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Entries about wildflowers

Day 11 Queensland to Western Australia

Norseman to Burra Rocks, Western Australia 24th July

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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The large cave at Cave Hilllarge_SAM_7012.jpg

I was amazed to find shrubs growing out of the rock!

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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.

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Cave Hill

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Wildflowers

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Wildflowers

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Cave Hill

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.

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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.

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Wattle

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.

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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!

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Dam wall

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Woodline Dam

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!

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Burra Rock

How on earth do they sit here and don't roll away!
The wind has created many shapes.

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Burra Rock

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.

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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!

Posted by balhannahrise 04:37 Archived in Australia Tagged nature australia road camping western trip free wildflowers reserve australia. monolith Comments (0)

Day 21 Queensland to Western Australia continued

Continuation from Mt. Magnet to Mullewa. 2nd August

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Mount Magnet had some wonderful scenery and excellent tourist drives to follow. We did them and now are making our way to wildflower country by heading to the small town of Yalgoo.

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Carpet of wild Daisies

Gold was discovered around Yalgoo in the early 1890s, and by 1895 there were diggings and buildings being erected. In January 1896, this area became the town of Yalgoo. There wasn't any big gold rush here, I don't know why, but only 650 Miners came to Yalgoo. World War II came and went and so did the people, so what is left is a very small town in this semi-arid climate with hot summers and mild to cool winters.

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Yalgoo has a historic tourist trail to follow, so we followed it but found some of the buildings were missing and all that remained was an information board with description and photo.
Some of the other old buildings were the Courthouse Museum with displays of old photographs, lots of gold rush history and the usual displays of old domestic items and some Aboriginal artifacts from the local area.
Next to the Courthouse is the restored old Yalgoo police station and jail. These were built in 1896, replacing the stick and chain method previously used.

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Dominican Chapel of St Hyacinth

When heading to the Yalgoo look-out, we passed by a gorgeous Dominican Chapel of St Hyacinth, quite famous as Monsignor John Hawes, the Architect Priest who came from Europe to Western Australia, designed the wood and stone Dominican Chapel of St Hyacinth for the Dominican Sisters who were working in Yalgoo in 1920. Not only did Hawes design the building, but he regularly travelled by horseback from Mullewa to oversee the construction and to work as a labourer for the local builder.

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Dominican Chapel of St Hyacinth

The Chapel of St Hyacinth forms part of the Monsignor John Hawes Heritage Trail, which is a self-drive four day tour including 15 houses of worship created by Monsignor Hawes.

After viewing the Chapel, we continued along the dirt road to Yalgoo Look-out, where the views were over the small town and the countryside, nothing outstanding, but it does give you an idea where mines are located and what the land looks like.

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Wildflowers

Wildflowers abound in wildflower season around here. We were here at the correct time, but as the rain hadn't hadn't come until late, this meant the flowering season was later, hence the wildflowers were just starting to cover the red earth in colour, another week and it would have been a spectacular sight!

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Wildflowers

From here, it is back on the main road (123) and to the town of Mullewa where we will stay for several nights.

Posted by balhannahrise 03:04 Archived in Australia Tagged travel australia outback scenic western wildflowers Comments (0)

Day 22 Queensland to Western Australia

Mullewa 4th August

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We stayed at the council run Mullewa Caravan Park, located on Lovers Lane on the edge of town.. It's a very popular park as it's very cheap and well maintained, so you want to get here early, as if you come late there may not be a spare spot. Bookings are taken at Yarrumba Service Station & Deli, in Jose Street, so go there first otherwise you will have to come back.

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If your not sure, check at the Information centre located in the Town Hall across the road
Staff were helpful, supplying me with free tourist drive maps and marking on the maps where to find certain wildflowers. On the ceiling were dozens of wildflower bunches hanging upside down to dry.

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We decided we would follow the southern circuit tour map I had previously picked up at the Tourist Information centre. You can make the tour shorter or longer, it is up to you! The complete circuit is 145kms, which began in Mullewa and followed the sealed Mullewa-Mingenew road. Not all the roads are sealed, although we did find the gravel roads in very good condition. We allowed a full day for exploration.

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Wildflowers

The first marked stop was the Mullewa Cemetery, stop 2 was Devils Creek Hall, we didn't stop at either, instead we drove on, amazed at the sight of thousands of everlasting daisies creating fields of colour, in pinks, mauve, yellow, white and lemon. There were plenty of native shrubs in flower too! This was our first good sighting of wildflowers, I couldn't get over the incredible display.

