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Day 2 Queensland to Western Australia

Whalan Creek to Brewarrina

We woke to a fine and sunny day after a good nights sleep at our Whalan Creek free camp.

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Time to hit the road again and travel 100kms across the Moree plains to the Spa town of Moree. This area has some of the world's richest black alluvial soils where sunflowers, safflowers, canola, mungbeans, olives, oats, barley, sorghum, wheat and cotton is grown. July, and the farmers in their huge tractors were busy ploughing the paddocks ready for the next crop.

Wheat is usually sown in late May or June, then harvested from November through to December. The wheat is then delivered by truck to local grain terminals for transportation to various mills for domestic use or seaports if being exported.
The Moree plains is the largest cotton producing region in Australia. Cotton season was over, but still balls of cotton lined the roadside. To see Cotton growing, September/October is when its planted, then picking takes place between March, April & May of the following year. Even in July it was interesting seeing the hundreds of 227kg cotton bales at the Gins waiting to be taken by Semi-Trailer to a Port where they are sent overseas for spinning. I find what ever time I come to this area, there is always something of interest to see.SAM_5962.jpgcotton bales

The road from Moree to Collarenebri was another littered with dead Kangaroos. At least we didn't see any dead Emu's, only plenty of live ones! We passed by a couple of Cotton Gins on this road and a Semi-Trailer loaded with Cotton bales. The road is wide and had more grass on the side than in the paddocks. We saw "Cattle on road" signs, meaning that some-time we would be coming across Cattle drovers. Sure enough, we passed three on this road.

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We hadn't been to Collarenebri before and were rather disappointed with the town. It's a small mainly Aboriginal town with not a lot to offer, we couldn't even find anywhere to buy lunch! Luckily I had some food in the Caravan, at least we didn't starve!

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Out this part of Australia, a lot of the towns have a large majority of Aboriginals living there. Walgett is one such town. As we had been here before, we didn't stop, just took the turn-off that would lead us to Brewarrina.
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Fish traps

Brewarrina was quite a surprise. Located on the Barwon River, it is thought to have the oldest man made structure on earth. The Brewarrina Aboriginal fish traps are estimated to be 40,000 years old. Unfortunately, many were washed away when the weir was built, so new ones were built at the weir. Obviously the Pelicans know there is fish to be found here!

On the roadside wall where the fish traps and weir are, children have told the dreamtime story by the way of descriptive Aboriginal paintings!

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There was other artwork in town, like the fish near the Tourist Information centre.

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If your after a Kangaroo hide, then head here for all sizes at pretty good prices.

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Well, time to look for somewhere to stay! The Brewarrina Caravan Park had plenty of powered sites, so this is where we stayed the night. A very pleasant Aboriginal caretaker greeted us and told us the ropes. Even though the Amenities block was old, it was clean, the showers were hot, there was a Laundry with coin operated machines and a free bbq!
All for the bargain price of $20 night for 2 people!

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Posted by balhannahrise 00:47 Archived in Australia Tagged parks park landscape new south road trip wales caravan aboriginal Comments (0)

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)
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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.

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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.

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Impressive building in Kalgoorlie

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

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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.
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Prospector's House
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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.

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Super Pit

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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...

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

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A pond where children were feeding Ducks....

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a lot of cages with a variety of Parrots

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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.

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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

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lInside of the Flying Doctor's Plane

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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!

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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)

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