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

Source: Joadja Creek Heritage Tours –

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 (

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Castlerigg Stone Circle


Hadrian’s Wall near Walltown and Greenhead

Rocks on top of one another in a wonky line. Superb. This was followed by a great pub lunch at the local pub and a long long drive through the Lakes District to Great Harwood. Bottle of wine and pizza at the Dog and Otter was worth the drive.


Broken Hill is a damn fine place to visit. As is Silverton and the Day Dream Mine.  Old stuff, industrial stuff, great artwork, friendly artists, horses, dips in the road, stories about how people mined in ye olden days and dramatically shortened their life expectancy in the process.