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The sites are very easy to find, all you have to look for is the Brown tourist sign that shows you the way to the site, where I found a wonderful rusty steel cut-out of what the area is known for.

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Beside the rusted steel cut-out was an information plaque with the story.

It says..

"Hey - Stop that! Your cutting down my home!
Do you humans ever stop to think that you may not be the ones that have a use for a particular tree?
There are so few big Gum trees left out here, and these days we have to squeeze into hollow that are really too small for us. Or we have to fight with the budgies for them - or with those horrible smelly Bats...."

The cut-out is about the human population that has kept on cutting down trees for their fires to cook or to sit beside and keep warm without a worry about the consequences. The Aboriginals only took what they needed, but when the settlers came to this area, land was cleared for agriculture, impacting on the remaining natural environment.
It was good to see that Farmers these days, are re-planting quite large areas with all kinds of trees, making it much better for the environment and even the birds will be happy again!

The Reserve is home to 68 different bird species that rely on this native vegetation that has been saved from being cleared for growing wheat. The Eucalypts here provide nesting hollows for the Parrots and Cockatoos, they are even used by small Bats and Reptiles. I heard plenty of small twittering Birds in the denser scrub, just couldn't get a photo of them. Species who live here are Red -Throats, Thornbills, Babblers and Scrub Robins.

We are back on the road again and have to stop for a long Ore train at the railway crossing. Our next site was Tardun, all that remained here was a house and old Hall.

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Tardun Hall

The cut-out told the story of this town that was established in 1913. It contained a general store, post office, telephone exchange, bakery, church, town hall and a garage, nearly all of these have gone.

There was a school established outside of Tardun, run by the Catholic organisation called the Knights of the Southern Cross. Disadvantaged and Orphaned Boys aged 14 and over were brought here to learn farming for a period not supposed to be more than 2 years, some stayed longer

The town of Tardun was run by the Catholic Brothers as the administrators and the students as the general population. The bakery produced enough bread and rolls every Saturday morning to meet the school's need for the rest of the week.
The farm had orchards where they grew Oranges, Lemons, Limes and Mandarins, and a vegetable garden where all kinds of vegetables were grown, enough to feed the staff and students. Sheep were slaughtered in the schools killing shed, and every Saturday, the Chicken House with its hundred or so chooks produced enough eggs for daily requirements, a herd of Cows provided enough milk for the school.
The kitchen was equipped to feed an army and an industrial laundry was big enough to cope with all the washing . On site were fully equipped workshops and machinery storage sheds.

For recreation there was a great choice. A squash court, cricket nets, swimming pool, tennis and basketball courts and a full size football oval meant the boys were spoilt for choice. On the grounds was a chapel bigger than most rural churches.

A fun day was a Sunday afternoon when Brother Kelly would start the old Ferguson tractor and put a cart on the back, then load the kids and take them somewhere on the farm for afternoon tea. Ones that couldn't fit on the cart would be riding horses beside the cart. What an adventure it was!

In 2009, the school closed and all of this came to an end. So it turned out that even though there wasn't much to see here anymore, there was quite a bit of very interesting historical information to learn about the town and school of Tardun.

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Steel cut-out

Still at Tardun, I found a couple more steel cut-outs, these were about the railway.

The first plaque read....

"Come on Giuseppe - knock that last spike in and let's get out of the sun. Even this Beer is getting warm too quickly - we never had days like this back home.
But I'm not going to go play cards with the others and you'd be a fool if you did again, too! How are you ever going to save money to bring that girl out from Italy if you keep on gambling all the time?"

The cut-out was about the many migrants that came out here from southern or eastern Europe. Most of the Railway gangs were made up of these men. Some married local girls and others bought land and settled in the area. These people helped shape the land I was seeing today.

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Steel cut-out

The other cut-out was about illegal gambling that went on in these places.

It read
"Hey Fred - I'll raise ya' twenty bucks - I reckon ya' bluffin', ya' big boof head! And if ya' not, I might as well go down in a screamin' heap.
Anyway, who's got the next case of Beer? And who's keepin' and eye our for the coppers - Gazza reckons someone's dobbed on us, and they're jus' waiting to nail us all to the floor."

It is believed that when the Tavern closed, a group of local men would get together and play cards under the tree where this cut-out was located. It was a hot and thirsty life out here, one that brought on loneliness and depression - Gambling was an outlet.

