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Days 13 -17 Queensland to Western Australia

Kalgoorlie - Western Australia 26th - 27th - 28th - 29th - 30th July

Kalgoorlie, a city I will never forget for all the wrong reasons.
Our stay was meant to be for 2 nights, instead we stayed here for 6 nights, not by choice but by necessity.
Our car was booked in for a service in Kalgoorlie. We picked up the car and were on our way when I noticed the engine light had come on. Back to the garage we went, this happened many times! It wasn't the mechanics fault, it was the supplier who sent parts from Perth that were faulty and should have been recalled, this meant we had to wait another day for more parts to be sent to Kalgoorlie. We thought it was fixed, but every time we headed off, back the light came on, and back to the garage we went. Eventually, on the 30th July, we were on the road and leaving Kalgoorlie behind! It looked like the problem had been fixed, little did we know that we would run into more problems down the track.

Kalgoorlie is a large city which has now combined with Boulder, so is known as "Kalgoorlie-Boulder."
We found it to have many attractions that kept us quite busy for a few days, 6 days and we ran out of things to do

The township of Kalgoorlie was established when gold was found by three Irish gold prospectors in 1893. Paddy Hannan reported at the time that 8 pounds of gold nuggets had been found. There is a statue of Paddy in the main street (Hannan Street)
Paddy Hannan

Within days, 700 gold diggers had arrived in Kalgoorlie, all pegging out mining claims around the area, all hoping to find some gold. Kalgoorlie's gold rush had begun and by 1903 the town boasted a population of 30,000, along with 93 hotels and 8 breweries.
Well, there is nothing like that now, although there still are a lot of rather fancy Hotels.



Kalgoorlie's pioneering gold diggers were rich, this we could see by the quality of the historic buildings in Hannan Street, Kalgoorlie and in Boulder.

Impressive building in Kalgoorlie

I walked both sides of Hannan street and was really impressed!

Hannan Street

By the late 1890s, Kalgoorlie's rich alluvial gold deposits had been largely worked out, bringing to an end to the gold rush. We went to Hannan's North tourist mine and saw how the old miners lived in these tough times in a replica of a gold prospector's camp. It was an excellent open-air museum.
Prospector's House
Old mine

In 1902, gold was found at 1500 feet below the surface. Boulder Mining leases mined this area which became known as "The Golden Mile."
The area contained the richest square mile of gold reserves in the world.
Today, the Golden Mile is being worked by Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines. We went to the view-point to see the huge open-cut gold mine, the largest in Australia. It is known as the Super - Pit. Current dimensions of the "Super Pit" are 290 metres deep by 1.5 kilometres wide and 4 kilometres long, although could be much larger than what I read on the postcard. It was so deep, we couldn't see the bottom, and those monster Euclid tip trucks looked the size of mice! Really worth seeing and free! A tour can be done, this covers more of the internal side of what happens to the gold.

Super Pit

Super Pit

And, if you want to sit in one of these trucks, you can do what we did, and go to Hannan's north tourist mine where they have one the same as is being used in the mine. We put a hard hat on, and climbed up and sat in the driver's seat, quite an interesting experience!

Euclid truck at Hannan's North mining Museum

Other Museums we went to, was the Train Museum, not large and only a gold coin donation required.

Train Museum

An excellent Museum was the Western Australian Museum in Hannan street. We couldn't miss it, as a red Mine Poppet was where the Museum was located. Entry was free, but a donation was appreciated, we were happy to give as it really deserved to have an entry fee.
We were able to take a lift nearly up to the top of the poppet. From there we had wonderful views over the city and surrounds.

View from the Poppet over the city centre of Kalgoorlie

Some Miner's cottages were on display, complete with picket fence and cottage garden. They were cute, and we went inside for look to see how they lived back then.

Goldminer's cottage

There was heaps to see from back in the olden days.

Of interest, was the Vault where gold nuggets had been loaned to the Museum and were on display. I found there were many ways of finding gold.

Gold nuggets in the Museum Vault

Kalgoorlie is probably the only place in Australia where there is a "Red Light District" with working brothels. It is famous for both gold and the brothels, which happen to be illegal but the police turn a blind eye as long as there is no trouble. Men outnumbered women, so the women were brought in. Today, a few brothels remain, one is a Museum in the day time and a working brothel during the night. Hay street is the place to go!
Back in Kalgoorlie's hey-day, scantily dressed ladies of the night were on every corner.

Hay street brothel

On a drive around Kalgoorlie, we came across the huge Kalgoorlie cemetery and on the other side of the road, was the lovely Hammond Park.
What an inviting park it was! I loved the entrance gates...


The large lawned area and playground and a beautiful Rotunda....


A pond where children were feeding Ducks....


a lot of cages with a variety of Parrots


Another interesting place we went to, was the Flying Doctor's base at Kalgoorlie airport. We missed the tour, but were lucky enough to be given one by the lady in charge. Once again, a donation is appreciated as this is how the Flying Doctor stays flying. It was interesting seeing where the bases in Australia are and where they fly. They had a map on the United Kingdom in the centre of Australia, just for all the oversea's tourists to get an idea of the size of Australia.


We were taken to the Hanger to see the Plane, one was already out on a call. It was amazing how it's set out. Four people plus the Pilot can be in the Plane -the Doctor & Nurse, Patient and person going with the patient

lInside of the Flying Doctor's Plane


Flying Doctor's Plane

For something to do on the Sunday, we went to the Kalgoorlie races. Beginners luck - I picked a winner! Not a bad day's outing!


At last our car is fixed and we will be on our way through the outback of Australia.

Posted by balhannahrise 04:12 Archived in Australia Tagged birds museums parks history australia heritage western gold mining Comments (0)

Days 23 / 24 / 25 Queensland to Western Australia



Today, we leave Mullewa and head to the city of Geraldton, the home of some impressive buildings, churches, museums and memorials. Known as either "sun city" or "windy city," it is located on the coast around 424 kms north of Perth.


Geraldton Information centre

As usual when we are visiting a new town, we find the Tourist Information centre and pick up free maps and tourist information.
The Centre is located in the historic buildings of the Bill Sewell Complex, then off to one side of the complex is the Old Gaol museum.


Geraldton's Old Gaol

This gaol was the second longest serving gaol in Western Australia. It was built in 1858 and operated until 1986. Today, all I had to pay was a gold coin donation ($1 or $2) to enter, then I walked through the alley way, peeking in the cell doors to find them occupied by craft people selling their wares. A lot were closed because it was a weekday, better to come on a weekend.


Art and Craft work included gemstones, lead lighting, crystals. crochet, woodwork, jewellery and fashion accessories, natural soy candles, metal art, designer greeting cards, paintings and much more.

