Drove the torturous sixty odd kilometres back out from lake Eyre and headed south on the Oodnadatta Track, which, by contrast, had been rolled smooth by heaps of traffic after heavy rain. We stopped in at a couple of ruins and the South Arm of Lake Eyre before making our way down to Marree arriving after 5.00.
We headed out to William Creek and Lake Eyre today. The run from Coober Pedy to William Creek was beautiful smooth road and a tail wind (we were getting 8.6 litres per 100 kilometres at one stage). We got into William Creek at lunchtime so we had a break before heading out to Lake Eyre North Arm. That road was totally smashed, a eal introduction for Kylie and Matt towing a caravan over such bad corrugations.
Unfortunately there is no water in Lake Eyre but it is still an impressive sight and we enjoyed a great outback night sky as we camped out at the Lake.
Day off today. We got into Coober Pedy yesterday lunchtime and decided to take the day off today before we head down to William Creek, Lake Eyre and Marree tomorrow. Ran into the Morris clan at Coober Pedy so teamed up in the caravan park and they asked if the could accompany us down the Oodnadatta Track so Kylie and Matt could get some experience on gravel roads before they head out by themselves. They will probably leave us at Parachilna where we plan to head Peterborough then over to Broken Hill. Its been a very restful day.
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.
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…
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.
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).
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.
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)
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!