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Steel cut-out

Whilst we were out this way, we decided to see if we could find the famous Wreath flower with the mud-map given to us at the Mullewa Visitor centre.
The Wreath flower is a native of south Western Australia, preferring climates with dry summers. On the Morowa - Yalgoo road is where we found the Wreath Flower, a piece of pink ribbon had been tied on a nearby post, evidently this is what the locals do when they find interesting wildflowers in bloom. It is quite easy to find as it likes to grow in the sandy gravel on the roadside. We were looking for something round, and sure enough we spotted some green circles, some were more advanced. It turned out we were a little early, they were just beginning to flower. The flower forms a complete circle, hence the name wreath flower. Flowering occurs in late winter and spring, better option is September to October when they will be at their best.

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Wreath flower

This concluded our day, it was time to return via a different road to Mullewa in search of more wildflowers.

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Watch out for wildlife, as even though it was the middle of the day, a big Red Kangaroo hopped in-front of us, eventually veering off the road and into the scrub. You don't want to hit one of them.

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Posted by balhannahrise 03:23 Archived in Australia Tagged landscape australia road camping western trip free wildflowers Comments (0)

Day 22 Queensland to Western Australia continued

Mullewa and surrounds 3rd August

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We are staying at Mullewa for several nights as this is one of the best places to find wildflowers in W.A. Be fore-warned, the population swells greatly during the wildflower season. Opposite our caravan park in Lover's Lane, was The Wildflower walk. For something to do before it became dark, I followed the loop dirt track of around 3kms, along a gentle rolling landscape, past the water catchment area and back to the beginning.
I Just completed this circuit but you can join the Rail Heritage loop and then join onto the Bushland trail and walk to the scenic lookout. Other links connect to the main street.

The trail is easy to follow because of the red markers on the steel posts. I do suggest you wear walking shoes for comfort and support, wear a hat and take water.

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Along the way are 18 Interpretive boards with colour photos of the most common and colourful flower species found in this area. I found the majority of Everlasting Daisies on this walk were the Lemon and White and it wasn't as colourful as the Bushland walk, of course in another season, this may not be the case! I saw many wildflowers, orchids and caves as I returned back to the beginning of the trail.

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Wild Daisies

I walked at a leisurely pace, stopping to read the signage, take in the views and taking many photos, and I guess it took me around 1 hour to complete.
It's best to take your time as you need to look hard to find the orchids that grow close to the ground and are fairly well hidden.
TAKE NOTE - PICKING OF WILDFLOWERS IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED

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Once again, Mullewa has gone to a lot of effort in making another interesting trail for the Tourists to follow, this time about their famous former resident, Monsignor Hawes. The 600 metre walk begins at the Mullewa Information centre, then all you do is follow the paved pathway, suitable for wheelchairs too.

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Hawes Heritage Trail

It is named the Hawes Heritage Trail and features 11 interpretive areas, each detailing a phase of Hawes’ life story. On the trail are large mosaics created by local Wajarri artists as a tribute to the relationship between Hawes and the indigenous people of this area.

The structures on the track are shapes and forms common in Hawes’ buildings. I found a little rusty steel cut-out of a Dog who was Hawes' beloved fox terrier named Dominie.

The trail begins at the Tourist information centre in Mullewa where out the front are three interpretive signs with information about Hawes. Here I read the story of his childhood and family, school and architecture and viewed some old photos of Hawes, his dog, Hawes as a Priest and some sketches.

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Hawes Heritage Trail

Along the trail I come across some interesting structures and more information on this famous Priest.

I will briefly tell you about the remaining Interpretive boards on the trail.

The next interpretive boards were ROME & BEYOND - BEDA COLLEGE & BISHOP KELLY
It was Bishop Kelly , the first Bishop of Geraldton in Western Australia, who happened to come across Hawes when in Rome recruiting novices to come and work in W.A. Hawes completed his studies in Rome and came to Australia.

THE OUTBACK MISSIONARY - HORSEMAN & GOOD SPORT
It didn't take long for the locals to realize that even though Hawes was a Priest, he was "a good sport!" Hawes spent countless hours in the saddle, ministering to the isolated areas of his parish.

GERALDTON & MULLEWA - CATHEDRAL BUILDER & PARISH PRIEST
Architect, foreman, labourer and fund-raiser, Hawes had his hand in everything.

DIOCESAN ARCHITECT - BUSY BUILDER NEEDED
He had many religious buildings on the go!

