The Central Deborah Gold Mine is a popular tourist attraction in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia. The township of Bendigo is located 153km northwest of Melbourne CBD. Gold was first discovered in Bendigo in 1851 and soon it became one of the richest producers of gold in the world. Bendigo had 5,500 registered gold mines and produced 700,000kg of Gold during its goldrush days. Central Deborah Mine which is currently non active was operational between 1939 to 1954.The mine reached its maximum depth of 412m with 17 separate levels and 15 kilometres of drives during the 1940s. The mine yielded 929kg of gold from its mining operations during the 15years it was active.
The Bendigo Trust was formed, and the surface of the mine was opened to public in 1971. In 1974, the mine was gazetted as a Public Historical Purpose Reserve.
The underground Level 2 of the mine was opened to tourists in 1986, with the ever-popular underground tours. The Underground Adventure Tour on Level 3 was launched in 1998. In 2011, visitors were allowed access to Level 9 of the Mine. The mine was listed on the Victorian Heritage Register on 18th November 1999.
On the surface of the mine, visitors can see poppet head, engine rooms, crushing battery house and blacksmith’s shop. The buildings and equipment are original. The interactive museum is home to ‘’Hand of Faith’’ gold nugget replica. The Hand of Faith was found near Bendigo in 1980 and weighed 27.2kg. This is the largest Gold nugget ever found with a metal detector and is the largest gold nugget still in existence. From the poppet head a view of Bendigo township can be made.
The Violet Street tram stop of the Bendigo Tramways route connects the mine to Lake Weeroona, the Bendigo Joss House Temple and other attractions.
The mine is also offering guided Mine Experience Tours, which lasts around 60minutes and go down 61metres below surface to Level 2 of the mine to experience the working conditions of the miners when the mine was operational. Children should be atleast 3 years old to be allowed in.
When not flooded the mine also offers, – Underground Adventure Tour which lasts 2.5 hours and descend to a depth of 85 metres underground. Children 8 years and over are allowed.
Nine Levels of Darkness tour which takes 3.5-4 hours and descend to a depth of 228 metres underground. Children 15 years and over are allowed
Address: 76 Violet Street, Bendigo, VIC3550, Australia
Opening Hours: Open 9.30am-4.30pm 7 days (except Christmas day)