On Friday I headed out north of Mount Victoria on Victoria Falls Road to check out a couple of mine sites I had not visited previously (thanks for the recommendation JohnW). The road is in good shape all the way out to Asgard Head apart from a few easily dodged potholes. First up was the Blair Athol No4 site which is easy to find with brand new signposting, the walk-in was quite easy apart from a steady trickle of water from the recent rain making the floor slippery in places, the roof looks stable, air seemed ok although very humid. Well worth a look to see how mining was done nearly 100 years ago. I took advantage of the post-bushfire sparse vegetation to check out the surface workings and found bit and pieces including a piece of rail from a narrow gauge railway well away from the mine entrance.
Next stop was Thor Head, the track was in very good shape and in fact I ran into the work crew (the only people we saw all day) just before Asgard Swamp working on draining a water-soaked clay bog on the trail, they had done a huge amount of work on this section of track and also put in new steps down to Asgard mine and other places. An intriguing find a few metres off the track was the remains of a near-melted down-hill bike chained to the charred trunk of a tree, it made me hope the owner got back home ok on the day. There are plenty of signs of regrowth, especially the Waratahs, heaps of Duck orchids and thelymitra ssp.(?).
The Asgard mine was again easy to find because of the new signage and lack of scrub. It looks like National Parks have made a good effort to put this part of the park back into good working order. Asgard mine goes straight into into the cliff a distance of maybe twenty metres, there is reasonable headroom and again the ceiling looks stable. Noticeable here were the tree ferns which have resprouted and are looking incongruous amongst charred ashes of the gum trees. Nine months after the fires the landscape in this whole area is still pretty bare of scrub and groundcover, it is interesting to observe the differences in recovery of certain places with virtually no regrowth and very little in the way of standing tree stumps indicating the intensity of the fire in that place, compared to other spots which are greening up and trees showing regrowth. I saw no birds or animals apart from the skeleton of I think a wombat, Pretty worrying if this is the new normal there. On the up-side it is a good time to be able to have a good clear view of the local topography uninterrupted by the usual vegetation.