Cataract Gorge

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