Photos from our recent roadtrip from Perth to Gwalia and back (about 2000km). Perth – – – Hyden (Wave Rock) – – – Norseman – – – Kalgoorlie – – – Gwalia – – – Perth First stop on the Tin Horse Highway, a 15 kilometre stretch of road in Western Australia which heads east from the town of Kulin out to the Kulin Bush Races Track at Jilakin Rock. The roads official name is the Gorge Rock to Lake Grace Road. There are currently over 70 tin horses displayed on the Tin Horse Highway, in the town site of Kulin and along other roads to Kulin. On the Tin Horse Highway. On the Tin Horse Highway. On the Tin Horse Highway. On the Tin Horse Highway. On the Tin Horse Highway. On the Tin Horse Highway. On the Tin Horse Highway. On the Tin Horse Highway. On the Tin Horse Highway. On the Tin Horse Highway. On the Tin Horse Highway. On the Tin Horse Highway. Cabin on the lake, near Wave Rock for the first two nights of the trip. Sunset from the lakeside cabin, near Wave Rock The Lake alongside our cabin in Hyden, near Wave Rock. Wave Rock. Wave Rock. Surfing Wave Rock. Wave Rock. “Hippos Yawn”, near Wave Rock. “Hippos Yawn”, near Wave Rock. Walking back from Hippos Yawn to the cottage. Walking the Kalari Trail, 1.8 kilometre walk/fairly steep climb up to the summit of The Humps for amazing views. About 16km north of Wave Rock. Walking the Kalari Trail – looking back to the summit at The Humps. Walking the Kalari Trail – looking back to the summit. End of the Kalari Trail – phew! Street art in Hyden, near Wave Rock. Street art in Hyden. The town’s first power station !! A barrier fence to keep rabbits from invading the agricultural lands in Western Australia. The world’s longest fence (1139 miles), finished in 1907. The start of the Holland Track (1893), an area devastated by recent bushfires. The burnt-out sign erected by the Toyota Landcruiser Club of WA, who have adopted the Holland Track. We didn’t take this track to Norseman as it is not advisable to travel it alone. It’s very remote and covers some difficult terrain over 700km. We followed a safer gravel road to Norseman that runs roughly parallel to this track. We didn’t see anyone else all day (driving 300km along the Granite Woodlands Discovery Trail). You have been warned !! The Breakaways. Seemed like a good spot to have some lunch. About half-way between Hyden and Norseman (on the Granite Woodlands Discovery Trail, which has 16 designated stopping places with tourist information). The Breakaways. This would be an amazing place to camp for the night, under a million stars. Definitely be going back. The Breakaways. On the McDermid Rock Walk Trail. As the sign says . . . the start of the Lake Johnston Walk Trail . . . “Lake” Johnston – there is water there somewhere in the distance. We were ready to walk The Disappointment Rock Walk Trail, suncream on, flyspray on, hats and fly nets on, rucksacks with water and snacks. . . but after 100 metres we were stopped by fallen trees on the track. Neither of us wanted to go into the dense bush to get around the fallen trees – a snake or spider bite would be unfortunate out here. So, that was a quick walk!! And a disappointing one, maybe that’s why they named it. Street art in Norseman. A clean car no more. At least it’s starting to look like it’s used for what it was built for . . . The track gets narrower and narrower. Looks like the truck will be getting a few more pin-stripes! Hope we don’t meet someone coming the other way. . . We’re in the Great Western Woodlands, the largest remaining area of Mediterranean climate woodland on Earth, covering almost 16 million hectares, about the size of England. 123 123 “Crystal” gets upset if she’s not in some of the photos. And we don’t want to upset her. . . The site of a mining town, Dundas, since long gone. 123 123 Practicing Karate moves, or fighting off the flies, you decide. In the town of Norseman. Here is “Norseman”, the horse credited with the birth of the town. The legend says that the horse kicked up a very rich specimen of gold on 13 August 1894. The horse’s owner, from the Shetland Islands, called his horse Norseman after his clan, and named the new goldfield after his horse. On the top of Cave Hill, where for thousands of years indigenous people collected water from rock holes and hunted wildlife attracted to the water. At the top of Cave Hill, note the carefully placed rocks to channel the water, a precious resource (at times, perhaps more precious than gold). On Cave Hill. Panoramic view on top of Cave Hill. The decent from Cave Hill, it’s