"To muse, to creep, to halt at will, to gaze ... such sweet wayfaring" William Wordsworth
A castle with turrets out of stone is one thing, but concrete piping?
I think they are into the tourist dollar. The lady at the concrete house tried to lure me in to see it for $5 when I said, no I just want a photo she said that would cost me too.We could have spent quite a lot of money on tours but having done the underground thing at Coober Pedy didn't feel the urge and other places just seemed too odd attract us.Also I was still doing my normal day's work so had to be at my desk much of the day. Some (but not all) can be done at night so left us with a few hours each day for sight seeing.
Yes, I think so much of this sort of thing is for the meagre tourist dollar. I do not have evidence, but suspect that many opal-miners barely scrape through. However, there is little else that they can turn their hand to, and they crave the freedom from harrassment that living out the back of beyond affords.
We were told the days of independent mining pretty much ended 20 years ago. It is all about heaving mechanisation these days ... even open cut as you will see later in the series.