Instead of overnighting in Georgetown we ended up just down the road, camping underneath Batman Bridge. This is one of the world’s first cable-stayed tress bridges. It spans the Tamar River and consists of a 100m high steel A-frame Tower. The river was flowing pretty quickly and in the morning the tide must have gone out because the kids were able to walk across and sit on one of the huge pylons.
The sun looked beautiful as it set downstream but it wasn’t very long after it had gone down that the temperature plummeted.
It was freezing!!
In the morning once we had thawed out we headed to Beaconsfield. After a good look around this small sleepy town, we turned our attention to the Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre. A family pass cost us $30 and we spent a number of hours here. The mine was still working while we were there but was to be closed a few weeks after we left. Apparently it is no longer economically viable. The Heritage Centre will remain open though and is definitely worth a visit.
There were a large number of artefacts associated, not just with the local mining history, but also the general history of the area. The kids were given a list of animals that were hidden throughout the centre and upon completion of this treasure hunt they received a prize consisting of a sticker, some ‘gold’ and a small bag of rocks that had come from the mine. They were very happy with this.
Lots of interactive displays were throughout the centre and it was great to be able to actually touch and play with things. Out the back of the centre were some remnants of the original mine buildings and a leafy garden in the middle of an otherwise bleak outlook.
The Mine Rescue Centre, however, was the exhibition that had the greatest impact on me.
Many Australians would be familiar with the amazing events that happened in Beaconsfield in 2006. On Anzac Day in this year there was a rock collapse within the mine. A number of miners were able to make their way to the surface but tragically one man was killed and two others remained trapped underground for a period of two weeks.
I can remember bring glued to the TV as the frantic rescue was underway and cried like a baby watching the two men walking from the lift cage, after finally being freed. The platform from which these scenes were filmed by the media is still in place and I must admit to getting goosebumps standing on the said platform and looking down upon the cage. Definitely not something I am likely to forget in a very long time.
I love how our travels provide such moments.
It was also very moving visiting the park where the huge media (national and international) contingent massed and where Richard Carleton, a journalist whom I admired very much, suffered a fatal heart attack.
A comprehensive account of what took place in Beaconsfield during this time is on display. Items such as the overalls the miners were wearing, equipment that was used during the rescue and even a recreation of the cage in which the men were trapped are just some of the exhibits. Once you read exactly what the rescuers were up against and stick your head inside the cage for a look you realise just what a miracle took place here.
A few km north of Beaconsfield and adjacent to Narawntapu National Park is Green’s Beach. This is where we headed after leaving Beaconsfield, with our night at the caravan park here costing us $20 for a powered site. It is at a great location just across the road from the beach and I should imagine a very busy place in summer. It is also not far from the aptly name Beauty Point.
Having power meant we could put the heater on and try to dry the bed ends out. Unfortunately they had been getting wet most nights. Even if it doesn’t rain the low overnight temperatures have meant lots of moisture and this can be a bit of a pain if pillows or blankets end up against the canvas.It means that these get damp too.
The added bonus of being able to plug the heater in is that we don’t have to go to bed dressed like this;
It’s a small price to pay really, especially when after spending time exploring and playing on Green’s Beach, just before heading back to the van, you turn around for one last look at the beach and are greeted with this
A couple of sunset pictures in one post.