A Travellerspoint blog

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.

Afternoon tea stop today, Sunday was at Ghoorli pump station.
This old steam driven station is obviously no longer operational & fenced off due to asbestos.

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...
Here are some pictures from today, please enjoy.
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And a couple as the sun sets over Merredin Peak.

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.
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.?
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.
There were many buildings in the main Street but only a few now remain, such as the old post office, pub, and civic buildings.
The cafe in town was also originally a pub as was the Information Centre.
There is also a selection of old equipment on display, although a little better preservation and interpretive signage would be appreciated.

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.
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.
The pub has a regular daily visitor, Willy the horse.
Many of the town's buildings are now gone but a view remain. One of the remains of a pub in town.

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.

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 ?
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.
There are heaps of bush spots to park in.

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.
As we drove through town we had to pull over for some local traffic
Our stop for the night as we are self contained.
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.
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.

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.

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.

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.
A view of our campsite & the camp kitchen.
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!

We went for a hike a couple of kms down the road & found the Congelin Dam. We found a few more wildflowers.
Off on a late afternoon wildflower walk around our campsite in search of native wildlife, it wasn't as fruitful as last night.

Back to the campsite for a bonfire & dinner matched with some delightful sparkling Christmas in a bottle, Whicher Ridge Redtail.

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.

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.
Happy hour has commenced.
Until tomorrow.

Posted by iandeborah 03:50 Comments (2)

Nannup Garden & Tulip show🌷

Headed off on the Friday, 17 August. Nice and easy setup but a very short berth. Also had a few walk through's by neighbours. Here's Ian checking out the step, in case he needs to use it when guests come over. ?

The tulips. The shire gardeners plant 14,000 each year. New bulbs each year, and sourced from Tasmania.

Deborah caught up with Costa. Even got a tickle from his famous beard.

Jocelyn popped in for a visit, and a cuppa coffee. She even got to buy some tulip bulbs. Not the best view of Ian's head ?IMG_201808..5653596_HDR.jpg

We caught up with Steve Wood who talked about his oyster mushrooms. We will now try and follow his instructions to grow our own Oysters.

The Blackwood River. Not the highest it had been, but certainly flowing well, strong enough that we didn't think we'd be able to paddle up river in our kayak.

Costa the garden gnome/ Environmental Educator, NSW chapter was out and about on Saturday.

Posted by iandeborah 04:01 Comments (1)

Singapore to Perth

Wake up and had a biggish late breakfast to tide us over. No food or drink provided on the Scoot flight, but can be purchased onboard.
After the lights at the Gardens by the Bay the night before...
We didn't have much time for anything else. A stroll around the Changi airport, after a very quick and painless GST claim back process, we found the free tastings...we both had a few drams.

Of course we've now discovered more updated facts about Singapore. It provides more of its water than it imports. Over 60% is produced via catchment, recycling waste, and desalination. In fact 40% if that is recycled. The remainder comes from Malaysia.
Unfortunately power is another problem, with 80% supplied via gas pipelines from Malaysia and Indonesia, to burn for electricity.

After the week of low 30 degree humid days it was a cold wet shock arriving back in Busselton. Life goes on, so until the next time, everyone enjoy your adventures wherever they may take you.

Posted by iandeborah 18:58 Comments (0)

Singapore again day 2

Our last full day in Singapore this time around and we again took the hotel shuttle. This time we ended up at the Great World Centre.
Of course we took another Starbucks moment.
Taking a stroll around the shops Ian found a new friend.
Further along he came across a shop with a few other friends in it. Bottles of single malt whisky.

Later in the day, after a short rest, we ventured out to find Satay by the Bay at the Gardens by the Bay.
We discovered the Marina Barrage, a dam structure at the confluence of 5 rivers, creating Singapores 15th reservoir.
Some great views from the top overlooking the Barrage,
with many locals having picnics and flying kites.

Walking by one of the waterparks in the Gardens precinct.
We eventually got to the dinner spot, and chose to have a selection of 30 satay sticks.
Of course satay had to be accompanied by a Tiger or 2.
We didn't take up the offer of the beer tower...

We walked away from further temptation, past one of the lovely sculptures in the garden.
Next stop was the Gardens by the Bay trees, and the night music and light show.

Posted by iandeborah 06:28 Comments (3)

Singapore again

After disembarking from the Voyager Of The Seas on Friday 8th June, we headed to our hotel, Copthorne Kings on Havelock Road.
Nice room with a view.
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We took the hotels regular shuttle bus over to Chinatown and checked out the People's Park complex. Shops include one of Deborah's favourites, OG, where she always picks up some shoe bargains.
They also have a very good food market, where we indulged in fish, rice and egg, for the princely sum of $4 each.
Back at the hotel we stayed in to watch some strange language TV, and had a beer and some red wine with potato chips.

Posted by iandeborah 23:02 Comments (1)

Voyager Of The Seas day 4

The last full day onboard was a cruising day, no land stops.
So what does one do whilst cruising, enjoy one of your free bottles of sparkling wine. ?
We also used our free slot machine spins, and Deborah won a free raffle entry and a t-shirt, which Ian gets to wear. ?
She was on a roll, winning at the jewellery shop raffle. Sparkling wine, a bag and a lovely white hat.
Also, relax on the rear deck with a game of golf, whilst the sun sets.
Of course, since Deborah plied Ian with booze beforehand, she ended up winning. ?

Posted by iandeborah 19:40 Comments (1)

Voyager Of The Seas day 3

It's all go on this cruise. Day 3 saw us arriving at Phuket, the deep water port in the south east.
We had a tour booked, sea cave canoeing. Not cheap, but something we thought was a bit different. All packed, including towels and our squiggy shoes, off we went. Again, lovely warm slightly humid weather. Interesting, fairly typical, Asian power setup.
We wondered about seat belts, but our driver hadn't put his on so it must be OK! Oops, no it wasn't. Not sure how much he got fined. ?
A bit of the traffic.
And off to the caves. Some fabulous limestone islands along the way before our destination.
Off we go....no paddling for us, we get our own little person to chauffeur us.
Things got a bit low in some spots. Amazing. Only can be done at low tide, for obvious reasons, as if you go inside you won't get out later.
Even got to see a mudskipper fish or 2, in the pool inside the hollowed island.
After the 3 lots of caves we had a lovely cooked lunch and drinks on the boat, then headed for another tropical island beach for a swim and relax. Of course, not so cooling, as the water was warm!

Posted by iandeborah 17:59 Comments (2)

Voyager Of The Seas day 2

Day 2 we arrived at Georgetown in Penang, Malaysia. We decided to be adventurous and go for a walk around the streets to find the Clan jetties and street art.
The jetties are originally where the seperate, distinct Chinese communities setup. The floating jetties are named after the family/clan, and are still occupied by their descendants. We visited the Chew clan jetty.
The street art is amazing, but some of it is starting to fade... commenced after 2009 to market the UNESCO World Heritage listed Georgetown, the paintings and steel rod sculptures, tell the stories of its communities and history of the streets. Amazing.

Of course there are always food markets in the streets, and this fascinating machine was pulping the coconut husks....

After a hot humid few hours walk, we had to have a drink. Note to self, always change money before commencing your walk. Luckily B@92 accepted Aussie dollars. Nice cold beer.

Posted by iandeborah 17:28 Comments (2)

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