Our caravan park was across the road from the beach, a little way out from the CBD. We liked it there as it was quiet, plus I liked the shared bike/pathways where I cycled in the mornings.


it was along here I came across the Moore Point Lighthouse which dates back to 1877.
The tower was a prefabricated steel tower made in England and brought to Australia in segments aboard the 'Lady Louisa,' then was bolted together on the new foundations and a light added in 1878. Painted in red and white candy stripes, the Point Moore Lighthouse really stands out! The interpretive plaque provides some interesting facts about the lighthouse, including the knowledge it is the oldest surviving Commonwealth lighthouse in Western Australia.


Moore Point Lighthouse

Another find was a large Osprey nest on the ocean side of Marine Terrace, not far away from the Lighthouse. This same nest has been used year after year.
The breeding cycle is in Spring when 1 - 4 eggs are laid over a few days. The incubation period takes between 32 - 40 days with the eggs hatching from late August to October.
They are around this area and if you look, there is a good chance of seeing them plunging into the shallow water to grab fish with their talons. This usually happens early morning or late afternoon.


Osprey Nest

As I followed the pathway towards the CBD, I came across the port of Geraldton, one of Australia's busiest regional ports and second largest for grain export. Also exported from here is iron ore, fuel, metals, mineral sands, talc, garnet and fertilisers. There is an excellent newish, landscaped viewing area from which the views of the bustling harbour were great. I spent some time watching a Ship come into the Port area and be turned completely around by the Tug Boats and finally settle against the wharf, those little Tugs did a great job and didn't take long either!




My next stop was at the Yamaji Art Emu Egg sculptures located on the foreshore..
The cast bronze shapes of emu eggs were made and then decorated with ceramic mosaic to represent the Aboriginal stories of the Emu in the Sky and the Seven Sisters being chased by Orion, the Hunter. The Aboriginal people see these different shapes and designs in the night sky.
I loved the eight Emu egg halves, so colourful and beautiful sitting in the sand on the foreshore.


Ceramic Emu Egg Sculptures

If you have been following my journey through WA, then you would remember me mentioning Father Hawes, the architect Priest. In Geraldton is St Francis Xavier Cathedral, designed by the famous Monsignor Hawes (Priest and Architect), who arrived in Geraldton as a parish priest in 1915.
I must say, I became a fan of his architecture, so I didn't want to miss seeing the Cathedral generally regarded as one of his finest works.


Francis Xavier Cathedral

The foundation stone was laid in 1916, but it took 22 years to complete as it was built in stages.
Romanesque columns, huge arches beneath an octagonal dome and zebra striping of the walls reminded me of St. Georges Church in Bluff Point, Geraldton, only that Church had nothing to do with Monsignor Hawes! The architecture is a blend of many styles.


Francis Xavier Cathedral

After viewing the church, I walked across the road to see an unusual sundial, known as the Iris Sundial.


Iris Sundial

A visit to the WA Museum was a must for me as it had plenty of information on the four major early shipwrecks located in the region - the Batavia, Gilt Dragon, Zuytdorp, and Zeewijk. Another excellent display was a more recent piece of history - the discovery of HMAS Sydney II - Australia’s greatest naval tragedy.
Entry to the Museum took us into the gift shop where there is a unique range of gifts, many in the nautical range. Souvenirs are related to the region, and there are many books on natural wonders and local history. I bought a couple of nice souvenirs here for quite a reasonable price. As it happened, I didn't find souvenirs anywhere else in Geraldton.

The museum also covers the Yamaji history and culture, and the region’s natural landscapes and marine environment. I discovered how European exploration and settlement had developed in the Mid West, the area we had just been, where agriculture, fishing, mining and science industries have been developed in this area.


W.A. Museum

The first section on display in the W.A. Museum, is the MID- WEST which is split into two sections = Natural & Social History.
In the Natural History section were displays of fossils found from the Mid West's pre-historic past. The Kangaroo standing on its hind legs looks so real, you may be surprised at just how big and tall the big male Kangaroos are when you stand beside it. No way would you want to make one angry in the wild. This was a really good display.


W.A. Museum

The Social history explored the culture of the local Yamaji people, tales of European exploration and settlers. On display were boomerangs and other hand made utensils. I found the Bush Tucker section very interesting, especially if you have never seen a Witchetty Grub before, you can see them here in the Museum. It is good to know what you can and can't eat if your ever lost in the bush, very handle for survival. We had already seen some of these plants and their fruits growing in the wild.


W.A. Museum

One of the displays is a Bristol Tourer Biplane.
In December, 1921, three planes set off on their maiden flight to deliver mail to Derby. One of the planes crashed 130kms from Geraldton, killing the pilot and mechanic. A replica plane was made to fly during the 70yr old commemorative flight in 1992, this too crashed, but this time nobody was hurt. The nearby Greenough shire acquired the plane and it was restored by the Mid West Aero Club who when completed, gave it to the W.A. Museum in Geraldton.


W.A. Museum

The Shipwrecks Gallery is another excellent permanent exhibition. Perhaps you will be like me and quite surprised to learn 1,650 boats have been ship-wrecked off the Western Australian coast - that is a lot of ships!
The gallery has on display artefacts from four local shipwrecks including clay pipes, silver coins, cannons, the original Batavia stone portico and numerous other relics, some of these artefacts had laid under the water for over 300 years, now it's here for all to see!


W.A. Museum

The most heard of and most famous shipwreck from the olden days is the "Batavia," Australia’s second oldest known shipwreck (Australia’s oldest known shipwreck is the English East India Company ship Trial lost in 1622.) In June 1629, the VOC ship Batavia was wrecked on the Houtman Abrolhos Islands off the coast of Geraldton, Western Australia. It took another 334 years before fishermen found the wreck of the Batavia.
Another shipwreck was the Zeewijk, this happened 100 years after the Batavia. It was another Dutch ship, carrying 208 men from 13 Nationalities. Its cargo was building materials, provisions for the crew and 10 chests of Gold and Silver bars, small silver and copper coins, quite a valuable cargo that went down with the ship.

You can learn about the famous Batavia mutiny and how the men on the Zeewijk survived and the unknown fate of other European shipwreck survivors stranded on Western Australian shores.


After I had finished with the Museum, I had some time to kill, so I went around the ocean side hoping to find some seating whilst waiting for my transport. My surprise was seeing the Batavia Longboat replica. This was constructed in 2002 by students of the local technical college and now is in the water beside the WA Museum.
The replica is maintained by a small group of dedicated volunteers forming the not for profit organisation, the Batavia Coast Longboat Replica Association. Public sailing is every Sunday afternoon (except the first Sunday of the month).


A really magnificent memorial that should be seen by all who come to Geraldton is on top of Mount Scott, an outstanding memorial built in memory of 645 young Australian Sailors who lost their lives when the HMAS Sydney II sank.
This Memorial really amazed me, mainly because of all the thought that had been put into the design, every little element meant something important, it is one of the best I have ever seen.

