The Day Dream mine, situated on the road between Broken Hill and Silverton, is a real tribute to the Cornish miners risking their lives in a strange country while mining for silver.
This mine established in 1880 attracted many settlers to the area. Today you can experience the hardships for yourself as to what life was like working in this mine.
Our pioneers worked so hard and have left us a wealth of history in these mines. Both men and children were working side by side under horrendous conditions trying to extract the silver. Some as young as eight years of age working a six-day week up to twelve hours a day.
Pioneers of Silverton
Many mining claims sprang up around the Barrier Rangers area as pioneers came to seek their fortune. Silverton became the largest township in this area, which even had its own post office in 1883. Within two years the population grew up to 3000 people, with many new businesses springing up in the main street.
This growth created the problem of transportation, horse and bullock drawn teams no longer viable. The locally owned Silverton Tramway formed in 1888 running between Cockburn, Silverton and to Broken Hill. Shortage of fresh water was another problem in those dry outback areas for the pioneers.
Although today’s population is down to about 50 residents, the town has enjoyed a revival of tourists. The beautiful landscape is now stimulating an interest from a variety of artists and photographers wanting to capture the magnificent colours of this outback country.
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Visit the Day Dream Mine
This mine is worth a visit as it takes you back in time, where you can actually visualize and share the hardships these miners suffered. Before you go into the mine everyone has to don the required Safety equipment, including hat, and safety boots.
Be prepared, as the Cornish miners were very short, therefore tall people need to protect their head while walking through this mine.
Silverton is known for more than mining
Silverton is no longer a ghost town in fact more interest was generated after the making of the Mad Max movies, shown on both the big screen and television. A replica of one of the Mad Max‘s V 8 Interceptor cars can still be viewed while parked outside the Silverton Hotel. Many of the locals had a small part in the Mad Max 11 film shot around the Mundi Mundi Plains.
There have been many other films or TV shows shot around the Silverton areas since then. A couple of the other well-known ones being: Royal Flying Doctor Service (TV), A Place to call Home (TV) A town like Alice (mini-series) and the Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
Other points of Interest
The Hospital Museum
All pioneering towns required medical treatment and this Hospital Museum at Silverton depicts the history of this era. I have to say this is one of the best Museums I have visited.
Some of this equipment may look medieval to us although it was the best available through the 20th century.
Mundi Mundi Lookout
This spectacular place situated five kilometers West of Silverton, and a beautiful spot to capture in paint or photograph the sunsets. Part of the famous Mad Max 2 crash scene was filmed here.
This reservoir is still operational today, located about nine kilometers West of Silverton and still used as a backup to Broken Hills water supply.
Silverton was short on water and relied mainly on water tanks in the early days.
Visitor opening times: 8.30 – 3.30 pm each day. Take time to inspect the pumping station or enjoy a picnic in the gardens.
Silverton Historic Cemetery
Mining accidents were the main cause of tragedies of the local miners in the early days. Short supply of fresh food and water often caused many deaths although Typhoid caused many more. The cemetery covers an area of more than forty-two acres.
Take the time to wander through these and discover more of the history through these wonderful displays.
You really need to visit places like this to get a better understanding of how hard it was for the pioneers that faced so many hardships which make our lifestyle so much better today. I wonder how many of our young folk could have succeeded or survived way back then and appreciate the effort they made.
Please leave your thoughts on this in the comments below.
© Copyrighted Shar_On and Eileen
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I heard a whisper that they are making another one so keep your eyes open.