|Location:||Bendigo, 115km north of Melbourne. Violet Street.|
All year daily 9-17.
Mine Experience Tour: Mon-Fri 9:30, 11, 12:30, 14, 15:30, Sat-Sun 9:30, 11, 12:30, 13, 14:30, 16.
Adventure Tour: daily 11, 14, booking necessary.
Self-Guided Mine Surface Tour:
Adults AUD 14, Children (5-15) AUD 7, Children (0-4) free, Concession AUD 12, Family (2+4) AUD 35.
Mine Experience Tour: Adults AUD 26.50, Children (5-15) AUD 13.50, Children (0-4) free, Concession AUD 23, Family (2+4) AUD 65.
Adventure Tour: Adults AUD 75, Children (8-15) AUD 45, Children (0-7) not allowed, Concession AUD 65, Family (2+4) AUD 190.
|Light:||miners helmet and lamp provided|
Mine Experience Tour: D=75min, VR=61m.
Adventure Tour: D=2.5h, VR=85m.
|Address:||Central Deborah, 76 Violet Street, Bendigo 3550, Victoria, Tel: +61-3-5443-8322, Fax: +61-3-5443-8341. E-mail:|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1851||gold discovered, surface mining and alluvial panning began.|
|1880s||deep shaft mining.|
|1970||re-opened by The Bendigo Trust offering surface tours.|
|1986||re-opened for underground tours.|
Bendigo is a Victorian gold rush town, the area around is called Bendigo Goldfields. There are estimated more than 6,000 abandoned mine shafts in the area. This is the seventh richest goldfield in history, and when it was closed in 1954 it was not exhausted. The low gold price made the mining unprofitable.
The former gold town is today managed by the Bendigo Trust. This company was established in 1970 by the Bendigo City Council in order to preserve Bendigo's heritage. It started with the Vintage 'Talking' Tram service and surface mine tours. Later underground tours were added and in 2002 the Discovery Science & Technology Centre. It also cares for the Bendigo Gasworks, closed in 1973, and Victoria Hill, an open air museum of the early mining open for self guided tours. The Trust is registered as a charity.
Central Deborah Mine is open for tourists who descend 61m down the 500m shaft by elevator to level two of the abandoned mine. It shows the daily work of the miners a century ago and includes a guided mine surface tour. Visitors are equipped with helmets and miners lamps. There is also a more strenuous adventure tour on level three, 85m below the surface. As it requires some more sportive activities like climbing ladders, and of course getting dirty, visitors are geared up in overalls, boots, and hard hats with head lamps. This is a chance to work mine drills and search for gold on location. On this tours children younger than eight years are not allowed for security reasons.
In 2012 the tourist mine is threatened by rising ground water levels. A plan to drain the water, which would be a long-term solution, will cost AUD 500,000. The idea is to install huge pumps inside the mine. The necessary amount is obviously to high for the Bendigo Trust and their financials. The council has lodged funding applications with both levels of government.