From the car-park was a pathway with two old bollards from the Port of Geraldton, which would have been used by the Sydney II on her last visit to Geraldton in 1941.


When the HMAS Sydney II was built, she was the pride of the Royal Australian Navy fleet. She was named after Sydney, the capital city of New South Wales. During her time, the ship was involved in enforcing sanctions during the Abyssinian crisis, and later in 1940, was sent to help the British. She sank two Italian warships, participated in multiple shore bombardments, and still returned to Sydney with minimal damage and no casualties.
In 1941, the Sydney resumed convoy escort and patrol duties in home waters.
It was 19th of November 1941, when in the open ocean near Carnarvon, W.A. that the Sydney spotted an unidentified merchant vessel and closed on the vessel requesting identification. The ship was the HSK Kormoran, a disguised German raider, which eventually opened fire and a battle ensued from which neither ship survived.

I can remember the controversy that surrounded the Sydney, mainly because she had superior fire power, so how and why did the Sydney sink without a trace?
The Sydney's loss with all hands compared to the survival of most of the German crew fuelled the controversy, with some alleging that the German commander lured the Sydney into range. Lack of information and wartime censorship on radio broadcasts and the loss of the Sydney not being confirmed by the Prime Minister until 1 December 1941 didn't help matters .

Exactly how and why the Sydney went down with no survivors has remained a mystery.
Most of what is known to date of the battle and the Sydney's last moments was reconstructed from interrogations of the 317 Kormoran survivors, and many questions are still unanswered:

It wasn't until 16 March 2008 the wreck of the Sydney II was found. This brought relief and closure for many families, as well as the Australian Government. The discovery was made by the "Finding Sydney Foundation," which had also found the wreck of the German Raider HSK Kormoran four days earlier. The wrecks rest some 2700 metres down.

The Sydney tragedy is Australia’s largest loss of life in a naval battle.


HMAS Sydney II Memorial

On reaching the top, there is a domed structure that forms a sanctuary, this is known as the "Dome of Souls."

The Dome came about because of a true incident. In 1998. A large group of people were standing at the site waiting for the dedication of the Memorial to take place, when a large flock of Seagulls flew over as the sun was setting and the Last Post was being played. This inspired the creator of the Dome, to make a filigree of stainless steel in open weave and to include 645 Seagulls, the same number as Sailors lost at sea.
Birds are symbolic as spirits of the dead, soul freed from the body, ascent into heaven and the ability to communicate with God. They depict celestial realm and powers and oppose evil. They are symbolic of the souls of the departed, serene, of spirits flying free, so what an excellent choice for the Dome. The souls of the dead Sailors were believed to be embodied in the Sea gulls.


HMAS Sydney II Memorial

I loved the Dome, I felt peaceful, my eyes drawn to the many silver Seagulls where the light filtered between each. On a sunny day with a bright blue sky, I thought how clever it was to come up with this idea.
I didn't see it at night, but read it is lit and becomes a Dome of Gold.

The Podium is the area underneath the Dome of Souls. Once again, this has been well thought out!
As the Sailors came from all over Australia, the Podium has been composed of cut stone from all the 7 States and Territories of Australia. The design is based on the nautical compass and incorporates symbolic elements based on the Sea gull and Stele motifs.


HMAS Sydney II Memorial

On a sunny day, filtered light was flowing through and shadows of Sea Gulls were showing on the floor. These shadows are meant to represent a sense of movement, either of clouds or the flight of the Gull.

An inscription set into the black granite reads...

In the centre is a propeller set in bronze which is used as an Altar. It is here, wreaths are laid during ceremonial occasions. Above the Altar is the Eternal Flame which was lit in King's Park, Perth and then brought to here. Beautiful!


HMAS Sydney II Memorial

The Wall of Remembrance is the sad part, the black granite semi-circular wall made out of Western Australian black granite, which bears the names, rank and home base of the 645 men who lost their lives. Their life was cut short when they were so young.

The idea of the semi- circular wall, is for it to represent the "encircling arms of a Nation," welcoming home its lost loved ones. It is so large that is has been split in two, allowing a walkway between the two.

Composite images from actual photos have been photo engraved into the black granite. There is one of Sydney II in action and every day scenes of life aboard the ship, including a group photo of the full Ship's company. Other panels gave a detailed history of the Sydney II.
On the wall in another section is a description of every element that I saw at the Memorial.

Lastly, on the final panel are the words. "THE REST IS SILENCE" engraved into the stone.


HMAS Sydney II Memorial

THE STELE - Wow! This WAS impressive! I really liked it!

The striking shape is the prow of HMAS Sydney II. Its function is a towering symbolic grave marker, built to be imposing and one that can be seen for many miles in many directions. The mast can carry flags and insignia for the Memorial. Water depth markers based upon the actual Sydney II are set into the Prow.


HMAS Sydney II Memorial


This poignant sculpture brought back memories of how I felt when my son went away with the Australian Army as one of the first Peace Keepers in East Timor. You never know what will happen, if you will ever see them again, it is hard!

This bronze sculpture is very well done and looks quite real. I could nearly feel what she was thinking and wondering, the look on her face was tense, her gaze on the horizon.
Here she was, standing near the edge with the wind blowing her dress, her hand on her hat whilst looking over Geraldton and out to sea.
Who was she? Was she a mother waiting for her son to come home or perhaps her husband, maybe it was her father or perhaps a brother, perhaps a girlfriend of one of the Sailors, it could have been any of them.
She stands there, knowing the Ship has sunk way back in 1941, but she wants the Ship to be found, to have closure, to end the grieving process just as everybody else does to end this tragic chapter in Australian history.

Now, the Waiting Woman waits no more, instead she watches over her loved ones who are now at rest.


HMAS Sydney II Memorial

The Waiting Woman portrays well the hopelessness, the never ending waiting, the pain of loss and emptiness of the many long years before the wreck of HMAS Sydney II was found.

The Pool of Remembrance was being cleaned the day I was here.
This is the final part of the Memorial, as it was only made when the wreck of HMAS Sydney II was found.
It is designed as a circle within a circle, symbolizing the "circle of life and death," and the concept of eternity and the Infinite. It is designed to be an area where people like you and me can come and sit, reflect and contemplate.


HMAS Sydney II Memorial

The idea of this shallow pool, is to symbolize the ship resting on the sea floor in 2500 metres of deep water, the war grave of HMAS Sydney II. The floor of the pool forms a map showing the location of HMAS Sydney II. Still following the inspiration of the Sea Gulls used in earlier parts of the Memorial, engraved are images of 644 silver Gull shadows enclosing the pool and the ship. No 645 Gull stands 2 metres high and alone on the co-ordinates of the wreck site in the centre of the pool. At night, LED lighting is used to create a sombre feeling.



