Our first camping trip for the season and a trip where Dirk Jacinta and I went for a swim.
After arriving and setting up camp in Luina for our trip to Mt Stewart Mine we all said our hello’s and ended up going separate ways for a few hours. Bradley, Heidi, Cruz, Dirk & Michelle loaded up the Zooks and went back to Lord Brassey Mine to have a look. Jacinta & I decided to go and check out Magnet mine as Jacinta hadn’t seen the actual mine site yet.
The mine was a Silver, Lead, Crocoite mine and started operation in 1895 then a town was built around the area and by 1940 mining had ceased and the town was sold off. What’s left now are just ruins but it makes for some good exploring. After checking out the ruins we went to check out some of the old Adits in the area.
We think this might have been an old Magazine (where they kept the explosives)
Not much further down the track is an Adit of one of the mines in the area.
Unfortunately there is just a little bit too much water in their to go and take a look but I have heard it goes in a very long way. From here we ventured back to the cruiser and seen a different coloured finch on the way?? After stalking the bird for a while and getting next to no good shots we thought we would head further into magnet along the 4wd track to see how far we could get before it got to bad and it turned out it wasn’t all that far but it did give me a chance to play with the camera again.
So after I finished mucking around with the camera we thought we better go and see how the others where doing and we timed it perfectly we arrived at Roaring Mag Creek just as they where coming back across it. After we caught up Jacinta and I ditched the cruiser and Jumped in a Zook and we head up an old forestry track in the hope of finding something? We didn’t stumble across anything but we can now cross this track off the list. From here we went back to camp and decided to have a look around Luina which resulted in Dirk going for a swim as the Whyte River was a little to high for the Zook.
After a couple of attempt of trying to get out the last couple of meters it sucked in a gutful of water and decided to be an anchor. Luckily for us some diamond drillers and just knocked of from a days work and although rather amused gave us a much-needed hand and towed Dirk out.
After the rather amusing miss hap we invited the fellers back to camp for a couple of beers and it turned out Dirk and Mick (I think it was) went to Yolla school together and where only to years apart (small world). After reflecting on the days activities it was time to enjoy the campfire, a few more beers and plan our attack for the next day.
The next day after a reasonable cold night we were of to try to get to the Mt Stewart mine on the ‘Slug’ and the Zooks. Not far from the start of the track we came across a massive Myrtle that had decided to fall on the track. As I was the first on their I thought this day might be short-lived as it was a tight squeeze even for the ‘slug’.
But we had the chainsaw packed and got to work…… Unfortunately it only lasted about 2 min and then broke in half. Luckily enough we were most of the way through the tight corner of the root and with the mighty power of the zooks we where able to pull it off and create just enough room for them to get through.
From here we continued on until we came across another log over the track. This time with no chainsaw and no way around it put and end to the zooks but Jacinta and I decided to quickly shoot up a bit further on the bike and check out the Castray River Crossing as we heard it had a barge there.
It was also a beautiful little area too.
After soaking in the area we thought we better go back and catch up with the others and when we came back down to the Whyte River we noticed we had an audience on the other side waiting for us so I thought we better give them a show. …and that we did the bloody Whyte River strikes again. ( Photo Heidi Horton) after going over all that I could think of is my camera. Oh and Jacinta of course. the shock of falling in took our breath away and we where both a little shocked at just how deep it was and how fast the current was. Thanks to Bradley and Dirk for saving the bike to as if we where there by ourselves I think it may have had a new home as the 2 of us wouldn’t have been able to pull it out. Luckily we had enough cloths to put something dry on and the only thing to die was my phone. After pulling the bike out and getting the water out of the motor and changing the spark plug the ‘Slug’ lived to see another day and it seemed to run better than ever with a bit of water in the oil.
After the long slippery climb back up the hill we decided to find a nice sunny spot and have a bit of lunch. As my phone had died I had lost all my coordinates for the old mines in the area but I knew we where close to one and seen some pink markers with writing on it. Not sure on the significance of the text but we followed the markers and ended up down in an old mine site.There where ruins on the ground everywhere and the tailings pile was also rather large. We also found the Adit but didn’t have a torch (or my phone) so we didn’t venture in for a look but we will return.
The mine turned out to be Old Jasper Mine which was a copper mine that was in production from 1910 to 1920 and produced around 50tonn. From here we kept heading out until we came across the Big Myrtle again and coming out was probably even harder than coming in.
It turned out it was easier to go backwards than to go forward. which can be seen in the video here. After loading the slug and zooks up and heading back to camp after our failed attempt at Mt Stewart Mine we decided to grab a couple of beers jump in the troopy and head up to Mt Cleveland and check out the views as the weather was perfect.Looking down into Luina and Cleveland Mine.
Looking back over towards Savage River mine and the West Coast.
After taking in the views we went back changed the clothes and went into the Bischoff Hotel for a few nice cold beers and a meal. We where also talk of the town as a the Diamond Drillers had been in there the day before having a laugh about pulling the zook out of the Bloody Whyte river. Now they where about to have a bit more of a laugh about Jacinta and I and the Slug.
The next day we thought we would head down and check out the track that goes into the Rocky River junction of the Whyte River. This is the site of the biggest gold nugget ever found in Tassie way back in 1923 I think it was. It weighed in at just over 7kg. Unfortunately we didn’t get very far down the track as there was trees all over it and none of us remembered to put the chainsaw in but the part of the track we did do we still had some fun. I think I need to pay more attention to the lines I pick.Although a few other factors came into this equation, this 4wd is near useless for this type of 4wding as it is as solid as a brick and the rear LSD is complete and utter shit it is basically just a single spinner which makes it pretty hard going on undulated tracks. I think its time for a rear locker so I don’t have to get towed of ant hills.
After not succeeding very well down here (We will Return Fully prepared) we decided to head back to camp. On the way I noticed what looked like a waterfall just North of Savage River so I stopped and got the camera out and sure enough it was.
Apparently it is fed form a lake above it and only flows in winter and in summer it dries out. Although it is hard to tell from the photo as it is a fair distance away it is quite big. at a guess I would say it would be over the 50m mark. I have looked for info on these falls but can’t find anything??
That marks the end of another epic adventure and has opened the door for a few more we had a great time and can’t wait for the next one.
Brendan & Jacinta
Bradley, Heidi, Cruz, Dirk and Michelle.
Full video here.