It was a perfect day for a ride, so last Wednesday I slathered on some sun cream and made my way to Zeehan to meet friend, co-worker and crazy animal lady, Gaylene. First things first, I just had to get my animal fix and surrounded by her menagerie of pets, I was in my element.
Zeehan was nicknamed the ‘Silver City’ after a mining boom in the late 1800’s. When you drive along the main street, you get a ‘wild west’ sort of vibe from the old buildings and ruggedness of the surrounding landscape.
As we saddled up, I spent the whole time dancing around avoiding the plague of wasps that seem to come out at this time of year in Tasmania.
It wasn’t long before we were mounted and nicely plodding along towards one of Zeehan’s more unusual attractions…
…the Spray Tunnel.
The Spray Tunnel is a 100 meter long abandoned railway tunnel, which was carved through a hill in 1901, so that ore could be transported from one of the mines. It is just 3 meters high, 2.2 meters wide and is shaped a lot like a keyhole, making it a horse’s worst nightmare.
Luckily for me, my horse Socks had been through before and after a gentle nudge, we made our way into the darkness.
Inside the tunnel felt cool and sounds of the horses hooves hitting the wooden walkway echoed loudly around us. Being dark in colour, I virtually lost all sight of Socks and I could only just make out the outline of his ears, as well as the walls and ceiling of tunnel. It was an eerie experience. Socks also decided to stop a few times and refuse to go on, which made me feel a tad claustrophobic. Thankfully, Gaylene was right behind me and helped push him through with her horse Skye.
Out the other side and feeling accomplished!
Up until recently, you could drive your car through the tunnel, but health and safety soon put a stop to that. The Spray Tunnel Loop is an easy walk and takes roughly an hour to complete. It is ranked number 6 on Discover Tasmania’s local tips, so most definitely worth a visit.
Once back at Gaylene’s, she had another treat planned for us.
She hitched Socks up to his little red cart and took me for a lap of the town.
I felt like I had been transported back in time. I also felt a bit like a goddamned royal because everyone was stopping in their tracks and enthusiastically waving at us.