There are some interesting old buildings around Geraldton and heritage trail to follow.
I came across the Freemason's Hotel, built in the early 1870s in grandiose style on a block of land that cost £9 at the time, quite a lot more than the original sale, reportedly exchanged for a bottle of rum. When people arrived at the Geraldton train station, this was the first Hotel they saw, quite an advantage for the owners of the Hotel. Originally it had a tower where visitors could go and enjoy lovely views over the bay, this was removed through severe earthquake damage in 1973.



Located in the Geraldton suburb of Bluff Point is the historic St. George's Anglican Church. My first view of this Church drew me too it, perhaps because it was modelled along the lines of an old English Church and exuded a feeling of loveliness. It really isn't 'that" old, as the foundation stone was laid in 1935, and the Church was consecrated the same year. The church is built out of stone, in-fact a piece of stone on the porch wall was formerly part of a cornice on St. Georges Church in Brede, England. It is said to have come from France and is approx. 1000 years old! The Bell in the Tower was made in England.


St. George's Anglican Church

A few steps away from St. George's Church and on the Heritage Walking trail is the Lighthouse Keeper's Cottage.

Unfortunately the cottage was closed, never mind, I was able to wander around the outside and read some of the information plaques.
This rather interesting cottage was built in 1876 for the Geraldton lighthouse keeper and his family. The limestone rubble walls have been white-washed, and the roof is now corrugated iron and not shingles like when it was originally built. Out the back was a garden and the outdoor Toilet. It ceased operating as the lighthouse keeper's cottage in 1943 and is now in the hands of the Geraldton Historical Society.


Also on the Heritage Walking trail is Apex Park, the site of one of Geraldton's first cemeteries which was attached to Francis Xavier Church. All cleaned up and tastefully restored, it was here I found the headstones of Geraldton's earlier residents who died during the late 1800s and early 1900s and of some events like an outbreak of typhoid fever in the Goldfields.
The Centenary of Federation Memorial Wall has attached to it many old headstones. If you like old cemeteries and I do, then do go for a walk around here and read the old headstones. So sad the number of deaths of infants maybe 1 year old or younger.

We enjoyed Geraldton, our only complaint was the strong wind which the city frequently experiences.

Posted by balhannahrise 04:18 Archived in Australia Tagged beaches buildings birds museums australia - western memorials geraldton Comments (6)

Day 28 Queensland to Western Australia

Kalbarri National Park to Chapman Valley near Geraldton

Time to pack up and start heading to Perth, but I wasn't in any hurry to leave this lovely spot.


Pelican feeding

I had spotted a notice that Pelican feeding takes place daily at 8.45am and is run by volunteers who feed the Pelicans fish. All you have to do is wait near that sign for the wild Pelicans to waddle up from the water to be fed. A small crowd of people had gathered, unfortunately the Pelican group was small too, only five! A couple were rather nervous and flew back to the water, later they plucked up courage to come closer again. If you have never seen an Australian Pelican up close, then this is a great chance to see one, and there are plenty of photo opportunities. For me, it was disappointing that more Pelicans hadn't zoomed in on the free feeding like they have done elsewhere in Australia.



I decided to take one last stroll along the esplanade. Feeling lazy, I dawdled along taking in the pretty scene, the deserted picnic area, a fisherman and a couple kayaking. So quiet now, later it would be a lot busier, but still not too busy as many people go to the Kalbarri National Park.
The Esplanade parklands is such a nice area to sit back with a book, do some reading and to watch life go by. No wonder this is a popular winter time destination. The weather is warm and perfect then!

Caravan packed and hooked up, we were going to head south to Perth, but along the way would be making many stops.


Murchison river entrance

Our day began in Kalbarri, at Chinaman's Rock Look-out from where we had views of the Murchison River mouth entering the Indian Ocean. The Murchison River flows for 820kms, making it the second longest river in Western Australia. At the free car park, trails led to view points, Chinaman's Beach and to Chinaman's Rock, other trails led to sheltered picnic areas. We sat here for quite a while watching the waves and looking for Dolphins, no luck with the Dolphins, then I went for a walk along the trail, not right to Chinaman's Rock look-out as I was feeling tired after a day of walking in the heat, but I did walk far enough to see and enjoy watching the rolling surf hitting the sandbar at the River entrance.


Kalbarri coastline

Back on the road again, this time leave Kalbarri and follow the coastal road (Red Bluff Road), noticing tourist signs along the way. We begin at the first and follow everyone we see.

The first tourist sign is to Blue Holes, an area which is part of the inshore coastal limestone reef system, parts are permanently submerged by the ocean and others are exposed and have rock pools at low tide - I love exploring these. This area is a fish sanctuary, so fishing wasn't allowed, this meant an abundance of sea creatures.

Jake's Point was our next stop. It turned out Jake's Point beach was a national Surfing Reserve. As I am not a surfer, all I can tell you is what I read ....." Jake's Point is home to the iconic left-hander. Jakes breaks from two foot and up are best ridden by experienced surfers only."
Lots of the locals are surfers and people come here as it is one of Western Australia's remotest surfing breaks. Bottlenose dolphins are frequently seen playing in the water, once again, I didn't see any!


Red Bluff

A little further along Red Bluff road was the turn-off to Red Bluff Beach. A short drive and we were at the carpark, and once again in Kalbarri National Park. Red Bluff beach is located in a small cove, with brilliant deep red rocks and cliffs surrounding it, the flat rocks in the ocean are the same colour, stunning scenery!
Above the beach is the actual "Red Bluff" which you can walk to from the beach, be warned, it is a steep and rocky climb of 1.8km return. I took the easy way and drove to the Bluff.


Red Bluff Look-out

From the Red Bluff parking area I walked to Red Bluff Look-out. At the start of the paved footpath was an interpretive board with a map, details about Red Bluff and how to be safe, as these high cliffs have undercut edges and can be unstable, so you must keep to the track and always watch your children, its a long way to the bottom!


Kalbarri coastline

Halfway along was more interpretive signage and an amazing view of the high cliffs along the coastline - What a dramatic coastline, no wonder there were so many shipwrecks!


Kalbarri coastline

The red rock landscape of Red Bluff is something I cannot get enough of, the colour is amazing and even more amazing is its been around for 400 million years. These cliffs were discovered by Dutch Explorer, "Willem de Vlamingh" in 1697 and run along the coastline of the Kalbarri National park for 13 km. The Dutch named it "Roode Hooge." when translated meant "red high" an important landmark for early Explorers to use as their guide.


Kalbarri coastline

From the look-out I could see for miles, including many of the beaches we had called into on our way here. Looking to the north was Wittecarra Creek believed to be the site of the first "permanent" landing of Europeans in Australia. The 100metre high cliffs would make it easy to spot a Humpback Whale in the ocean below.



