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Day 22 Queensland to Western Australia continued

Mullewa and surrounds August 4th

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Northern Loop

Another day, another drive!
Today, we are following the 115km round trip from Mullewa - Northern Loop. Roads are sealed and many are sandy/gravel - (40% sealed / 60% gravel), all were in good condition and can be travelled along in a 2WD or 4WD car.
The route is set out in a clockwise direction as shown on the map I picked up from the tourist information centre.

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Mullewa

Along the way are 13 interpretive rusty steel cut-outs, just like we found on the Southern Circuit. We found it hard to find somewhere to buy food last time, so we bought some sandwiches in Mullewa for our lunch. We always carry water with us, make sure you do too as towns are few and far between, and on weekends there is hardly a shop open.

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Mullewa

We depart Mullewa and drive along the Geraldton/Mt Magnet Road 18kms to Tenindewa, our first stop on the trail. It is well sign-posted with a brown tourist sign. Looking for wildflowers, then in may pay to head here if your early in the wildflower season as the area around Tenindewa is usually the first area in the Mullewa region to have showings of wildflowers in bloom.

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Grevillea flower

The Tenindewa store and stock yards are all that remains from a busy siding in the early 1900's.
In the 1920s, Tenindewa was a bustling settlement based around its resident railway gang. Once there was a store and a Post office from 1921, and a row of neat Railway homes and a Hall. Many Halls of that time had a Tennis Court next door, this one was made from rolled Ant Hills! A shed made from tree boughs was where afternoon tea was served each Sunday.

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The School, which is what the steel cut-out represents, was over the hill from hill and not seen from the main township.
A new building was built in 1935 and used as a store and Post Office. It is used for meetings, dances and community events.
This is all that is left - The Wheat bins, goods shed, the shunting lines, the air-raid shelters from WWII all have gone. This often happened with Railway settlements.

A few steps away is the a well done steel cut-out of "FINDING A WIFE." This tells the story of how hard it was to find a wife in these locations.

The plaque reads......

"My goodness, but some of these fellows just don't know when to take "no!" for an answer! They're very persistent - but I suppose it must be so lonely, being stuck out here on their farms, all on their own.
I keep telling them I'm only 19, but they don't seem to care. Some of them are very nice - but I'm not sure if I'm cut out to be a farmer's wife. It's so hot and dusty, and the flies are truly awful!"

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Out here, the business of finding a wife was a major challenge for the many young farmers. There were more men and women, so when teachers were needed for the local schools, it was female teachers they asked for. The came, didn't enjoy and left!
The women who did marry, had an extremely hard life just as the men did. They supported their men and families, quite often helping the men in the fields and doing the household duties as well as tending to the children.

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Wolya Well was our next stop, This well was a very important watering point for the freighters and others travelling out to the pastoral stations prior to 1888 and later the goldfields. The cut-out is of the farmer giving his bullocks a drink of water. It was here we found the Stumpy Tailed Lizard, one that will not harm you unless you try and pick it up, then it will latch onto you and not let go!

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Stumpy Tailed Lizard

We arrive at the signposted Kockatea Gully where there is another steel cut-out and many paddocks full of flowering Canola. It is quite a sight if you find a high spot to look over the paddocks of golden yellow.

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A little further along, is another cut-out, telling about the Bindoo Glacier beds.

The plaque tells the story...

"Crikey Bill - can you see what I'm seeing? This looks like its come from Coomberdale to me - but that can't be right, surely? That's a mighty long way for rocks to travel!"

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About 225 million years ago, the area between the Darling scarp and the sea was covered by glaciers. Mullewa lies on the northern edge of the scarp. As the weather has changed, the ice has melted and released lumps of rock that is called terminal Moraine. Bindoo Hil and its prominent rocky slope across the side gully is a good example of the further reaches of one of these ancient glaciers. Some of the rocks here at Bindoo Hill have been transported all the way from Coomberdale near Moora to here, a journey of almost 300km!

