The State Coal Mine offers a journey back in time to discover what life working in a coal mine was like in the 1900s. Venture underground through the dark network of tunnels to get hands-on at the coal face and learn how Victoria’s hard working men extracted the black gold. Only 90 minutes from Melbourne, the State Coal Mine is the only historic coal mine experience in the Southern Hemisphere, offering interactive fun and interest for the whole family both above and below ground. Rising from its beginnings as a make shift ‘Tent Town’, Wonthaggi quickly grew to the thriving town we know today. Operating from 1909 to 1968, the State Coal Mine produced almost 17 million tonnes of coal for Victoria’s industries and railways. Free entry to all above ground facilities includes the new State Coal Mine Visitor Centre with cafe, theatrette and shop, the museum, heritage trail, historic buildings and sheltered BBQ area.