Even though the top of the cliffs have a harsh sandstone & limestone surface, 71 native plants have been found. That was a lot, so I walked slowly and looked carefully for flowers but didn't find many, one of the prettiest was a Thryptomene in flower.


Next, we pulled into the Mushroom Rock Trail car-park where an Interpretive sign told me it was 1.5km trail or 3km loop that would take me to Rainbow Valley, approx. 2hours to do. The Australian classification for this trail was a Class 4 which means it is one of the more difficult to do. My husband left me here and went to the other end to pick me up - That made life easy!


Mushroom rock trail

Beginning from the car-park was the easy part, walking along a dirt track and in amongst some different wildflowers, all I had to look for were the white posts, really didn't need them as here I was on a well worn pathway. It was different when I reached the rocky gorge where I had to walk along the rocks, cross the gorge and do the same on the other side, eventually clambering to the top and out of the gorge. This is where I saw Mushroom rock, a rock so windswept it looks like a Mushroom. I saw plenty of unusual rock creations formed by the strong winds and water erosion around here.


Mushroom Rock

I sat there for a while watching the crashing waves making their way onto the brilliant dark red rocks, I felt like I was in the middle of nowhere, it was lovely. If you come here, and your fit, do this walk as it's an excellent one!


Rainbow Valley

I continued along the trail from Mushroom rock to Rainbow Valley and was blown away by what I saw!


Rainbow Valley

What attracted me first, was the colours of minerals that had compacted and weathered to make a rainbow formation in the stone, although this apparently isn't why it's named Rainbow Valley, it's the Rainbows seen in the mist is where the name comes from.
I marveled at the amazing colours in Rainbow Valley, lucky there was an information board nearby to give me some information.


Rainbow Valley

The formations along this part of the coast are made of Tumblagooda Sandstone, deposited here approx. 420 million years ago during the Silurian period when the Earth underwent considerable changes. As a result, layers of silt, sand and minerals have compacted and formed layer upon layer of different colours. It is an amazing sight to see, one I had only previously seen at Natures Window in the Kalbarri National Park


Rainbow Valley

I went closer for a look and felt wet sand beneath my feet. Wondering where the water came from as I was quite a distance from the sea, I looked up to find a rocky overhang where water was dripping over making what looked like small Stalactites forming. I guess there is a proper name for these, but this is best I can do for description.


Rainbow Valley

They were wet and dripping just like Stalactites in Caves, and on the ground where the drip landed, a small formation like a Stalagmite was beginning to form. This and the colours were amazing!
This would be one of the most beautiful and different natural sites I have ever seen.


Rainbow Valley

What is the good news, is you don't have to do the whole walk like I did to see this, you can come here from the car park at this end. Don't be discouraged and think nothing is there, as you have to walk down the steps to see the coloured cliffs. Once there you will be blown away with what you see. My photos are ok, but they are nothing compared to seeing this area "in the flesh" so to speak.


Rainbow Valley

Would you believe there is still more to see in Rainbow Valley and this was something I have never seen elsewhere either.

Have you heard of a Skolithos? Well I hadn't! The rocks in Rainbow valley are riddled with what looks like tubes or straws, once the home of the ancient worm Skolithos. They are everywhere and are in all different shapes and sizes, colours, another interesting amazing formation .

Eagle Gorge

Still travelling along Red Bluff Road in the Kalbarri National Park, I notice a name change to George Grey Drive. It's on this section of road, where we take another turn off towards the ocean to see Eagle Gorge where wedge-tailed eagles live in the gorge and can often be seen in nests and soaring in the sky on a look-out for food.
From the proper look- out platform, I looked down onto a small beach and at the beautiful coloured rugged cliffs. The beach can be reached by foot, I didn't do this though.

Natural Bridge is a 1.4kms return walk along a proper boardwalk to a viewing platform look-out area from where there a fantastic views. This is one of many Natural Bridge's around Australia and the world.

Natural Bridge

Here the forces of the ocean, the wind, waves and even salt spray has sculptured these landforms into a Sea-Stack and a Natural Bridge. The cliffs aren't the usual red I had been seeing, instead the beige/cream Tumblagooda coloured sandstone that is 480 million years old. Different colours of sand and silt has formed layers in different colours, then has compacted. The tops of the cliffs are a made of 2 million old white rock made from Tamala limestone. This was made from wind blown sand dunes which later converted to limestone. All of this information I found on interpretive signage at the site


Castle cove was another 300metre return walk to where there is another proper lookout over Island Rock. It was lovely here, especially seeing it was very quiet and hardly a tourist here.
Between June - November, this is one of the good places to look for some of the 22,000 Hump-back Whales that pass by here.

The Shellhouse and Grandstand are more impressive limestone cliff formations that have been shaped by the wind and the force of the Indian Ocean. It's a short easy 200m walk to each lookout to view them.
I didn't do this, but if you have plenty of time, this area is part of the 8km Birgurda trail we begins or ends at Castle Cove and Eagle Gorge, passing by Island Rock, Grandstand and Shellhouse. The trail is named after the Bigurda kangaroo, one I have never seen, and still never did! It's only found in this region.


Kalbarri coastline

Wow! The scenery around Kalbarri is some of the best I have seen in Australia.

We have decided to make our next stop at the "Principality of Hutt River" also known as "Hutt River Province."
The Principality of Hutt River at Ogilvie Road West, Yallabatharra was founded in 1970 by Leonard Casley and his family, or should I say "Prince Leonard and his late wife "Princess Shirley."
Hutt River Province is a Mirco nation which is not recognized, even though the principality claims to be become an independent sovereign state in 1970, it remains unrecognised by Australia and other nations.
You can buy a visa and have your passport stamped by Prince Leonard, both for entry and exit at the same time. We didn't have passports with us, he said he would still let us in!
There isn't a lot to see here and it had gone into disrepair, just too much for Prince Leonard to look after.


Prince Leonard

We met Prince Leonard who told us his story, I was surprised to learn he was a former mathematician and physicist who worked for NASA in the 1950s, and had a star named in his honour.

The Principality of Hutt River has its own stamps, bank notes and coins. There are many postage stamps on display, most of these can be bought unless they are sold out. I bought some for myself, and posted a letter home from here.
If your a stamp or coin collector, then don't miss the Post Office! There is plenty to choose from and it is something different to take home as a souvenir.

The Chapel of Nain in Hutt River Province was officially blessed by the Rector of the Northampton Anglican Church on 29 August 1973.
We were allowed inside and found normal Church pews, religious paintings and many paintings of the Prince. His large chair was their for anybody to sit in and make out they were knighting somebody!


In Chapel of Nain

As Prince Leonard produces all his power on the farm, we found the lighting quite dull and learnt their are often black-outs because of lack of power.


