Up bright and early, then we looked online and Coal Creek doesn't open until 10. We spent the night at the showgrounds, because of the available toilet block, so we messed around at the skatepark for a while where I successfully managed to fall off because I didn't check all the ramps for moisture.
Coal Creek is free admission, huzzah! Apparently it was shut for a long time, which was disappointing to me as our family has a lot of history there (many a horse ride terminating there, and my parents' marriage taking place in the chapel on the grounds). At the bottom of the park you can see why it was closed for a while, a lot of the park is in serious disrepair.
It's a hive of activity though, so I guess whoever's bankrolling the place now is trying to make a go of it again, which is great. The upper half of it at least is in really good shape, and there was lots to see and do. We bought tickets to ride the tram, but with less than 15 minutes until the departure time Duncan informed us of his need for a potty break. We hoofed it to the closest toilets, then back to the train station right on the 11:30 departure time.
Unfortunately it was already full when we got there, with a social group having arranged a trip as well. The ladies had offered to make room for us, but the operator agreed to simply do a second trip for us which worked out great because we had the entire thing to ourselves.
We meandered around the park some more afterwards, and it struck me that it didn't appear as though they allowed you to enter the mine at all. Where the entrance was, I'm sure, was blocked off by a working crew. Whether or not you'll be able to get underground when work was complete or not, I didn't bother to ask. I do regret not going through the Wonthaggi Coal Mine when we had the chance, but c'est la vie.
Now it's off to visit my Grandmother on the way back home!