A Travellerspoint blog

Day 21 Queensland to Western Australia

Mount Magnet August 2nd

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Mt. Magnet

We are in the outback, miles away from everything, just us in our caravan and the wildlife outside. This is the place to see the stars at their best! In the morning we found an inquisitive Kangaroo had checked our car during the night, how do we know - We found his paw prints and the mark he made in the sand with his tail.

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Mt. Magnet

From Sandstone, Mount Magnet was next, a town based around the mining and pastoral industries.
Gold was discovered here in July 1891, including the legendary Poverty Flats mining site, marking the beginning of the region's gold rush history. The town happens to be the longest surviving gold mining settlement in Western Australia, still people come here and try their luck gold prospecting and fossicking.

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Mt. Magnet

In 1854, Explorer "Robert Austin" found and named a hill West Mount Magnet due to the magnetic qualities of the rocks. The hill is made up of a lot of metamorphic rock and is capped by a flat top of desert sandstone. In 1972, the name was changed to Mount Warramboo, meaning camping place. Not to be missed is taking the drive approx. two thirds of the way up the hill to where there is plenty of space to park the car and turn around. From here, we had fabulous views over Mount Magnet and the mining area, it's actually the best vantage point to see the open cut mines.

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Mt. Magnet

Mount Magnet is a good place to buy supplies as it has two supermarkets, two roadhouses, three hotels, cafe, butcher, nursing post, post office, plus mechanical and engineering services. I must admit I was very surprised to see the median strip planted with roses, golly they looked healthy and were flowering well!

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Mt. Magnet

There is a town heritage walk to follow, this doesn't take long to do as the town is small. What shouldn't be missed, is the The Mount Magnet Heritage trail, a 37kms sign-posted tourist drive which takes you to see caves, spectacular rock formations, old towns and cemeteries and old mining settlements.

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Mt. Magnet

We always follow these, so off we went following the Brown tourist signposted drive along mainly dirt roads to our first stop, "The Granites."
Once again the colour of the escarpments or breakaways are a bright orange/red and incredibly beautiful!
The Granites are an escarpment about 15 metres high, formed by the erosion. Many caves have formed in the soft granite and have fantastic sculptured surfaces formed by the small curved quartz veins in the granite. For at least 20,000 years prior to settlement, the Badimia Aborigines have lived in this area and consider The Granites a place of strong cultural significance to the tribe. Their old carvings and paintings can be seen at several sites at The Granites.

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Near Mt. Magnet

There is also a “Gnamma” hole in this area known to a few local people, this being a traditional native well covered by a stone. Ceremonial and burial sites are also located within The Granites area, I didn't manage to find any of these.
Near Mt. Magnet

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Near Mt. Magnet

It's a beautiful place which I really enjoyed walking around, clambering over the rocks and finding the caves and enjoying the views. They say sunset is beautiful here, I can just imagine that! There is plenty of parking area and picnic tables so you can enjoy some time here.
The Granites is situated approx. 9km north of Mount Magnet, along the Great Northern Highway.

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Near Mt. Magnet

July - August is peak season to see wildflowers, although they flower through to October. In 2014 we were a little early, it all depends on the rainfall to what time they flower. The carpets of cream, yellow and pink had just begun covering the red earth. Everlastings, the protected Mulla Mulla, Eremophila shrubs with felted leaves and delicate flowers and many other species flower here.
At "The Granites," I was surprised to find so many wildflowers that looked to be growing out of the rocks, I guess they had found a little soil and after rain, water would have run into the crack in the rock and kept them alive. Clever plants!

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Near Mt. Magnet

Leaving the Granites behind, the tourist drive took us along a dirt road where one of the Breakaways looks like a Lions Head. Our final destination was Lennonville. All that has survived from a huge fire in 1909, is the old railway platform. Information boards told of a thriving town during the gold rush days when 3000 people lived here, during that time there were five Hotels.

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Our next stop was the historic Lennonville cemetery. I was rather disappointed with the cemetery as there was only one marked grave, I expected more.
A modern sign listed names of people buried here, many were young children or spouses at quite young ages.
Children - Alexander Campbell died of diphtheria aged 4years - Lillias, his sister died aged 8 years and his brother William aged 6 years. It is hard to imagine how the poor woman felt.
Others died at 15hours, 5 days, 12hours, 11 months, 4 months, 2 years, 5 months, 8months, all made me feel sad.
Some of the adults had accidents like Domenico Seghezzi from Italy, he fell down a 40ft shaft in the Long Reef Mine. Died aged 26 years
Others were only 39 years, 42 years and 33 years, all to young to die.

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Leaving Lennonville cemetery behind, we now are travelling along the Boogardie-Lennonville road past more brightly coloured rock formations to see a natural Amphitheatre, thought to be formed by an ancient waterfall to make this unique formation. There is a walk here that can be done, I didn't as by this time I was feeling rather tired.

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Near Mt. Magnet

Close to the Amphitheatre, is a Cave, formed through erosion during the Precambrian period, the time when the planet was created about 4.5 billion years ago and is the earliest of the geologic ages.

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Near Mt. Magnet.

Back in the car we get and follow the road past more brilliant scenery till we finally complete the tourist drive.

This completed our time spent in and around Mt. Magnet.

Posted by balhannahrise 01:31 Archived in Australia Tagged landscape australia outback road western trip

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