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Continuing on the Northern loop, our next stop is Greenough River. On the river bank was a picnic table under the shade of a tree, a pleasant area for us to stop and have our lunch. It was quiet and peaceful and we overlooked the sandy river and the fields of white everlasting Daisies.

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By the picnic area was a rusty steel cut-out with the story..........

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"Nice one brother - that fella good size for cooking. Looks like there's plenty more in there too! Women - folk got a fire going under the trees up there on the bank...."

Named in 1839, the Greenough river is like many rivers in Australia, that is, they only flow after good rains in the catchment area. Normally they are full of sand and have some permanent pools which the Aboriginals call "billabongs." Yalgoo which we passed through before coming to Mullewa is the river's origin, then it travels approx. 360kms to enter the ocean approx. 10kms south of Geraldton. We could see rubbish high in the trees meaning a high flood had been through here some time.
Aboriginal people frequented the area, camping here in Summer to get away from the heat and cool off in the river water and to catch fish for their meals.

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A little further on was Noondamurra Pool and another beautiful steel cut-out of birds found in the area.

Driving along quite a golden sandy road, we come to our next destination, Bindoo Hill Nature Reserve, where I noticed many different colours of sand.

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First I had a look at the steel cut-out, then went for a walk hoping to find wildflowers, sadly, I hardly found a flower here. This Reserve was rather disappointing!

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Heading back towards Mullewa, on the road verges were many pretty grevilleas, I happened to spot a Kite sitting in a dead tree. We stopped and I was quite surprised it didn't move and I was able to get a good photo of it!

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We still have a few more sites to visit on the loop. The next steel cut-out is located on the edge of the road and is called Homesteads.
The plaque tells the story of life on the farm and in the homesteads.

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A little further on, we follow the sign off the main road and into the Carbon Capture where there is another cut-out. This tells a different story of farm life in the area.

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Located on 6 mile creek are the Waterfalls, an area where many social gatherings and community events have taken place. It was a favourite picnic site with the locals, one where a game of cricket was played and afterwards a dip taken in the pool to cool off! Hopefully, it had water, as there wasn't a lot of water the day we were there. Once again, rain is needed for the creek to run and a waterfall to form.
The colour of the rocks is quite attractive and in wildflower season, this area was covered in Everlasting Daisies.

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The plaque reads...

"Aww, come on Jimmy - that was out, for sure! Anyway, you've already made your ton and I'm sick of bowling to you. I'm goin' in for a swim - are ya' comin'?"

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Located 1km north of Mullewa is the Mullewa historic Pioneer Cemetery, our last stop on the Northern Loop.

Located here are a couple of "Hawes" designed and constructed headstones. One such stone was carved for 12 year old Selby John Arnold, one of the altar boys in the Mullewa Church, who in 1924 drowned in the town dam. Father Hawes designed and decorated the grave site.

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We still had time left, so went to the Mullewa scenic lookout which had a covered area with seating and was enclosed by 8 large interpretive panels outlining the main stories of the district. Once again, these were rusty steel cut-outs. We had a drink and piece of cake whilst enjoying the view that overlooks the town.

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Afterwards, I walked the Bushland trail, even if you don't do the walk, do come to the look-out to learn the history of Mullewa and to enjoy the views.

The “Bushland Trail” is 2.4 kms along a rugged dirt pathway leading up and down steep hills. If your not fit, then I suggest to walk a small section and return the same way back to the car park.

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I walked the trail at a leisurely pace, taking time to read the interpretive panels, it should take 40 – 60 minutes to complete. You can link this trail to the Rail Heritage Loop and via that route to Mullewa itself.

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Right from the very beginning the wildflowers are great. Everlasting Daisies in a variety of colours line the side of the walking track and the hills. There are other flowers that are prolific only I don't know their name, I did find some Donkey Ears Orchids.

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You need to be careful walking as you can see in my photo, the track has many loose rocks and sometimes the wildflowers nearly cover the track - Watch out for Snakes in summer!

This concluded an excellent stay at Mullewa.

Posted by balhannahrise 04:15 Archived in Australia Tagged australia scenery road western trip wildflowers

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