36 comments on “The Daydream Mine.

    • GO STORM!! Sorry, there is a chance that will preface pretty much everything I say for the rest of the evening 😉 The Man is completely disinterested in NRL as well, I sat alone in the peace and quiet for the whole game, if he showed his face I would shout GO BILLY! and he would quickly retreat 🙂

      I’m glad you like the post, it is a great place, that is why we were happy to go back again and fork out for the same tour we had seen before. Usually mine tours are quite sanitized and safe and probably quite far from what the miners actually experienced. I think the only reason we couldn’t hear the creaking of the timbers was that the people on our tour never stopped talking…

  1. I was fascinated with your tour. What did they mine for there? You’re really good with your descriptions and full of enthusiasm. I’m guessing that NRL might be to do with Rugby?
    We have a slate mine not too far away that does an underground tour showing how the miners worked…we don’t know how lucky we are today. Blanau Ffestiniog if you ever get to Wales and want to check it out. I think they even have a shop these days using the original currency.

    • I can’t believe I didn’t include that small but vital fact! Thank you for pointing it out. I have edited it in now. They originally started mining for silver but found the ore was rich in lead and zinc as well.

      I am really pleased that you enjoyed the post. Even though it is an arid and remote place it is just beautiful. I say that after driving there in my airconditioned 4WD and buying cake at the tea room. The thought of walking for weeks in the unrelenting heat with the kids and no water is just unimaginable.

      Yes, NRL is rugby, league, not union. GO STORM! 🙂

      The bloke who was doing our tour said that his father was also a miner, and called the sons version of mining ‘powderpuff mining’. He was a pick and shovel kind of miner, but I bet that the conditions he worked in were far better that the ones experienced by the miners we heard about. We can all complain about over-regulation but sometimes it is a very good thing.

  2. I think your trip illustrates the difference between tourists and travellers Metan. Tourists get to see a lot of locations. Travellers get to see a lot of life. 🙂

    • We only ever plan one thing a day. We could easily do more but we are always the ones hanging back to ask questions and see a bit more. Something that will take others an hour will take us at least 3, probably more. We are actually interested, we aren’t just ticking things off the list of stuff we did. Luckily the kids always find things interesting too and don’t stand in the background whining!

      • You’ve infused them with your own values and perspective on life. Whatever else you may give them, nothing will benefit them more in the long run. 🙂

        • We think we are lucky to have such good kids 🙂 All the hard work is done when they are small and unrelenting! We are reaping the rewards now 🙂

          • You know you’re so right! It is hard work when they’re young, especially with boys I think coz they push the envelope more than girls. But once they all know where the boundaries are life becomes a joy again.

          • I see people letting things go… letting things go… when their kids misbehave, and I just think STOP!! Fix it now and you won’t have to do it later you idiots!!

          • Agreed! Who is in charge people!? When they were small I was happy to let them have a lolly for being good at the shops, I would let them choose one at the start but any bad behaviour would result in them having to put it back. Seeing your brother get to eat a lolly after you had to put yours back for not doing as you are told is a very quick way to get good behaviour at all times! 🙂

          • lol – I think you and I must have read the same ‘book’ on child raising… and it wasn’t Dr Spock, that’s for sure.

            On a serious note, I sometimes feel really sorry for parents who try to do what they’ve been told is the right thing but only end up disliking their own kids. I honestly can’t think of anything sadder.

          • Mmmm…. I’ve got no objection to the ripped bods or the tight shorts but even after all these years I hate the physical contact aspect of the game. Yeah, yeah, I know… gladiators. 🙂

          • I like it waaaay better than AFL or soccer. In rugby nobody shows pain, none of this nancying around “owwww, he hurt me, somebody tell him off, sniffle”.

            The rugby guys will be more like “yeah? So my arm came off, put it on ice til the end, I can deal with it.” I can only imagine what they wake up like the next morning! Yep, I like my men tough 🙂

          • 🙂 Probably! I laughed when I read your comment, and ‘literally’ the first thing I though of was this clip from Horrible Histories…… “and I’ll drink a toast, from your skull, cos we’re Vikings, and that’s how we roooooollllllll” 😀 😀

          • When I played this the kids were doing their journals. they both looked up and started humming and singing “literally…..”, they were so funny!
            The axe guitars and the bone microphone though 😀 !

  3. Daydream Mine sounds like a great place to visit but an awful place to have worked. Your question of what must the miners and their families have left to have wanted to live in such a desolate location and take on such a hard life is indeed one worth pondering.

    Your description is very vivid and interesting. I really enjoyed reading it.

    • Thank you 🙂

      The tour guides descriptions of the way they lived was so interesting. We have hear it before so we were just hearing someone elses interpretation of the same information, but others in the group were giving little gasps at the tales of labour the children were expected to perform.

      I suggested to our kids that they should stop moaning about doing small chores for us, otherwise we might give them a ‘real job’ like that too. They just rolled their eyes and said “muuuuum” as expected. Oh well, hopefully they realize how lucky they are to be living in the days of children being expected to be children and not small labourers.