Back in the car and heading back to Geraldton, instead we stopped at a free camp outside of Geraldton in the Chapman Valley, a good spot in a rural area with a few facilities, so we left a donation as asked for by the local council.


Posted by balhannahrise 12:59 Archived in Australia Tagged landscapes beaches birds park walking australia sunsets national scenic western wildflowers Comments (0)

Day 29 - Queensland to Western Australia

Chapman Valley - Greenough - Walkaway - Ellendale Pool

Even though we had a good nights sleep at our campsite, it was time to move on again.
The Chapman Valley is a rich sheep farming and crop growing area, we saw both. The fields were full of bright yellow Canola as far as the eye could see.



We didn't stop at Geraldton on our return visit, instead we passed it by on our way to Greenough, a historic settlement located 25kms south of Geraldton.
I had picked up the free Greenough/Walkaway Heritage trail," a 57km car trail to follow that took us to the settlement of Greenough and around the back roads where over 30 sites were marked to see.

We began following the trail from Greenough Pioneer Museum on Phillips Road off Brand Highway, then looked for the signs bearing the Heritage Trails Network symbol.


The Museum was once known as Home Cottage when built by convicts from Port Gregory in 1862. It was John Maley, his wife and family of 14 children who lived in the homestead between 1862 and 1880. His wife was the daughter of the first German migrants who came and settled in Western Australia, in fact, this area is where all the first migrants came and settled in Western Australia.

A cottage garden and a large old Pepper tree were in the front garden of the 11 room homestead. The Pepper tree is not an Australian native, it comes from an arid zone in South America. Pepper trees were obviously brought to Australia by the early settlers who settled in the eastern states of Australia in the 1870s. This Pepper tree was brought here 1876 by Baron Von Muelier who was a friend of John Maley. It's thought this may possibly be the 1st Pepper tree in Western Australia.

Home Cottage

We entered through the front door to where some volunteers were working, they were happy to have a chat to us and about the history of the house before setting us in the right direction with a fact sheet of what we would see.
This house has many original furnishings, musical instruments, clothing, toys, hand made lace work and the every day items used in running the homestead. Outside are sheds where farm machinery and other old pieces are on display and we could go down the cellar.
It was interesting what I saw, but in my opinion, nowhere near as interesting as many I have seen. At least it wasn't expensive, so for what we paid it was worth it!


Maley's Mill was a big old stone building built between 1860 - 1863 and used as a flour mill and general store. When this was first established, there were many other buildings near this mill, all of those have long gone. The Mill operated until 1891, now it is used as a shearing shed. The Olive trees that were planted over 100 years ago are still alive and doing well. It wasn't open to the public.


All along this coast experiences a lot of wind, but just how much wind?
We passed by trees that were blown over badly by the super strong and salty southerly winds that come in off the Indian Ocean and burn off the growth on the windward side and cause the tree trunks to grow horizontal to the ground. It was an amazing sight!

At last we were at the Greenough historical village where the buildings are the remains of the once thriving village of Greenough, which in the 1860's had a population of 1,000 people.

Those early settlers had a hard life. Natural disasters, floods, heavy rains, hail storms and drought led to many crop failures resulting in the settlers finding it hard to pay their lease rent. If that wasn't bad enough, a cyclone passed through causing enormous damage to homes and crops. Many farmers deserted Greenough to try their luck in the newly discovered goldfields of Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie.
In the 1900's, the few farmers that remained here began producing chaff for feed. By the 1930's all the mills had closed and the town eventually fell into ruins nearly becoming a ghost town.

Now all that remains is the few buildings in the historical village and some other deserted stone buildings along the country roads in Greenough.

Paying our entrance fee at the Greenough Cafe & Visitor Centre, we began our walk through the village of 11 stone buildings, each can be looked through, each has some original furniture.

Buildings in the village were St. Peters Catholic Church and some old convent buildings and the Presbytery built in 1900 for the local catholic priest who lived here for 30 years. Monsignor John Hawes, whose Churches I had been seeing was the architect.


The Police Station and Gaol would be the largest building left standing in the Greenough Historic settlement.


This white limestone building once housed the court house, constructed in 1867, the police station and gaol built in 1870 and the Telegraph & Post office built in 1873. Lucky the building was huge as it was used as a place to stay by the visiting Doctor, the School teacher, the Police Sergeant and the Magistrates. It had a kitchen where meals were prepared for the Prisoners. I found their cell blocks and read with interest, whites and blacks were kept apart. Four cells were for the "white" prisoners, either one or two people to a cell, and the Aboriginals were put in the larger 5th cell where they were chained to an iron bar. A small enclosed yard was where the prisoners exercised.


Out the back I found quite a large area where the horses would have been stabled and an old well and some Tamarisk trees. The high stone wall surrounded the whole house and the stables. This building was used for quite a number of years as Government offices.


Goodwin's Cottage
There were a few old cottages, one of them was "Goodwins" cottage. a four roomed stone building with a front verandah built by the Catholic church as a home for retired Policeman, "Ned Goodwin." He and his wife lived here until Ned died in 1912, then the Church took over the building again and converted it to a school where the Presentation Nuns schooled the children.


Hackett's Cottage

Another Cottage is known as "Hackett's" cottage. This cottage dates to 1888 and has been extended several times. There was once an adjoining store which Ned ran, this has long since gone. Ned was a very busy man, as not only was he running the store, but he was the community Undertaker, Carpenter, Blacksmith and Cobbler, he sure could multi-task!

There are some other cottages, all which you are able to enter and have a look around. Some have more furniture than others, all have a sign beside each with the history on each home.


Maley's Bridge was built by John Maley whose cottage we had previously visited. Built in 1864, it supports were made from the local limestone by "ticket of leave convicts." These were convicts who were allowed out to do work like this as their behaviour was good in prison. The bridge was being repaired when I was there.
Near the bridge, was a stone barn, also thought to be built by "ticket of leave convict labour" around the same time. This building has been used since then for horse stables and as a shearing shed. As with all the properties in this area and on the heritage trail, they are all classified by the National trust.

Another church on the trail was Wesley chapel, built in 1867 by "ticket of leave convict labour." Near the Chapel was Gray's Store, located on a cross -road, I imagine this was a pretty busy intersection in the 1800's when horse and drays plied the roads with settlers coming here for their supplies. The heritage listed store was another constructed by "ticket of leave Convict labour," and another that has stood the test of time.


Hampton Arms Inn

The Hampton Arms Inn is a two-storey stone and iron building with single-storey wings each side of the main section and a stone stable block. As it's an excellent example of the Victorian Regency style, it's listed on the National Trust heritage register. The Hotel was named after John Hampton, the Governor at that time.

