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Day Dream Mine

Home > Broken Hill > School Holidays | Mines | Fun Things To Do | Family | Adventure
by Paula McManus (subscribe)
Photography obsessed writer and urban explorer. Lover of nature, art and long weekends. Adelaide, South Australia. https://www.facebook.com/paula.mcmanus1
Published April 2nd 2014
History in Real Life
Day Dream Mine, Daydream Mine, Silverton, Broken Hill
Day Dream Mine, Silverton, Broken Hill (©paula mcmanus)


A visit to Broken Hill and Silverton is just not complete without a visit to an authentic silver mine. Silver mining in the area is the reason the towns exist. Take a tour of the Day Dream Mine and experience the incredibly harsh working conditions of a bygone era.

The road in is about 13 kilometres of dirt road and is easily travelled by the average family car. Always check the road conditions before travelling on any road in the outback, it's best to be safe than sorry. There are a couple of gates to open and shut as you go through, but apart from that it's a very pleasant and scenic drive and worth doing just for the drive in.

Day Dream Mine, Daydream Mine, Silverton, Broken Hill
Day Dream Mine, Silverton, Broken Hill (©paula mcmanus)


Once you arrive at the Day Dream Mine you have an option to do an underground or surface tour, or both. I would recommend doing both, you'll regret it if you don't. It's also a very long way to come back and do the bits that you didn't on the first visit!

The mine is an authentic rustic experience - the tour guides are experienced miners themselves and have many fascinating personal stories to tell. It's not a typical touristy spot, there's a quirkiness to the place that is just so 'outback Australia'.

Day Dream Mine, Daydream Mine, Silverton, Broken Hill
Visitors Centre, Day Dream Mine, Silverton, Broken Hill (©paula mcmanus)


When doing the underground tour, you are decked out in all the safety gear needed, including a hard hat with a light - which you'll be very grateful for. The mine was steep in parts, the ground was a little uneven and in places the roof was low (yay for being short - at last).

There were visitors of all ages doing the underground tour, so don't be put off by doing the mine tour, but if you have a bad back or are very claustrophobic, then you may want to do just the surface tour. Sturdy walking shoes are a must and the group moves at a slow pace - good for getting a solid feel for what the mines may have been like back in the day - the darkness and the cramped and narrow tunnels.

Day Dream Mine, Daydream Mine, Silverton, Broken Hill
Day Dream Mine, Silverton, Broken Hill (©paula mcmanus)


History

The mine is in the Appollyon Valley and was founded in 1881. By 1884 there were estimated to be 500 people living there. When you visit you will wonder how they survived - the arid lands are so very harsh, there is no water and the heat in the summer killed many babies and youngsters. One woman suffered terribly - 15 of her 19 children passed away due to the cruel and unforgiving conditions.

Water was carted in by wagons from the Day Dream Dam - about 5 kilometres away. The life of the Day Dreamers was unimaginably difficult.

While the settlement itself moved to Silverton and then to Broken Hill, the mining continued until the mine's closure in 1983.

Day Dream Mine, Daydream Mine, Silverton, Broken Hill
Day Dream Mine, Silverton, Broken Hill (©paula mcmanus)


The Miner

Day Dream was mined by Cornish men and boys - some as young as eight years old. They all worked 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. Work was done by candlelight, picks and shovels, all of which the miner had to supply themselves. The average miner lived to just 40 years of age with most passing away due to respiratory diseases.


Day Dream Mine, Daydream Mine, Silverton, Broken Hill
Day Dream Mine, Silverton, Broken Hill (©paula mcmanus)



When

Standard hours: 10am & 11:30am only

School Holidays (NSW, SA, VIC):
Every hour from 10am to last tour at 3pm.



Booking

You can book your tour at the Broken Hill Visitor's Centre, or just turn up during opening hours.

Cost

Underground only - $25 per person
Surface only - $8 per person

Underground and surface
Adults - $30, seniors & pensioners - $28
Children - $10, students 16 yrs - $25.

Day Dream Mine, Daydream Mine, Silverton, Broken Hill
Day Dream Mine, Silverton, Broken Hill (©paula mcmanus)


There is no EFTPOS machine. Credit cards are accepted, but on the old style 'click-clack' machine with a processing fee involved, so it's best to bring cash.

Devonshire Tea, snacks, drinks and souvenirs are all on sale onsite.

The toilet is on a slight hill with no disabled access and no baby changing facilities.


Location

The Day Dream Mine is located northwest of Silverton, about 30 kilometres outside of Broken Hill.

Broken Hill is a remote city in the New South Wales outback.

Although in New South Wales, the city is very close to the South Australian border and uses the same time zone and phone area code and receives Adelaide TV and radio stations.

The city is 1,160 kilometres west of Sydney and 511 kilometres north east of Adelaide.

Day Dream Mine, Daydream Mine, Silverton, Broken Hill
The road in to Day Dream Mine, Silverton, Broken Hill (©paula mcmanus)
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Why? Go underground and experience a miner's life
When: Open every day, weather permitting.
Phone: (08) 8088 5682
Where: Silverton, New South Wales
Cost: Costs vary, check the website
Your Comment
The underground tour looks fascinating.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12048) 1657 days ago
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