To enjoy one of the best possible experiences on the west coast of Tasmania, contact Anthony Coulson from Queenstown Heritage Tours. If you’re really brave, book the Mt Lyell Underground Mine Tour.

Mine Tour - Informative
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Anthony Coulson: perfect mine tour guide

Mine Tour: Queenstown Tasmania

Actually, you don’t even need to be brave. I’ve been talking this up, as if I’ve achieved something quite significant by surviving the 3.5 hour Mt Lyell Underground Mine Tour.

But you all know what a chicken I am! I was apprehensive (read terrified) at the very mention of the “underground” bit. As it turns out, I didn’t even raise a sweat or feel remotely out of my comfort zone at any stage.

Mine Tour - Tunnel
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Deep underground Mt Lyell

Mine Tour - Miner's Vehicle
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Underground mine tour: Queenstown Tasmania

Mind you, aboard an authentic miner’s transport vehicle, the tour will have you travelling 6kms down the main decline (below the surface) to the lower shaft levels of the copper mine. That’s worth a little boast, I reckon! But the entire trip is just so fascinating and well-organised, visitors can breathe easily. Literally. You get to rock some stylish, groovy dress-ups (aka safety gear) just to make sure.

Mine Tour - Safety Gear
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Hard-hat, miner’s lamp, gumboots, high viz vest

Mine Tour - Boots
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Boots made for mine tour

Mine Tour - Walking
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Queenstown: mining heritage

Authentic Boots and All Experience

Without question, the best part about this particular mine tour, was the guide. Anthony Coulson is a local bloke with vast experience of mining in Queenstown. It’s in the blood. From the moment you climb up into the back of the troopy, you’re with an insider.

Mine Tour - Anthony Coulson
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Anthony Coulson: west-coast Tasmania

Mine Tour - Minerals
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Amazing colours: minerals in the rocks

Originally, I thought Anthony should’ve launched into the tour-guide business straight from school, bypassing the mining apprenticeship. But his extensive knowledge has been hard-earned through hands-on experience, and tourists are now the beneficiary of that journey. Coupled with a passion for the west coast and an enthusiasm for history, Queenstown Heritage Tours has been forged with the perfect combination of skills. Anthony is willing and able to tackle any and all questions and answers honestly and thoroughly.

If you do book a mine tour with Anthony, don’t expect to spend the entire time underground Mt Lyell. Much of the expedition covers Tasmania’s history of mining in Queenstown particulaly, including original sites and the development of the industry. There’s no shirking the mine’s environmental impact and the current rehabilitation work required to restore the landscape either. ​You’ll hear poignant tales of the 1912 mining disaster, where 42 miners lost their lives in one of Australia’s worst tragedies.

Mine Tour - Great View
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Great views: authentic miner’s troopy

Mine Tour - Queenstown Heritage Tours
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Queenstown Heritage Tours

Queenstown Heritage Tours

To find Queenstown Heritage Tours, wander past the Miners Siding on Driffield Street towards the Lyell Highway (within view from the Empire Hotel and West Coast Wilderness Railway station). There’s a bright orange sign announcing Mt Lyell Underground Mine Tours on the Evans Building near the Galley Museum. There’s every chance Anthony will be out on tour when you lob into town, so it’s always best to book in advance. You may notice other tour options too: Lost Mines, Ancient Pines and Lake Margaret Hydro Power (and we’ll share more about those tours soon). Both are fantastic additions to the mine tour, and with even more products in the pipeline, Queenstown will soon be recognised as a must-visit tourism destination on Tasmania’s west coast trail.

Mine Tour - Office
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Queenstown Heritage Tours

Mine Tour - Miners Siding Queenstown
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Queenstown Heritage Tours: Miners Siding

Our FAMIL visit to Queenstown and Tasmania’s west coast region was made possible by…

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