It is one of a few buildings from the village of Hampton which has survived. The village was established in 1862 and the Hotel opened in 1863. It was the district's first hotel, so of course it was very popular, somewhere for a Beer after a hard days work, a chance for the ladies to dress up to attend a social gathering or Ball being held here, and place where important meetings were held. Fun in those days was very different to today!
In 1868, a ploughing match was held adjacent to the hotel and for several decades it was a centre of social life. The 1870s, and this area experienced a series of droughts, floods and fires causing a decline in patronage at the Hampton Arms Inn.
The Hotel closed in the 1890s and was used as a farmhouse until it was bought in 1978 by Judy and Brian Turnock, who over 16 years have been restoring it. A restaurant was opened and the ballroom completed and now you can come to this Pub and enjoy a meal, a beer or wine, afternoon or morning tea and even stay the night in their accommodation.


Around here, the paddocks were growing something we hadn't seen before. On having a closer look, I found they were Lupins, the first I have seen growing this way instead of in a cottage garden., I have grown them in my garden and I have seen them growing wild in Europe and the U.S.A, but I had never seen them being cultivated!
Evidently, Lupins grow extremely well in the sandy Western Australian soils, in fact so well, that Western Australia produces about 80% of world production and is the world’s leading lupin producer.
The Lupin is part of the legume family that includes soy beans, peas and lentils etc. Lupins are the world’s richest natural source of protein (40%) and fibre (37%). The Lupin has a lot of wonderful benefits including being cholesterol free and are a great alternative for people with Coeliac disease or following a gluten-free diet

Clinch's Mill was on the route, another on private property that we could only view from the road. When this Mill was first built in 1858, it was only a single storey building built from local sandstone. Originally the Mill was owned by Edward Whitfield who in 1869, sold it to Thomas Clinch, who quickly went about renovating the Mill, eventually making it a massive three stories high. He added rooms and then built a home for himself and cottages nearby for his workmen. He then began producing flour using a horse driven mill stone.


Still following the heritage trail, we came to the small town of Walkaway where a big wind turbine was beside the road for people to view. Having seen these windfarms in the distance, it was a great opportunity to see just how large the blades are.

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The nearby wind farm provides clean energy from 54 of the worlds largest wind turbines, each are 80 metres high and each have three blades stretching 41 metres. When running at full capacity, the Alinta Wind Farm can generate 90 megawatts of electricity which is enough to supply about 60,000 homes. Internal computers monitor the wind's direction and speed. The electricity is produced and fed directly into Western Australia's electricity grid.

Ellendale Pool

Near the end of the day we had reached the Ellendale Pool, our final destination on the Heritage trail.
Ellendale Pool is a stunning naturally formed water hole in the Greenough River about 45km south of Geraldton on Ellendale Road, via Walkaway.

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On one side is the day use area & Campground set amidst gum trees, and on the other side is a sheer cliff made up of beautiful colours. The cliff changed colour through-out the day, it was especially beautiful for a few seconds at sunset.

I was lucky to be quick enough to catch the sunset, what a beauty it was!

I went walking and found some orchids and heard and saw lots of small birds that love hiding in the fairly dense bush, plus some Parrots feed on the grass seeds.
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At Ellendale Pool is a lovely rusty cut-out of Bimarra the Serpent, who created the Greenough River and came to live in Ellendale pool. This is one of the connections the Aboriginal people have with Ellendale pool, a place they think is a lovely as the surrounding countryside. They would come to Ellendale Pool and camp for a month as food was in abundance here and easy to catch. They caught freshwater Perch, Eels and Mussels in the pool, plus Echidna , Kangaroos and lizards on the land. It was here they sat around the fire and told their dreamtime stories that kept their culture alive.


Stories about the Serpent is one of their dreamtime stories that you will find in their paintings all around Australia. The story goes- Bimarra was born from a large rock in the Greenough River and was supposed to live in a big cave in the cliff face, but hasn't been seen for a long time. If you hear a splash, you will know it is Bimarra telling you he is still here!
The Aboriginals come here these days and throw sand into the water as a sign of respect and to let Bimarra know they are still there.

It was such a nice campsite that we decided to stay the night.


Toilet and barbecue facilities, picnic benches, rubbish bins, fire-places and cold showers are all available for a mere $5.00 per night per site and it's limited to three day stay. An honesty box has been provided, so we were more than happy to put our $5 in the envelope provided and into the box. You would be a pretty mean person if you didn't do this!

Posted by balhannahrise 21:13 Archived in Australia Tagged animals birds walking australia village sunsets heritage scenic western drive historic area Comments (0)

Day 30 Queensland to Western Australia

Ellendale Pool to Mingenew

Today was one of our lazy days as we knew we weren't travelling far.
We had a good night's sleep at Ellendale pool, so I was up and on my pushbike cycling alongside the Greenough river. It was so peaceful in the morning, just the twitter of birds breaking the silence and the smell of campfires and cooked breakfast.

Beside Greenough River


Australian Ring Necked Parrot

When I returned to camp, I went walking amongst the shrubs trying to find some more orchids and the smaller birds that frequent this area. I did find some of both and a Ring Necked Parrot too. This took me to the upper part of the campground where our friends were camping, so I stopped for a chat and said good-bye to them. It was late morning by then, so I did my part of packing up the caravan and we were soon on our way to Coalseam Conservation Park.

As it happened, we were on the wrong road, the one we were on was the Depot Hill road to Mingenew. Oh well, we decided we would stay at Mingenew tonight and drive the 12kms back to Coalseam tomorrow.

It was along Depot Hill road where we saw the Brown tourist sign for Depot Hill. Lucky there was plenty of room to pull off the road with our car and caravan.
At the parking area there is an interpretive board that tells of the Gregory Brothers finding this place in 1846 and burying their supplies here. Depot hill was used by explorers and coal prospectors and was an important stock grazing area as it had year round water from the Irwin river.

During World War 2, it became an important Army Firing Range, now there is a 1.5 km return trail for the public to walk to the old historic Firing Range. It is a fairly easy walk, you may see mounds used for exercises before reaching the firing range. Local residents tell of seeing Tanks embedded in the earth on Depot Hill! There were plenty of armoured vehicles here and this was the location where extensive training exercises took place between 1942 - 1944.

Before I walked the trail, I took a look at the rusty steel cut-out and read the board about what went on here.


The heading read....

"Come on - look smart you fellows! Gerry's not going to give you all day to get a bead on him. And keep your damn silly head's down or you'll get hem shot off...
By crikey - I knew they were sending me a raw bunch but I imagined you might have known how to reload by now! Take that long in a scrap and you'll be in real strife."

The cut-out shows the Sergeant bellowing out these orders to his young Soldiers. Usually the Officers were older men who may have served during WWI. They pushed the young Soldiers hard and demanded discipline, finally turning them into excellent Soldiers.

It was time for the walk, only 30mins to the old firing range.