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Hawes Heritage Trail

THE CONSCIOUS STONES - HIS OWN CHURCH AND PRIEST HOUSE
When Hawes completed his church in Mullewa, he then drew up plans for his Priest house.

MULLEWA'S MONSIGNOR - A HARD BUT HAPPY LIFE.
John Hawes was a Mullewa from 1916 - 1938. In this time, he became a highly respected and much loved member of the community.

ON THE MOVE - BACK TO THE BAHAMAS
Six months after leaving W.A., Hawes returned to his beloved Bahamas.

THE FINAL YEARS - THE HERMIT OF CAT ISLAND
Hawes was in big demand for his architectural talent, so much so that he decided to retire to Cat Island and enjoy the quiet and peaceful life he longed for.

The trail finishes at the Church, so we went there next. Mullewa is known well for Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, known as Father Hawes' crowning joy! People come here when following the Hawes Heritage trail. This Church is open to the public during set hours, so do check with the information centre first. The tour is free, but donations are gratefully accepted, I bought a book on the church - cost $4.

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Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church

I loved the exterior of the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church.
It was 1920 when Monsignor Hawes begun sketches of the church while holidaying in England. In 1923, the Church foundations were laid.
The church of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel was built almost entirely by Hawes, the priest architect, although he did have some help from local farmers in the district carting stone from the neighbouring quarry. When the parish could not afford to pay a mason, Monsignor Hawes took on the job himself.

Built from local Mullewa stone, it is said to be reminiscent of the Spanish Mission Churches of Southern California. The domes have been described as Byzantine, while the north porch is a mix of Celtic and Spanish details. The eclectic mixture of styles was typical of Hawes' work.

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Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church

The west front has a recessed arch within which is a large corbelled window, with this Latin inscription in roman lettering above the doorway.
Translated it reads...........
'To God Most Good, Most Great: and in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, and the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, this Holy Temple is dedicated'.

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Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church

The interior is the same as the exterior- raw stone. This Church is a good example of Hawes' personal commitment and his desire to create a building which reflected the antiquity of Roman Catholicism. The interior has been described as a mixture of 'baroque', 'classic', 'Gothic' and 'Romanesque', all of which express Hawes' eclectic taste in matters of art and architecture.

The guide told us there are five Altars and three Shrines, that on the opposite side of the Confessional are a pair of folding doors which shut off a little rock grotto where the "Crib" representing the cave of Bethlehem, is set up at Christmas time. The stained glass for this area was made by a Carmelite Nun of Woodbridge Convent, Essex, England.
The Sacred Heart Shrine has a statue carved in wood after the model of Sacre-Coeur of Montmartre, Paris.
Under the Sanctuary arch hangs a Rood, an ancient custom where under the dividing arch, a large crucifix called the "Rood" is hung.

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Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church

The High Altar is in the form of an early Christian Sarcophagus such as are found in old Roman Basilicas. It resembles a Tomb, as in the subterranean chapels of the catacombs, the Holy sacrifice of the Mass was offered upon the top of the tomb of some recently slain martyr. Also the Holy Table symbolizes both the Altar of the Cross and the Tomb of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
In-front of the Altar hangs an old silvered repousse lamp brought from Rome. This is the Sanctuary Lamp.

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Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church

We were taken through an archway that led to the acolytes' vestry and to the base of the Bell-tower where we could view the ropes. In this area is a "squint" a little tunnel through the thick wall enabling the bell ringer to see the host at the High Altar and to know when to toll the big Bell, this is called the Sacring-Bell of the Mass.

From what I understood, Hawes liked adding quaint additions like the squint. His aim was to build a church that pleased him and one that signified the antiquity, romance and quaintness of the old hillside churches of southern Europe - I think he achieved this.

After viewing the church, a guide was waiting to take us through the Priest house museum, also know as the Presbytery where Father Hawes lived.

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Priest house
The low cottage style building with red cordoba tiles was built from the same quarried stone as the church, it blends in beautifully with the Church.

The building inside has a feel of olde England. The kitchen has an old wood stove, the main living room has an ingle-nook fireplace and a large latticed bow window with box seats and the walls are half panelled with wallpaper. A hidden door has been wallpapered over and is quite hard to see. The timber used in the building is heavy and dark timber. It has many, many doors!

ADMISSION - $2
Tours were with a guide

Posted by balhannahrise 03:43 Archived in Australia Tagged landscapes churches australia heritage western wildflowers Comments (0)

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 Comments (0)

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