What was meant to be a 4WD trip around Waratah area turned into more a History sight-seeing adventure but It was just as good and incredibly interesting. So after meeting up at Waratah on a beautiful sunny winters morning we where off and heading south for our first stop to check out the Godkin mine. This walk starts at the old Mining / Timber ghost township of Hazelwood and follows a line of old mines past Mt Bell to Godkin mine.
The area is just littered with history we believe this old bucket was around the Bells Reward mine site that has been just about completely re-consumed by the bush. The walk in was also very scenic and with the sun out the bush was steaming. and the fungus was also out in force with all sorts of colours.
After about an hour of walking and climbing under and over fallen trees and up and down hills we came across some old train wheels and we were told by our mine guru Randall Chalk that we where very close.
Within a 100 m of these we came across and old boiler house and we where there. The history of this place is just unbelievable and the best part about it is most of it is all still intact so it isn’t to hard to see how they worked around 100 years ago.
Old boiler and its housing used to drive the motors and pumps that were used for the mine.
Old winch used to pull everything out of the shaft. To the left of the winch barrel is the motor, steam would push down on the cylinders on top and the rods would move a cam which in turn turns the winch barrel. The whole system is also set up on a worm gear so the cable winds on perfectly as seen in the picture.
From the dropping of sticks into the shaft our very calculated guess of depth was about 50 m.
Tailings mounds are made into numerous mounds downhill of the mine giving it a star appearance.
This was the pump used to supply water to the mine with water from a creek further down the hill and by the look of it, it’s come from along way away practically for the time period. From what we understand Lead and Silver was mined in this area and we think it was in operation around 100 years ago more info on the area can be found here
After taking in the area for a while we headed back to the 4wd’s at Hazelwood and cooked up some lunch, on the way I found some more fungi that looked like a jelly lolly but I wasn’t game enough to see how sweet it was.
Old Sawmill pit at Hazelwood.
After lunch we thought we would go and check out the Hazelwood mine
But this was short-lived, in fact we only got about 200m down the track and then came across the Roaring Mag Creek crossing which had a very sharp entry and exit and the troopy was just a little to long for it. After watching Bradley have so much trouble crossing the rest of us chickened out and decided we wouldn’t cross but we all had a bit of fun watching the troopy tackle the crossing.
So after the rest of us chickened out we thought we would go for a look up Mt Cleveland this is usually a fairly easy drive but the rain had started as it always seems to near Waratah and made one section of the climb rather slippery which gave me the chance to make some noise.
We made it to the top and once again for me it was a waste of time as you could barely see 100m in front of you as the low-lying cloud had blown in and decided it was here to stay so rather than stay and waste too much time we decided to go check out another bigger mine in the area.
where the core sample shed had been destroyed by a rock slide. This was also very interesting as you could walk into some of the Audits and could see how vast the operation actually was.
Old Switching panel
Copper Sulphate seeping from the walls A rather sketchy service hole Reasonably old tyre tracks probably from the last vehicle that has ever driven in the mine as they where in near perfect condition and although wet where rock hard.
After this is was getting pretty late so most done the smart thing and went home but me Jacinta, Bradley and Heidi listened to the lying weather man who said the weather was going to be fine and went and found a camp site down on the Hellyer River near the Arthur River Junction and to our surprise the more beers we had the warmer the fire got and the more we thought we had made a good decision but basically as soon as we went to bed it rained and rained and rained and literally didn’t stop. The next day thinking the rain might clear we decided to leave camp set up and check out the surrounding area and camp spots.
It turned out it was a beautiful area and has some great camp spots on offer for summer time when it doesn’t rain so bloody much
At the end of the road there was a rather sketchy place to turn around and I somehow nearly ended up in a tree but just scraped away from it.
From here we decided to shoot over to the Arthur River Chalet for some lunch and it turned out to be a rather busy place as people seemed to come from every direction so. After lunch the weather still hadn’t given up so we gave in and went and packed the trailer up and decided to head hope and start the long clean up and dry out.
Hope you enjoyed
Brendan & Jacinta
Full Video here
Special thanks to: Bradley & Heidi Horton, Sam & Shelley Robinson, James & Felicity Arnold, Dirk & Michelle Schumann and Randdal Chalk (the Mining Guru)