Wonthaggi is located 90 minutes or 132 km South East of Melbourne, an easy cruise down the M420 Sth Gippsland Highway and the A440 Bass Highway.
Wonthaggi is approximately 20 minutes from Phillip Island.
Things to See and Do The Wonthaggi Coal Mine produced nearly 17 million tonnes of coal between 1909 and 1968, leaving behind an extensive network of tunnels.
The highlight of a day spent at the Wonthaggi Coal Mine is the underground adventure into the mine. Our wonderful tour guide, Rod took us on a 90-minute tour and everyone enjoyed the ride out of the mine at the end.
Entry to the Wonthaggi Coal Mine Park is FREE and visitors can spend as long as they like exploring the makeshift town, wandering through original buildings and visiting the museum.
A dedicated group of volunteers keep the Wonthaggi Coal Mine in beautiful condition. It's easy to imagine life in the little cottage as it is furnished true to the day, with fruit trees, vegetable garden and chook shed out the back.
Climb aboard the old steam engine, take photos sitting in the coal cars, pop into the explosives shed, wander the blacksmiths workshop and meet Cobber the pit pony in the stables. Don't forget to stop at the aviary and learn how canaries helped the miners.
A 12-minute film plays continuously about the 1937, No 20 shaft explosion and the intensive rescue and repair operation afterwards.
When is the Wonthaggi State Coal Mine Open?
Daily 10am – 4.30pm.
Underground tours start at 11.30am and 2.00pm daily. More frequent tours during school holidays and group tours by special arrangement.
There is ample free, onsite parking.
The Wonthaggi State Coal Mine facility is wheel friendly (Suitable for prams, strollers, walkers and wheelchairs). The paths above ground are gravel with an easy gradient.
Current facilities allow for strollers and wheelchairs to venture into the mine to a certain extent. These facilities are due to be upgraded soon. Please speak to staff in advance if you have any special requirements.
Children (5-15 years) $9.90
Concession (Pension Card Holders) $13.80
Student (16 plus) and Seniors: $16.70
Family (2A & 2C): $48.50
Food and Facilities
There is a beautiful picnic area offering three, free BBQ hotplates. There is also a sink with fresh running water, long work and dining benches, and several privately partitioned picnic tables beneath a large shelter.
What to wear
Anybody wishing to venture into the underground mine MUST be wearing enclosed shoes. The facility provides hard hats (you'll be grateful) and hair nets for underneath.
The mine is usually between 14 to 17 degrees. A jumper is sometimes recommended. That being said, I normally feel the cold and was fine in just a t-shirt on a mid 20-degree December day.
There is a small selection of souvenirs available in the entrance foyer.
What to Take
A picnic lunch and drink is highly recommended.
General, season appropriate weather protection is recommended.
Camera. Photos are allowed both above and below ground in the mine.
If you've never been to Wonthaggi, the Coal Mine is a wonderful excuse. The town itself is large and there are plenty of ocean beaches nearby. You could even travel from Wonthaggi to see the penguins come home on Phillip Island afterward.
My husband and I visited the coal mine only a couple of days ago. It was a great day out. I found my grandfather's name in the employees register, he was there in 1919. We ordered a replica of his mine tag.