Kingoonya, Tarcoola, Glendambo

Having a beer at the Kingoonya Pub, SA – cold beer, good service and a range of meals.

Did the run up from Wirulla to Kingoonya and onto Tarcoola before heading back out to Glendambo for the night. The roads were, shall we say, interesting. For the most part the road from Wirulla to Kingoonya was really good, dropping off to bad and very bad. The road out to Tarcoola was pretty good on the whole as was the road into Glendambo. Let’s just say that the descriptions on Wikipedia do not match what you find on the ground. When we arrived at Kingoonya we weren’t sure where the pub was. It looks more like a house and it was surrounded by a couple of houses and yards full of wrecked cars. The caravan park behind the pub has just been taken over by new management but the weeds have overtaken the caravan park. Tarcoola, even though it is heritage listed, is falling apart. But in the end it was an informative day and one I would do again.

What’s up with Wirulla?

Wirulla, South Australia, has a secret .. I’m not sure if I should tell you, after all Snowtown, South Australia also had a secret.

Oops, slept in this morning – first day back on Central Australian Time. Didn’t leave camp till late so it was lunchtime before we hit Ceduna. We did the usual restock – bread, sausages and booze before hitting the road to little old Wirulla which has this secret. We set up camp in the town caravan park right next door to the toilet and shower blocks, only $10 for a powered site. We just have to keep our eyes out for the keeper of the secret…

Hello Nullaboring Plain

Fire, give me fire on a blowy Thursday afternoon

Well we well and truly hit the Nullabor Plain today. Non stop. All day. The wind picked up later in the morning which meant we had blustery conditions right through until we pulled into camp at 5.00 pm South Australian time. Today was just one of those “watch the K’s go by” days, nothing of any import happened today. Ah well, there’s always tomorrow.

Goodbye Kalgoorlie

Is that one hump or two madam? Wild camels decided they would hold us up briefly as we head out along the Eyre Highway on the Nullabor Plains

Time to leave Kalgoorlie – there’s just so much industrial chic that you can take (and Kalgoorlie surely lacks the chic). We headed down to Coolgardie to check out the widest main street in Australia (trust me you need to see the movie). Lovely old buildings in a town that at one stage was the third largest in Western Australia (stop me if you’ve heard this before) until the gold ran out and its population has dropped to around one thousand today. We headed out to Norseman then along the Eyre Highway, gradually getting ready to leave West Australia and its bad weather behind. We set up camp about fifty kilometres west of Caiguna Blowhole (or about 422 kilometres from the South Australian border).

Kalgoorlie–Boulder

Super Pit No. 1, Kalgoorlie WA.
Those little dark spots at the bottom are those monster mining trucks working 24 hours per day hauling rock out of this hole to recover gold at the rate of about 160,000 ounces per year.

Just trundled around the town today, checking out the two lookouts, one over the town and the other over Super Pit No. 1. We then did some shopping in the twin towns, Boulder being the sad, broke brother to Kalgoorlie. Back to camp for maintenance – Jenny on the hair and me on the motorhome.

Off to who knows where tomorrow.

Reflections On The Lake

“Inside Australia” Art Project, Lake Ballard WA (approximately 50 kilometres north west of Menzies.

Woke up to a freezing morning (-1.5 degrees) and headed into Menzies to try and find out where the “Inside Australia” sculptures were located. It turned out to be their pride and joy and we got the complete rundown on their location and their link to the town of Menzies. We travelled out there to check out the site (it has basic free camping facilities including drinking water). We walked amongst the sculptures for an hour, its hard to do them justice with the cameras we had with us but the sculptures are striking as they stand in the shimmering water mirage (despite the fact that a cold breeze was keeping the temperature down to a cool 10 degrees).

We pushed on from there and headed the 130 kilometres south to Kalgoorlie-Boulder to set up camp for a couple of days before deciding where to go next (preferably north into some warmer weather)

Heading Into Golden Climes

The National Hotel, Sandstone WA – the town was established in 1906 after the discovery of gold in 1902. The hotel was established in 1907

Headed out under clear blue skies this morning heading northeast to Mt Magnet then across to Leinster, down to Leonora and set up camp 50 kilometres north of Menzies. We passed through the quaint village of Sandstone which tells the tale of mining booms and busts. Gold was discovered in large quantities around 1902 and the town itself was established in 1906. By 1907 it had a population of six to eight thousand, with all the infrastructure to support both the population and the mines. But the gold ran out and by 1919 the population had fallen to two hundred. Today the town’s hopes are once again pinned on a mining boom as nearby mining sites have received new interest with one being sold recently. The current population of fifty is hoping for golden times again.

Much of this afternoon was spent driving in extremely strong winds and Melva sent Jenny a text to say that the Coopers were leaving Kalgoorlie today instead of Tuesday. They would have had rocket assist with this wind!

Geraldton Journey

HMAS SYDNEY Memorial, Geraldton WA – a moving tribute to the 645 sailors who lost their lives during that fateful naval battle in 1941

We made the trip down the coast from Kalbarri, stopping in at Port Gregory with its pink lakes and not much else, then onto Horrocks Beach which is a thriving, upmarket beachside settlement. From there it was back onto the main drag and down to Northampton where we stopped in search of an elusive fruit bowl and had a walk through the street to view the old buildings. On to Geraldton in time for lunch on the foreshore then a short visit to the HMAS Sydney Memorial. The stainless steel dome is made up of 645 seagulls representing those poor souls lost in that battle, and granite walls list the names of all those who perished. A lone statue of a woman looks seaward, waiting for her lost sailor to return – very touching.

We left Geraldton and headed out toward Mt Magnet, stopping 50 kms west of Yalgoo to set up camp in the bush behind a roadside stop. We’re back inland, away from the coast and into warmer weather.

Kalbarri National Park

Nature’s Window, Kalbarri National Park. Stunning natural effect overlooking Murchison Gorge

Did the Kalbarri National Park today after watching the pelicans being fed on the foreshore at Kalbarri. The walks were relatively easy although one poor old Victorian lady took a tumble and hit the rocks (literally) – she left her mark with a pool of blood, but I thought it might be in poor taste to take crime scene photos. Luckily a young couple were on the scene when it happened so were able to patch her up and she was back on her feet in no time. We walked out to the Z Bend Lookout where you can see how the gorge twists its way through the landscape. Out of there to the West Loop Lookout and then onto the last one for us, Nature’s Window Lookout. It really is something else and is understandably popular with local and overseas visitors. The path down to it is easy, bitumen 90% of the way with a short traverse over flat rocks to see one of the most impressive gorge views that I have seen in Australia.

    Back home to get some fabulous fresh fish from the Fish Truck parked down at the jetty – the fish caught last night. The boats had been returning to port all morning.

    Time for coffee and cake up the street and dinner back at camp tonight. Off to Geraldton in the morning.

Kicking Back at Kalbarrie

The entrance to the Murchison River at Kalbarrie, WA

Easy day today. Left the free camp for the hours drive into Kalbarrie. We’ll visit the National Park tomorrow to do a couple of walks but, for today, it was a Derby and Joan stroll up the street to have lunch at Angie’s Cafe (lovely flat head tails dearie) and a walk in the park. More action tomorrow I promise.