      • Yes, I tell my girls that their great-great aunt, who just turned 101, used to help her father farm when she was 10 years old by leading a mule while her father worked the plough. And he farmed several hundred acres. She didn’t have to do all the land with him, but she had to do plenty, along with many other chores.

        So it quietly infuriates me when I pick my children up from their mother’s house and find out no one’s done any of homework, or done anything besides watch television.

        One of the good things about having a decent grasp of history is that we can explain to our kids what life was like for children just a few generations ago. They may not appreciate it, but I get to pontificate, and isn’t that what being a parent is all about?

        • Yes, it is 🙂

          Our kids have complained every night because they have to keep a daily journal and do a bit of school work whenever we are on holiday. The deal is you work while we are away, or you go back to school and we stay on holiday. I’m not sure how we would ever carry out that threat but it doesn’t really matter. What kid is going to choose to go back!?

          They are even more annoyed about it this time, we are planning to be away for 4 weeks, two of which are school holidays anyway. It took about a week for the kids to realize this and begin the rebellion. We told them if they complained too much we would just go home early and that us parents would hang out at home everyday doing cool stuff and send them back to school the week earlier, when everyone else went back. Journals are being done as I speak…. funny about that!

          We are like you, and make a point of letting the kids know how hard it is for other kids in the world and how lucky they are to be living in a first world country right now. We grow-ups are pretty lucky too, aren’t we!

  4. I’m putting the Daydream Mine on our list too! Although it will only be the G.O. doing the tour. I am way too claustrophobic, but he’ll really enjoy it and it will take us hours to go through the whole place. I’ll wander around and look for intersting rocks and take photos. I like the way you travel. We also like NRL but when our Bunnies lost their last game, we lost a little of our passion for this season, although we watched the game – the G.O. liked the biff. I liked Billy 😉

    • Definitely one to avoid if you don’t like tight spaces, but the surface tour is fascinating on its own. Tea and scones in the homestead while looking at the photos on the wall will certainly keep you from being bored! 🙂
      The only thing I wished for while there was a track up to a high place for a good lookout, it is such a beautiful place. There are hills all around but you are supposed to keep your car on the road. We looked wistfully at the higher hills and wished those tracks were open to us….

      I like Billy too, so do the kids, but for different reasons! I admit to shouting in horror at the telly when he was bitten on the ear at the start of the game, poor Billy….. Saw him on the tv in Melbourne on their triumphant return and he still looked just as good… phew… 😉

  5. Okay, a few comments/questions. 1) How come the most horrible things have the prettiest names? 2) Your son has really sharp eyes! 3) Why do you think people rush through their vacations like startled cats?

    • 1) The story goes that it was called the Daydream Mine because when the first guy saw the outcrop so loaded with silver and realized he had stuck it rich he said that it must be a day dream. I think that it was probably Nightmare Mine for most of the workers though.

      2) He certainly does, and he is small for his age, convenient for seeing the world on a different angle than the rest of us. Plus, he will talk to anyone about anything, most kids would keep things to themselves but he is the one who will pipe up in front of an entire tour group and say “this rock looks cool, what is it?”

      3) I suspect people like to say that they have been to places. I think that you have to have a distinct memory of the place, not just a 5 minute stop inside a coffee shop or such, to be able to say you have been there.
      Often they want to go as far as they can manage and that means racing from A to B in as few days as possible. We consider the trip to be the holiday and don’t even bother planning an ultimate destination, why pressure ourselves?

      • 1) Two summers ago, I was watching this thing on tattoos of the Russian prison system, and I realized that the pan-Russian culture has a knack for giving things creepy nicknames. Here’s an example: The worst gulag in Russia is called “White Swan” by its inmates.

        2) I was small for my age— it was perfect for disarming adults who thought I was three years younger than my actual age until… my 30s, I think. : D I think children who are comfortable with talking to adults are raised in homes where their ideas are taken seriously. That’s awesome.

        3) I think I’ve know a lot of the “go as far as you can” people. I didn’t do many road trips growing up. (I flew for dance competitions, which cut into the household budget immensely.) Once or twice, we drove to L.A. in 23 hours, no sleep stops. I don’t have that kind of stamina. And it was really unpleasant. I’m really lounge-y on vacations, if left to my own devices.

        • Being sent to the ‘White Swan’ sounds like a hotel on a lake rather than a labour camp. Funny how people use names, isn’t it?

          Number 2 has always looked younger than he is and is extremely articulate which can have hilarious results. The lady in the newsagent one time told him his toy plastic dinosaur was ‘very nice’. He looked about 2, an age where most kids can barely string a few words together. He looked at her and said, very seriously, “He’s not cute, he’s a carnivore. Carnivores eat meat. You are made of meat, he would eat you”. Needless to say, dinosaurs were never likely to be cute for her ever again.

          Those kinds of forced travel holidays would probably ensure you came home just as stressed as you were when you left I expect. Lounge-y vacations sound just right to me. 🙂 We intended to go further than we did this time, we just enjoyed what we were doing too much to rush off to something else.

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