About Blinman

Mining and the history and development of South Australia are closely connected; this is more so the case in relation to the development of townships in the Flinders Ranges; Blinman being one of these towns. History, heritage, culture and values are inextricably linked. Without the working mines of the past and the desires of those people in the 19th century who struggled to make a living through minerals in our region, our heritage, culture, values and our lives would be different.

Blinman Mine or Wheal Blinman as it was called in 1862 was a working copper mine between the years of 1862 and 1907. At the peak of its operation Blinman township had a population of approximately 1500 residents. Today Blinman has a permanent population of just 18, plus the residents of the surrounding pastoral properties.

Blinman is a truly historic town with a unique heritage and character; it is also a living town. Blinman would not be called Blinman without Robert (Pegleg) Blinman, who as a shepherd working on Angorichina Station, discovered copper, at what is still the site of the mine today.

The Blinman Heritage Tourist Mine opened in April 2011. The mine office is located in the centre of town. It has been set up with historic photos and information and has a range of souvenirs for sale. The mine office also provides an information service to tourists on Blinman and the surrounding areas and is the first port of call for those wishing to go underground. The Blinman underground experience offers a unique journey into the heart of an historic copper mine. With the installation of an innovative sound and light system;  which includes storytelling, light boxes, music, a mix of theatre and mining history and experienced tour guides, it transports people back in time, to the lives of the miners and their families during the second half of the 19th century.

Because the Blinman Heritage Mine was set up by local volunteers, who raised money and did all the work, they share a strong affiliation with the success of the Mine Tour. We offer our visitors the opportunity to experience life in a small outback town, one that has struggled to survive but shows its determination to move forward.  The Mine is our cultural heritage and encourages us to have a different perspective and understanding and so enriches our lives and those who visit.

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Accommodation Links

Here’s a couple of links to help you plan your trip…
Stay a while and really take in the magnificent Flinders Ranges, we’ll be right here waiting to make your experience unforgettable.

Booking a Tour

Bookings in advance are essential during school holiday periods and are advisable at all other times to avoid disappointment as tour groups are strictly limited in size. Enquiries and bookings can be made :

The Blinman Heritage Mine Office is open daily from 9 am to 4.30 pm.

Tourist season includes Easter weekend

1st April to 31st October tours are offered hourly from 10 am until 3 pm (inclusive) subject to demand.

Summer Season

November until April tours are scheduled at 10 am, 12 noon and 2 pm.

We do close for 4 weeks over summer. Closed 14 Jan to 10 Feb 2019.

Tours run for 70 minutes.

Covered shoes are essential, we provide helmets and torches

RATES

Adults $28.50
Pensioners $22
Family (2 adults 2 children) $70
Children (under 15) $12

 

BUS AND TOUR GROUPS

Groups 20 and over: $20 per person
Groups under 20: $22 per person

Self Guided Above Ground Walk

Also available are above ground self guided walks. If not going underground you may purchase a mine history booklet from the mine office which tells you the above ground story as well as some geology and information about points of interest along the path. The path leads you around the top of the main shaft, along the slag heap and past the places where buildings once stood. Combined with the underground tour it gives you a thorough understanding of how the mine and the town worked.It is a long tradition to take your photo next to the boilers on top of the hill.

Township
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Blinman town mine 2

The Mining History of Blinman

Blinman is an historic copper town surrounded by spectacular hilly desert countryside. Located 485 km north of Adelaide via Wilpena Pound, Blinman is a tiny, isolated settlement on the edge of the South Australian desert. It is the highest town in South Australia sitting at 616m above sea level, and you’ll find it at the end of the sealed road heading north of Wilpena.

Copper was discovered at Blinman in 1859 by a one-legged shepherd, Robert ‘Peg Leg’ Blinman, who, unsurprisingly, gave his name to the township which grew up around the mine.

Copper mining occurred in the area from around 1862 through to 1907 when the ore ran out. In total around 10,000 tonnes of copper were removed from 200,000 tons of ore.

Websites with historical support:

http://blinman.org.au

http://miningartifacts.homestead.com/

http://darylburkhard.com/cornishminers.html

Blinman-people

Blinman Family Portrait

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3D Drawing of Blinman Mine

Photos courtesy of SA Library

Night / Ghost Tour

Miners are superstitious people, this is even truer of the Cornish who have a rich history of mining superstitions. Piskies, Bukkas, and Tommy Knockers are just some of the folk believed by the Cornish to inhabit mines. Superstitions abound regarding deaths that occur in mines.

Over the working life of the Wheal Blinman there were 12 recorded below ground fatalities. As the lantern light guides you through the darkness, and fateful stories unfold, some people say that the souls of the departed have never left, decide for yourself if that tale is true.

As the sun sets, the mine takes on a different feel. Follow your guide through the tunnels and hear vivid stories the miners who lost their lives to Wheal Blinman.

Ghost tours are offered during peak tourist season between April and October.

Ghost Tours are run on Friday or Saturday evenings from 6pm and last approximately 70 minutes, most visitors stay on for Pizza Nite at the pub.

Ghost Tours are not suitable for children under 15 years of age.

Minimum 4 persons per booking dates advertised on our Facebook page.

Cost $35 which includes a voucher able to be redeemed at the North Blinman Hotel, The Miners Crib Bakery and Café or the Mine Shop.

What people say about us...

Contact / Bookings

If you enjoyed your trip, please share your images with us. Maximum flie size is 8M. .jpeg and .png files only please!
Please share your comments, messages and great testimonials

Bookings are essential to avoid disappointment.

Please complete the form below and we will respond as soon as possible.

Phone: (08) 8648 4782 

Email:

info@heritageblinmanmine.com.au

Also add us on Facebook!


Planning a trip, let us help you – Visitor information

The mine office also includes a visitor information service, pick up a brochure or ask the staff about:

  • Explorers Way Trail
  • Mining History Sites
  • Fossil History Sites
  • Camping
  • Accommodation
  • Local Walks
  • 4WD

FAQ's

Who does the tour cater to

The tour is suitable for all ages, it is a family friendly tour and we do try to involve children in the tour with “jobs” and a quiz when appropriate.

Can children go on tour

Yes. We love taking children on tour although very young children and infants may not be comfortable wearing a helmet (it is a safety requirement for all persons on tour) if your child would find a helmet uncomfortable they might not enjoy the tour. Maybe bring the feeding bottle or a pacifier, on occasions if children become tearful the parent may be asked to take the child out, please don’t be offended.

Will I be claustrophobic

If you know you have claustrophobia, you may feel uncomfortable in a mine, we cover this as part of the safety briefing. You are not locked inside, there is no crawling but it you are over 180 cms you will need to duck in some areas. Our experienced guides will check on your comfort and if it gets a bit much will accompany you out of the mine. This happens rarely as most people become engrossed with the tour story, leave with a rich history and a sense of achievement!

Are there stairs or a lift

There are no stairs underground, there is a slope in one section of about a 1:6 gradient. This is managed by most people.

There is no lift, the tour takes a leisurely walking pace with plenty of stops to look and listen.

Is it cold underground

The mine stays a constant 22 degrees, for cooler winter days we do recommend dressing for the outside temperature and conditions

How many people go on a tour

A maximum tour size is 12 persons

Can I take photos

Yes please and share them with us also!

What is the population of Blinman

We can’t tell you that, but we will on tour!

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