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COOBER PEDY Coober Pedy, South Australia Coober Pedy is one of the most unusual places in the world. It is a town where (due to the heat) approximately 80% of the population live and work underground. This is a mining town - opal mining to be precise - and following the early discovery of opals here by a teenager there has been a huge influx of miners since 1915. There are tunnels and associated pitfalls everywhere and mining still goes on here today. There are many truly fascinating attractions around Coober Pedy including underground homes to explore. Other subterranean structures operating in the same manner as an above ground equivalent, include a church, shops, pottery, art gallery, hotel, and other assorted offices and businesses. Some of the town’s other must-see attractions include the Big Winch and the Oldtimers Mine, and the most unusual of all must surely be the golf course where not a single blade of grass can be seen. The fairways are bald and the greens are oiled sand! The Underground Catacomb Anglican Church (above) is one of many subterranean wonders at the remarkable opal mining town of Coober Pedy in South Australia. There is even an underground pottery, museum and art gallery, and approximately 80% of the population live underground as the temperature can rise to 60 degrees centigrade in summer. Because of opal mining, the town and surrounding area is riddled with tunnels. A sign (above, top) warns of these perils in its own inimitable way. NARACOORTE CAVES Naracoorte National Park, South Australia Although this complex consists of 26 caves many are not open to the public as they are set aside for important scientific research, or to protect the contents. There is so much to see at Naracoorte Caves that visitors are truly spoilt for choice. Several spectacular chambers showcase some of the most striking underground scenery you are ever likely to see. The Alexandra Cave Tour is one of the many treasures here. This is a beautifully decorated cave with a huge collection of straws. The Victoria Fossil Cave Tour passes through several decorated chambers before arriving at the Fossil Chamber itself. Fox Cave is undeveloped and in its original state. It is an important Bentwing bat wintering location and also has many fossils and a rare invertebrate colony. There is also a dedicated Bat Tour which offers the opportunity of observation platform viewing via infra-red cameras. The Starburst Chamber, Blackberry Cave, Stick-Tomato Cave, and Cathedral Cave are some of the many other attractions in addition to speciality tours. Naracoorte Caves National Park has a host of other activities. Naracoorte Caves (above) in South Australia consists of 26 caves in total, whilst Marakoopa Caves (below) in Tasmania is known as the Handsome Cave - as ‘marakoopa’ is aboriginal for ‘handsome’. This river cave also has the largest amount of glowworms of any show cave in Australia. MARAKOOPA CAVES Mayberry, Mole Creek, Tasmania, Australia Glow-worms are endemic to both Australia and New Zealand, although they are less common in Australia. Marakoopa Caves however has an abundance of them and they can be seen - like a glorious stretch of the night sky - on either of the 2 interesting tours available. Marakoopa has 2 cave rivers, admirable speleothems, and huge caverns including the Great Cathedral which is a quite magnificent cavern. The Gardens is a cave branch that boasts delicate formations in an array of striking colours. Tasmania, which promotes itself as the ‘Natural State’, has a relatively unspoiled natural environment. About 40% of it consists of National Parks, reserves, and World Heritage Sites. WELLINGTON CAVES Wellington, New South Wales, Australia Wellington Caves are actually dry caves and they were formed when Australia was a lot more southerly to the pole and the climate much drier. The river passages here are the only reminder of a previous cave river, and visitors today see only a floor covered with dry earth. The caves were first explored by Europeans from 1823-1831 when fossil bones of a giant kangaroo, and those of a diprotodon dating back to the Pleistocene period were discovered. Phosphate mining (operational here from 1913 to 1971) is remembered with the fully restored Phosphate Mine which is now open to visitors. Declared a natural reserve in 1884, by far the most impressive cave here is the Cathedral Cave. It is famous for a huge stalagmite known as the Altar Rock which is over 15 metres high and has a base circumference of an astonishing 32 metres. The most important discoveries at Wellington Caves have been the River Cave and Water Cave, both of which contain valuable fossils. Read a lot more at this: LINK
Hi All, My company has secured overseas preferred supplier status with 2 major mining companies. We now have open roles in Queensland, Central NSW and WA. We need a Senior Mining Engineers (7+ years / Underground), Mining Engineers (upto 5 years / Open Cut) and a Senior Geotechnical Engineer (7+ Years / Metalliferous environment). Anyone interested, please drop me a line. Many thanks. Adam