A Travellerspoint blog

September 2018

Day 8 Menzies & beyond

Can't leave Menzies without a few facts. From a peak of thousands in gold rush days the town now boasts about 100, with maybe another couple of hundred in the shire, which stretches to the NT border!

Headed off unusually early for us by 8am. Thought we would fuel & stock up at Kalgoorlie. Getting fuel was too easy. But Busselton has it all over Kalgoorlie, as supermarkets at Kalgoorlie are closed on Sundays. We have enough stock so we just continued our journey as campers do but not until Deborah had visited the bakery to collect a lamington & carrot cake for Ian. The serving portions were enough for mornos & afternoon tea.

Morning tea stop was Coolgardie. Another mining town which started in the around 1892, and fizzled out by the first world war. In its heyday it had 15,000 residents, plus 10,000 in the surrounding area, 23 pubs, 3 breweries and a stock exchange.
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Afternoon tea stop today, Sunday was at Ghoorli pump station.
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This old steam driven station is obviously no longer operational & fenced off due to asbestos.
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We were just playing it by ear & researched a few possible destinations for tonight. We had a look at Burracoppin rest area. It was too close to the highway, but the positive was it was close to the tavern. Decided that we could go to the Merredan Peak Rock was not to far down the road. This is our stop for the night. Tonight we have a full house, about 18 vans/motorhomes.

Thought climb up the rock again, and it's not all about flowers. Another kind of wreath flower...
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Here are some pictures from today, please enjoy.
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And a couple as the sun sets over Merredin Peak.
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Posted by iandeborah 04:05 Comments (0)

Day 6 Lake Douglas to Menzies via Kalgoorlie

We'll, an achievement, we weren't the last to set off this morning. We were still at Lake Douglas when the Shire worker came to empty the bins.
A short trip into Kalgoorlie to fuel up and top up supplies, and we headed north towards Menzies.
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Our tea break along the way showed us some of the worst of a few of our fellow travellers.
Even when there were 2 near empty bins at the rest stop, a load of rubbish.?
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A short time later and we were in Menzies. An old gold mining town, but now famous for the Anthony Gormley metal statues at Lake Ballard. More of those tomorrow.
There are many steel sculptures depicting life around the town near the early 20th century, during the town's glory days. It had over 10,000 residents and 13 pubs.
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There were many buildings in the main Street but only a few now remain, such as the old post office, pub, and civic buildings.
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The cafe in town was also originally a pub as was the Information Centre.
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There is also a selection of old equipment on display, although a little better preservation and interpretive signage would be appreciated.
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Posted by iandeborah 05:45 Comments (2)

Day 7 Drive out to Kookynie & Lake Ballard

Unhitched the van at Menzies for today's adventures.

We set off to visit Niagara Dam & Kookynie a ghost town.

Niagara Dam was built to service the mining town of.....Niagara. But by the time it was finished in 1897 it was becoming obsolete as underground water was found at nearby Kookynie.
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Kookynie is now a living ghost town. About 11 people live here, and has one main building, the pub. In the early 1900's the town boasted 12 hotels, it's own brewery and 2 soft drink manufacturers. And a red light district.
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The pub has a regular daily visitor, Willy the horse.
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Many of the town's buildings are now gone but a view remain. One of the remains of a pub in town.
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After a quick lunch back at Menzies we drove off the find Lake Ballard and the Antony Gormley 'Inside Australia' cultural art display.
Three dimensional scans of 51 Menzies residents were cast using Archaean rock materials from Western Australia, including molybdenum, vanadium and titanium.
The wearing of boots was recommended, as the salt lake surface can be squishy.
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Posted by iandeborah 05:39 Comments (0)

Day 5 Merredin Peak to Lake Douglas

We were the last ones to check out today. About 5 other campers stayed overnight. It was a lovely & quiet camping spot, everyone was well behaved. But you need your own toilet ?
We came across the Rabbit Proof fence. For our overseas friends, this is the longest fence in the world. Choke on that Trump ?
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First stop was at Southern Cross for a stroll down the main Street. Supported the town by buying a coffee & cake. The locals were friendly & the town clean. Saw some lovely wildflowers along the side of the road. Beautiful burnt orange banksia candle trees & pink small bushes.

Stopped for lunch at Boondi Rock Rest Area.

