Overland Corner

The Overland Corner is a nature reserve managed by the National Trust of South Australia and is situated on the Murray River at the Heron Bend Cliffs. The limestones that make up the cliffs are full of fossil oysters, lace corals, sea urchins, lamp shells, snails, cones and cowries. The layering of the cliffs indicate the presence of a warm shallow sea some 15 million years ago and then the retreat of that sea around 5 million years ago, leaving a river and creek system in its place. There are three short self guided walks which take you to quarries where you can see the changing geology and fossils, with bonus Aboriginal sites like canoe trees and an ochre quarry and 19th century hotels, police stations and cemeteries.

Source: The Geological History of Overland Corner, National Trust of South Australia.

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May 2014: Joadja – the ruins of a historical kerosene shale mine and company town

Source: Joadja Creek Heritage Tours – http://www.joadjatown.com.au/about.html

One fine weekend in May, the family and I drove to Joadja, a historical old shale mine about 25km south of Mittagong in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. The mine was operational between 1870 and 1911. Like many mines of the period, the company controlled the housing, goods and services utilised by its workers. There was a clear demarcation of the homes of the executives and those of the workers, with the executives having larger homes higher up the hill. Today you can still see many of the ruins of the old homes, schoolhouses, cemetery, the kerosene separation plant, the stacks. I particularly liked the waste pits which will make for fine tar pit fossils of Australian wildlife in the future. For those who are interested, here’s an overview of Joadja’s history and historical significance (http://www.ashadocs.org/aha/13/13_04_Jack.pdf).

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Gwynedd coal

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Old mine shaft at Broken Hill


The town of Broken Hill

Right now I’m on a cruise ship, hopefully soaking up the sun, sipping cocktails in a cocktail dress or snorkeling (hopefully not in a cocktail dress).  In the mean time, here are snapshots from a road trip to Broken Hill that took place back in August. Attempts to find a two-up game in honour of Wake in Fright failed but there were ample compensations – more posts to follow.  Snorkeling opportunities may be limited in the outback but Broken Hill definitely deserves a second visit.

A town beneath a spoil heap and a fancy restaurant perched on top of that spoil heap

Such milkshakes! My lunch consisted of a coconut rough milkshake and a hot dog. I even bought my fellow a ye olde potato gun.

Mining History

Another “Primefact” from the Department of Primary Industries in NSW:

‘Mining by Aboriginies – Australia’s first miners.’

Informative, politically curious.