by Inigo del Castillo in Cool Travel on Monday 3 February 2014

While most of your friends are at the beach, you’re taking a different path… straight down to the centre of the Earth! The Central Deborah Gold Mine in Bendigo, Victoria, had its heydays between 1939 and 1954, when miners were able to extract about $37 million in today’s currency. Soon after it shut down, the Bendigo City Council bought the mine for $6,000 in 1970 and began transforming it into a secret villainous lair the top tourist destination it is today.

If you’re a bit apprehensive about going metres and metres deep underground, don’t worry, we’re scared of mole people too. But the Central Deborah Mine is a multi-awarded winning tourist attraction that offers one of the safest and most authentic mining experiences in the world.

You could choose between three underground experiences. The ‘Mine Experience Tour’, a 75-minute tour where you will go 61 metres underground; the ‘Underground Adventure Tour’, a 2.5 hour tour that will take you 85 metres down; and the best one, the ‘Nine Levels of Darkness’.

‘Nine Levels of Darkness’ will take you to level 9, approximately 228 metres underground, where you’ll get to operate a miner’s drill and learn how to set an explosive charge. However, you can’t set off the explosive charge for obvious reasons. This tour is the most badass of them all, requiring you to be underground for 4 hours, so yeah, this is kinda like a bravery test of sorts.

If you’re not into exploring the mines, you can take a tour of the surface above, where you’ll get the chance to hunt for gold. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather strike it rich with gold than get sunburned at the beach any day.

Share your summer moments (#celebratesummer) and win.