I am sure I have touched on this in a previous post somewhere down the line, but I love seeing areas that were once walked, walked no more. I understand some of these places may have been abandoned for very sad or destructive reasons such as a shipwreck, radiation or war. Often these places become very empty very fast. I am filled with wonder and endless questions when such a place is brought to my attention.
Whilst I was in the Blue Mountains a week ago, I found a few examples of a time left behind. Some were recent walkways that were closed off for repairs.
Others were much older, such as this mine that was closed back in the early 1900’s. By 1933, the Katoomba Colliery focused on tourism after the winding down and eventual death of the coal mine. It isn’t just the mine that is no longer functioning, the button you can see here to provide audio information is also not working.
On my walk I stumbled upon what looks like a shale bucket rusting just off the elevated walkway through the rain-forest. It seems to have stayed where it was last used, or maybe in this case, where it landed.
The website Info Blue Mountains gives a little insight as to why it is here:
Locating kerosene shale at Ruined Castle, he (John Britty North) registered “Katoomba Coal & Shale Co. Ltd” in 1885. German engineers were hired to construct an aerial ropeway. Known as the “Flying Fox”, it ran from the Ruined Castle, across the Jamison Valley, to the engine bank (near the upper terminus of the Scenic Railway). It collapsed after only a six months, the wreckage is still strewn across the valley. The company soon went into liquidation.
This may have been in the exact spot it landed in after collapse. Pretty damn cool.
In my post linked here, you can find the new Scenic Railway that occupies the previous coal train that eventually was used for the increasing number of tourists, now the worlds steepest railway. From the top, what appears to be a roller coaster track can be seen.
Again, Info Blue Mountains sheds light on the Orphan Rocker Roller Coaster, set to be the ‘World Scariest Roller Coaster’. It has never been completed, with many of the theories as to why found on the website linked. What an amazing setting for a coaster this would be and who knows, maybe one day people will ride this.
So there we have it, an amazing destination with a history that isn’t hidden, although different to what it is today. If you have seen this place yourself or know of somewhere else in Australia or elsewhere that has become a victim to time, do let me know!