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Phosphate Mine. March 24, 2008

Posted by Mistress B in CJ, Family, Friends, Holidays, Hubby, TJ.
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I have lots and lots of pics from camping so I thought I should break them up into separate activities to post.

We left around 10am on Friday to travel to Wellington, NSW. We were meeting up with friends from Dubbo. All up we had 6 adults and 8 kids between the ages of 7 and 13 at the campsite.

When we arrived it was sprinkling, but we managed to get the tents up before we got too wet. Fortunately we had a bloody humongous tarp to cover our tents with for extra protection and to make a shelter to sit under. The rain didn’t last long though and we spent the afternoon catching up while the kids played cricket, went swimming and explored the park.

Saturday morning we went on a tour of the Phosphate Mine.

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Setting off on our tour. See hubby has shirts that aren’t pink red.

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Entering the mine. It is always a constant 18 degrees Celsius inside no matter how hot or cold outside.

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Hubby checking out an opening leading to the surface. There are a few shafts leading through to the surface made to raise or lower people and equipment as well as a number of naturally occurring ones. There are also lots of tree roots growing through from the surface of the hill down into the mine shafts. Eventually the damage caused by the tree roots will cause more tunnels to collapse.

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Exploring through the mine tunnels. Many of the timber wall/ceiling supports were sold off a nearly a century ago for firewood when the mine owners bailed out of the operation and had to be replaced before the mine was reopened for tours.

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This is what phosphate looks like when the lights are out. Purty ain’t it? Bet you didn’t know batshit could look so pretty?

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TJ checking out a tunnel entrance which is partly closed in. The guide explained that when miners had retrieved all the phosphate they could from one tunnel that they would simply start another one, then dump the dirt they dug from the new one into the old one.

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Checking out the bones in the wall of the tunnel (all the little white flecks in the wall). The mine is located under a sink hole where owls and other animals nested. When the sink hole collapsed it took small bones from their nests into the ground around it.

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The mine is a very important site for paleontologists. The bones here are casts from a Thylacoleo or Marsupial Lion skeleton discovered in the mine.

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These are a cast of the bones of a  Diprotodon, a very large Australian marsupial, also now extinct. Apparently bones found here first led to the discovery of Australia’s mega fauna.

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CJ pointing out a feature in the wall. This is a new section of the mine that was made to allow visitors to exit easily without having to backtrack through the whole mine. You can tell it is a modern part of the mine by the use of wire mesh instead of wooden beams along the walls of the tunnel.

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Daylight at the end of the tunnels!

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Back down the hillside to the caravan park.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the next thrilling instalment in the adventure that was our Easter weekend. Same bat time, same bat station.

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Comments

1. Casdok - March 25, 2008

Looks fasinating!

2. Anja - March 25, 2008

Pretty batshit. Who’d have thunk it?

Great pics, B. Looking forward to seeing more of them.

3. dancingwithfrogs - March 25, 2008

I was wondering why on Earth you’d want to go in a phosphate mine, but the bones were worth it.

4. Jayne - March 25, 2008

Great pics, I never knew batshit was photo-worthy!
Feral Beast will be popping over for a gander soon!

5. Feral Beast - March 25, 2008

Bat poo looks cool!
I really like your photos 🙂

6. scrappydo - March 25, 2008

Me 3 or 4 or whatever number I am when I say “who’d’ve Thunk?!” Pretty bat crap is indeed purdy. cool pics – look forward to see the next installment 🙂

7. planningqueen - March 25, 2008

My kids would love to trek through an old mine like that. Sounds like you had a great trip.

8. widdleshamrock - March 25, 2008

Purple used to be my favourite colour ……. lol

This looks fantastic.

Can’t wait to see more.

9. anonymum - March 25, 2008

LMAO @ the bat shit! I’ve never quite viewed it as pretty, but I may just change my thinking after that!
😆
All bat shit aside, there’s some great pics here….waiting with anticipation for the next lot now
cheers
maureen

10. babyamore - March 26, 2008

we were in Dubbo over Easter, I wanted to go visit the mines – I think we have been there before … heehee my memory is shocking.
One day I will – the pictures and info you shared are very interesting.


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