Everlasting Daisies

This area was covered in 1000's of Pink Everlasting Daisies, what a picture they made! Along the trail were quite a few garden seats, these were appreciated on a warm day. I was extremely happy to find my first Cats Paw here, a brightly coloured dwarf Kangaroo Paw.

Dwarf Kangaroo Paws

There was more to see, like the stunning blue Dampiera, some Cowslip orchids, pretty Thryptomene and others I need to identify some-time in the future. The floral emblem of Mingenew is the Bird Beak Hakea which grows wild here along with many species of Orchids.


On arrival at the Mingenew Spring council operated Caravan Park, we found nobody at the office, so we chose our own site as we were told to do by the notice on the door.
We were happy there were plenty of gum trees for shade and nice green lawns as the weather was quite warm, even though it was August and Winter. The caravan park is located next to the original Mingenew Spring which is now dry.
The Park was smallish, clean and tidy with 35 powered bitumen sites and non-powered caravan & camping sites. If you haven't your own accommodation, there are en-suite self contained units, semi-self contained rooms, a double cabin with en-suite and on-site caravans. and several self contained units.
There is a camp kitchen, BBQ area, small Laundry with 2 washing machines and one Dryer, costing $4 for a wash in 2014. There were a couple of outdoor clothes-lines. There are amenities for disabled people. The Showers and Toilets were clean, but the shower area and drying area was so small, I couldn't dry myself in there, not good! A large person would find this small space extremely difficult. I had to have the hot water on full to be able to have hot water!
The park did advertise meals which would have been nice only I think the days were Friday, Saturday & Sunday nights only.
If the shower block was upgraded, then this would be a really good park, as it is, even though everything else was good, because of the showers I


Murals at Mingenew

The area where Mingenew is situated was first explored in 1847 by brothers Augustus and Thomas Gregory when they were looking for some good grazing land for their cattle. Settlement was in the 1850's then the Midland Railway opened in 1891. It took until 1906 before Mingenew became a town.

Mingenew was named after Mingenew Spring, an Aboriginal word meaning either Minganu "the place of many ants" or Mininoo "the place of many waters, today it's known for sheep farming and growing of wheat and lupins. As Mingenew is known as "The Grain Centre," I wasn't at all surprised to find prominent features of wheat around the town. The Mingenew Co-operative Bulk Handling is the largest inland grower receival site facility in the Southern Hemisphere, with a holding capacity of 403,000 tons.


Tourist Information Centre

We went for a drive around town, first beginning at the Tourist Information centre located in the historic old Post Office building & residence built in 1894. As this centre is run by volunteers, it is only open limited hours, and some days it is shut. I was lucky to find it open and to have a chat with the friendly local lady who was only too happy to fill me on where the wildflowers were and to give me a map. This isn't a large centre, but it still has all the info you need for exploring Mingenew and area. There was a small section of souvenirs and arts and crafts and jams the local people had made. I even picked up some free magazines from here that local people had donated for giving away to tourists.

Wheat sculpture ( Big Ears)


A short walk from the centre was the giant wheat stalk in Cecil Newton park, no prizes for guessing what the locals call it "Big Ears!"

Our next stop was at " Drover's Rest" located at the base of the hill that is the town look-out.


This area is known as Drover's Rest, as it was here the Drovers stopped with there stock to give them a well earned drink from the water troughs. The water was piped from Mingenew spring to here. A Rain-water tank at the rest stop has a good collection of old work boots strung around it, looks like anybody can add a boot if they wanted. A few pieces of old farm machinery and a cut-out cow made from corrugated iron are at the site, as well as a Picnic shelter and picnic bench. There is plenty of room to pull up with a car and caravan. You can walk a track to the top of the hill, or drive your car which is what we did.

Mingenew hill was discovered by the Gregory Brothers in 1846 who described it "as a remarkable ironstone Hill." In 1901, it was made into a reserve.

View from Mingenew Hill

Even though Mingenew hill isn't that high, it's high enough for good views over the surrounding plains where fields of wheat were growing. We could see the road we came into town quite easily and also the town and some industries. Some yellow Everlasting daisies were flowering, evidently it gets quite pretty when they are all out! Quite good for viewing the countryside!


Old Railway station.

The old Railway Station, built to service the new Midland Railway line that opened to rail traffic in 1894, was an important station and the main depot on the line for the Midland Railway. The Railway Station and residence were built of stone, had a iron roof with a breeze-way between the buildings. Barracks, Station master's house, small signals shed, goods shed, timber yards and trucking yards were all built. The 'Goods shed" was where the engine could be parked for maintenance by the team of men from Walkaway. Many of these buildings have been demolished.
Since 1975, when the last passenger train went through, the building has been leased to the Shire and the Arts Council and now is used by the Mingenew Art & Craft group.

As with many of these small country towns, they are trying to attract the tourist $'s by making the town more attractive. I think they are doing quite a good job.

I read Mingenew had 5 murals, all part of the "Painted Road" trail. The "Painted Road” trail is a series of murals along Midlands Road, I missed a couple but saw some extras, so I think there may be more than five. The idea of the Murals is to capture part of the local scenery & history.

The first one I saw was "The Droving Scene," which takes you back to the early 1900's. It shows a Drover taking his herd of Longhorn cattle to the Lockier River for a drink, another was the Centenary mural painted by local school children & members of the community. A good one on the wall of the machinery shed in the Museum, is " Hope’s Wheelwrights Shop Mural." Samuel Hope & Sons operated a wheelwright & blacksmiths shop near the Mingenew Spring. They were such excellent wheelwrights, that teamsters always came back to them for wagon repairs. The Westrail bus shelter in the Main street has local scenes of wildflowers, gum trees & windmills, but the one I liked the bestl was "the Emus" painted on the Toilet wall at the Tennis club.

There is a story about the mural that goes something like this.....

Long ago, there were a lot of Emu's that frequented the Tennis courts in Mingenew, enjoying a game of tennis on the lush green grass. No tennis racquets, not a problem as they used mallee sticks as tennis racquets. The Emu's haven't been seen for ages, but ghostly forms have been seen where the Tennis club now stands.

It was decided to paint this fun mural in honour of those Emus! Now they stand guard forever and oversee the goings on at the Tennis courts.

The Emus


Located at the western and eastern ends of Mingenew, the local Shire has erected banner display paintings which represents many of the important events and landscapes seen in and around Mingenew. They include landscapes of wildflower scenes, sporting events such as the Races & Polocrosse Carnival, Expo, historic churches and the Universal Space Network which gives access to children all around the world to space programs.

I just had to stop and take some photos of these, at the same idea thinking this was a go-ahead town!

That completed another good day of touring.

It was time to settle down and make plans for our stay at the Coalseam National Park tomorrow.

Posted by balhannahrise 21:14 Archived in Australia Tagged birds walking australia murals western trails wildflowers Comments (0)

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