a lot steeper than it looks. Spot Crystal hiding in the bushes, exactly where we left her. Pano view of Broad Arrow Tavern. Broad Arrow Tavern Broad Arrow Tavern. On this route from Kalgoorlie to Gwalia (Golden Quest Discovery Trail) we stopped at many of these sites, marked with information posts, a great way to understand some of the local history. Site of the Ora Banda townsite, officially gazetted in 1912, near the Ora Banda gold mine. The hotel was built in 1911, closed in 1958, then re-opened as the Tavern in 1980s catering for local gold miners. Next stop – Siberia. Siberia is an abandoned goldfields townsite, located 655 km east north east of Perth, named in 1898. It was the site of an ill-fated gold rush in 1893, where an unknown number of prospectors perished in the heat without adequate water. Little remains of Siberia today other than a track, a cemetery and the remnants of a pub. This bougainvillea bush was planted in 1902 as a memorial to an infant who died a few hours after birth in Siberia. More than a century after it was planted by his mother, it continues to thrive with the assistance of hundreds of tourists, locals and passing mine workers who stop to water it. Burned-out lands from recent bushfires, very eerie landscape. Driving through burnt lands. Good to see some new growth though. One of many railway crossings. No lights or barriers, just look left and right! Unexpected marshlands. Unexpected marshlands. Marshlands, just love the contrasting colours, the camera doesn’t do it justice. Panoramic of the marshlands. At Goongarrie, a railway worker’s cottage c1897. A few years earlier, in April 1893, just months before the ill-fated rush to Siberia, gold was discovered here near a salt lake, sparking a mini-stampede at what was to become Goongarrie. Initially known as the ’90 Mile’ as it was 90 miles from Coolgardie. This is the route we’re following today from Kalgoorlie, Broad Arrow, Ora Banda, Siberia, Goongarrie, Menzies, and finally Gwalia. We went back to Niagara Dam and Kookynie the following day (we were staying in Gwalia). Menzies, township officially established in 1894, but by 1905 most of the miners had moved on. The old and the new. Display of vintage agricultural equipment and early vehicles in Menzies. Hoover House, next to the “Sons of Gwalia” gold mine, near Leonora. We stayed here for three nights. The house was commissioned in 1898 by Herbert Hoover, a mine manager who later became the 31st President of the United States (1929-1933). Hoover House B&B is part of the Gwalia Museum precinct. Hoover House. The staff of “Sons of Gwalia” gold mine on the steps of Hoover House, 27 August 1916. Hoover House B&B. Hoover House. Gwalia gold mine behind the railings (bottom right, just above the picnic bench). The Hoover Room at Hoover House, our home for three nights. Herbert Hoover moved to China before the house was finished and so he never lived here, but he slept in this room when he visited. Patio outside our room. Nice place to chill, read a book, drink wine and get eaten by mozzies. 123 Panoramic of Gwalia gold mine, right next to Hoover House. Gwalia gold mine. Gwalia gold mine – how small do those mine vehicles look! Gwalia gold mine. “Ken” the Locomotive from “Sons of Gwalia” gold mine. We both had a go, but just couldn’t get it started. 123 The ghost town of Gwalia provides a snapshot of life in the early goldfields. The little settlement that grew up around the Sons of Gwalia Mine in the late 1890s thrived until the final whistle blew on 28 December 1963, closing the mine and putting 250 men out of work. When the mine closed, Gwalia’s 1200-strong population fell to just 40 in less than three weeks. Inside the Function House, constructed between 1900 and 1920. 123 Patronis Guest Home, 1920. 123 Brings new meaning to the phrase ‘outside toilet’. This is the Pink Camp, home to an Italian who worked in the Gwalia mine in the 1930s. It was common in Italian homes for the whitewash on the walls to be tinted blue or pink. 123 We drove up a short goat track to the top of Mount Leonora, Hoover House is in the distance. 123 123 Almost drove over this snake sunbathing in the middle of the road. We think that this is a Western Brown snake (or “gwardar”), very fast, and highly venomous. We stayed in the car. . . The name “gwardar” is a word meaning “go the long way around” in an Aboriginal language. This may be regarded as advice for people who come across the species in the wild! 123 A panoramic of Niagara Dam. The view from Niagara Dam. Niagara Dam.