Historic Day Dream Mine Review - Silverton NSW
Broken Hill-Silverton, NSW
With fully guided underground and surface tours, Day Dream Mine just outside Silverton was a no brainer day trek for our little tribe. After days learning about silver, lead and zinc ore mining in Broken Hill, we had two very eager boys keen to explore an underground silver mine- so we headed out to the authentic, family owned and run attraction and boy were we impressed.
On arrival, the history was everywhere to be seen. Jeff the days tour guide, took us on the surface tour first. What an incredible insight into what the miners and the ladies of the late 1800’s-early 1900’s endured on the mine fields.
From the underground black-powder storage bunkers/room (dually used to keep away from the deathly hot summer heat), to the mia-mia (self made tiny temporary sleeping shelters) of individual miners, to an old open mine entry that even still had the visible parts of the horse drawn cable mechanisms used to pull the mine carts out.
Then came the underground tour, strapping on our sexy white miners helmets- flicking on the lights, the group of 13 or so of us descended down the spiral staircase and into the silver mine. With 3 levels to explore and the 4th under water, the depth and directions of the mine that we travelled could put the best explorer in doubt.
But with Jeff at the lead we learnt all about the ‘what and how’ of the mines history. Seeing the types of beam structures in place were incredible engineering feats and learning how the miners, including boys as young as 8- navigated the tight enclosed spaces was mind boggling.
We got a first hand experience of how it was to mine by spider candle light, it’s not surprising the shear amount of related accidents from poor working conditions. Awesomely we also got to see some real silver still glinting in the underground rock walls.
And as if that wasn’t enough of an awesome experience- we returned to the homestead/shop, out of the chilly lunch time breeze greeted with delicious pipping hot fresh scones with cream and jam plus a cuppa tea and 4 hot chocolates, made and served by the owners son, Jason.
Something you wouldn’t know before you came out to Day Dream Mine was that it was originally opened in 1882, and was an active mine for 101 years bringing fortune to many and was a key part of the beginning of the booming silver industry before Broken hill was discovered and established.
Beth and Kevin together with their son, have done an amazing job restoring and keeping the mine in as close to original condition since it was last mined in 1983, when the previous owner switched from Day Dream being an active mine to a site for guests to come and explore.
With so many authentic relics, the attention to detail and a tour guide with more knowledge than you’d get from Wikipedia, The tours of Day Dream Mine exceeded our expectations and was well worth the investment of time and admission. Strap on some sneakers and take a walk down the steps of a different world, we Trekkers would never have wanted to miss this one!
Big thank you to Jeff for all your incredible knowledge and endless stream of historical stories with hilarious hidden jokes and punch lines. It was the most memorable tour to date.
*Tours run 7 days a week, 10am and 11.30am. You can experience both surface and underground tours together with your delicious morning/afternoon tea or just enjoy the surface tour separately.
20km from Broken Hill along the Silverton Road, look for the big sign on the right and head up the scenic drive 13km.