Norseman to Burra Rocks, Western Australia 24th July
24.7.14 - 25.7.14
Most of the Caravanners were leaving Norseman today, just as we were. I think this Park is used mainly as a base for an overnight stop before and after crossing the Nullarbor Plain.
Today, we are heading north towards Kalgoorlie. On the highway out of town, we pass by a Motor cyclist who has broken down. Poor bloke looked quite dejected that nobody was stopping to help him, we were going to, just had to find somewhere we could turn a car and caravan around. He was happy to see us arrive and was really lucky that Ian could fix both of his problems and get him on the road again. A abusive Caravanner pulled alongside at one stage, I thought to give a hand, not the case, only to shout abuse about not getting off the road completely! How ignorant, stupid and inconsiderate this person was, as if either of us had gone off the road any further, we would have been bogged in the soft soil from the heavy overnight rain. Neither of us were blocking the road. In these outback locations where there isn't a lot of traffic, it is common courtesy to stop and give help, a pity this abusive person didn't do this!!
Some towns out here have really unusual names, like Widgiemooltha. Cobb & Co coaches once changed horses here on the Coolgardie to Norseman run.
Once a thriving town, now just a Roadhouse and a replica of a large gold nugget. It was in 1930 when a few nuggets were found near Widgiemooltha sparking Western Australia's last great gold rush. Times were tough during the 1930’s depression years, so unearthing a massive 38.4kg nugget was indeed a welcome find.
It was the biggest nugget ever found in WA and they called it the Golden Eagle as it resembled an eagle in flight. It still holds the record today.
Replica of the "golden eagle" gold nugget
At Widgiemooltha, we turn off the main highway and follow a dirt 4WD road through the Cave Hill Nature Reserve.
Road to Cave Hill Nature Reserve
Arriving at the Cave Hill Nature Reserve, we found a very nice picnic and camping area complete with toilets and fire pits, not bad in an isolated area!
Cave Hill picnic & camping area
A little further along the road is the area where we can park and walk to and on the giant granite monolith.
It is where I find a large cave created by erosion. The colours were beautiful!
The large cave at Cave Hill
I was amazed to find shrubs growing out of the rock!
Shrubs growing in cracks on Cave Hill
After viewing this amazing cave, I continued walking on this granite outcrop incase there was anything else worth seeing - sure enough there was!
On this part of the monolith, I found some more interesting caves in ochre colours.
Also on this side, the rock walls were shaped in a wave formation, coloured dark brown and orange. When it rained, many waterfalls would be tumbling over the sides.
Wave shaped rock walls
It was late July and the start of the wildflower season. A walk along the nature track which winds through the reserve is where I saw a few of the beautiful wildflowers.
Still in the National Park, we follow the dirt road until we reach Burra Rocks where there is another lovely campground that is free to camp at. Toilets, a fire ring with a bbq plate and a nice flat area to park the Caravan. Ian went and collected some wood for the fire so he could cook some damper and our dinner.
I went for a walk on Burra Rock. This is another large rock monolith, but quite different to Cave Hill. Climbing the rock I come across a stone wall which was built by early settlers to collect water and to make a dam on the actual rock. Clever!
As I make the short climb to the summit of the rock, I pass by many interesting boulders precariously balancing on the large rock surface!
How on earth do they sit here and don't roll away!
The wind has created many shapes.
Once at the summit I have a great view over woodlands where salmon gum, gimlet and redwood are growing. I can also see another monolith in the distance.
View from the top of Burra Rock
Back to camp for dinner under the stars. It is us and the Kangaroos in the middle of nowhere, so peaceful!