Decided tonights stop was to be at Boondi Rock camping ground, but we headed off to Lake Douglas Recreation Reserve, a little west of Kalgoorlie. Our 5th free camping night. It is about 3km off the highway. There are another 5 campers here other than us with the latest just pulling in a minute ago.

Screenshot..0927-142020.png The coordinates are almost correct, you need to drive another 700 metres till you see the Dam, then turn left.
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There are heaps of bush spots to park in.
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Posted by iandeborah 03:54 Comments (0)

Day 4 Gnaala Mia to Merredin Peak

After a leisurely start to the day we headed off through parts of the wheatbelt to our 24 hour nights stop at Merredin.
Merredin silos.
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As we drove through town we had to pull over for some local traffic
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Our stop for the night as we are self contained.
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Merredin Peak is a granite outcrop used in the late 1800's to fill a dam for the steam trains. Water was channeled off the outcrop by a wall built around the base to enter a culvert into the dam.
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The dam water is still used to water the Gardens at the railway station in town.
The granite outcrops have many plants growing on and around them.
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Posted by iandeborah 04:00 Comments (1)

Day 3 Gnaala Mia

Woke up as the sole campers overnight. What a beautiful natural environment, so peaceful. The birds were singing, the breeze was rattling the leaves, the bees buzzing & the sun was coming & going just like the phone signal.

We went for a walk around the 2 loops restocking our kindling & firewood for tonight's fire.

A flock of yellow birds in formation flew across the Woodlands.We noticed an eagle searching for food. Then from the corner of Ian's eye he noticed movement in the woodlands yet again. We grabbed the cameras & went for a closer investigation. What did we find you ask, it was Kenny the Echidna who was foraging for food. We watched him for a while. Such beautiful creatures to watch. This delightful sighting was at 1.20pm.
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We went for an afternoon stroll around the area & came across movement in the woods. Here we found Kenny rustling around the woodlands in search of ants. We then came across Rogers, who was a smaller, yet shy echidna. He froze for a while obviously not as outgoing as Kenny. Rogers was timid. Took a while to get moving foraging for his food. But then went off into the bush. He was a little smaller in size, quite timid.
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Later on at beer o'clock time at our campsite. Site No 2, eagle eye Ian spotted more movement. It was Rogers again foraging for food again. All in all a lovely day was had with Kenny & Rogers.

Posted by iandeborah 21:03 Comments (0)

Gnaala Mia, Day 2

After a fullish moon last night.
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A view of our campsite & the camp kitchen.
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We went for a walk to the woodpile & Ian ended up with a chip on the shoulder. He is such a good boy. Thanks to his wood collection tonight we have a fire. You know what they say, Happy wife, happy life!
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We went for a hike a couple of kms down the road & found the Congelin Dam. We found a few more wildflowers.
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Off on a late afternoon wildflower walk around our campsite in search of native wildlife, it wasn't as fruitful as last night.
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Back to the campsite for a bonfire & dinner matched with some delightful sparkling Christmas in a bottle, Whicher Ridge Redtail.
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Posted by iandeborah 06:07 Comments (0)

Lake Ballard & Kulin Bush Races

The planned departure was delayed due to a fridge issue. Normally once you start the car the van fridge usually turns over to 12 volt. Today Miss Jayne was looking for gas. We cleaned the connectors near the tow ball. Ian's brute strength snapped one in half. Oops said Ian. (Of course I am being kind.) A fiddle with a couple of fuses revealed everything was okay in that category. Another play with the connectors & Bob's your Uncle it was working. We have no idea what the issue really was.

Our lunch stop was aside the road just out of Williams where we fuelled up earlier. IMG_20180923_131140444.jpg
Our neighbours were inquisitive. IMG_20180923_134435699.jpg

Our first stop was to be Gnaarla Mia in the Dryandra Forrest. We knew this was near the Congelin Campsite. So just North of Williams we turned down the Congelin gravel road, Ian was sure this was the way, but after 20km he decided otherwise. A quick uturn & we were heading in the right direction. Can you hear a song coming on, we can.

We found a lovely bush campsite at Gnaarla Mia State Forest, Dryandra.
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We set up & headed off for a 3km wildflower walk. We stumbled across lots of blooming natives, some funky fungi & the icing on the cake was when we heard some rustling though the undergrowth. An exquisite sighting and the first for both of us. We are tickled pink.
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Happy hour has commenced.
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Until tomorrow.

Posted by iandeborah 03:50 Comments (2)

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