Friday 31st October 2008, Coolgardie.
We went for a trip into Kalgoorlie today as we had planned and what a day: We have been watching the weather in this area for the past few weeks and have been waiting to get into the 30-35 degree days, and what did we get, a day of very strong winds and rain, for the first time in ages according to the locals. We did get the opportunity to do the things we had intended though, even though it was hard to put up with the weather conditions. The Super Pit was well worth the visit, even in the gale force winds. They have a lookout over the pit that gives a very good view of it, but it is high up and the wind blew like nothing else. We were also fortunate to witness a blasting in the mine, the first they have had for a few days. I also had my usual walk around town taking photos, this time while Linda was doing her last decent shop before we get to Adelaide. The buildings were what we expected, being old and in very good condition, the streets were very wide, among the widest ever seen in any city. Even though the weather was shocking the trip was well worth it and we do not mind only having had one day to see it.
Thursday 30th October 2008, Coolgardie.
Another 300 kilometres sees us now at Coolgardie, about 40K SW of Kalgoorlie. We chose to stop here to save carting the van in and back out of Kalgoorlie, and it is also cheaper. We don’t intend doing much at Kalgoorlie so a day trip tomorrow should see it out. We are hopeful that we may be lucky enough to see a mine blast at ‘The Pit’ but a phone call in the morning will reveal if it will happen. Other than that we are only interested in looking at some of the old buildings. Talking about old buildings: it is quite obvious that Coolgardie was once a booming gold mining town by the few grand old buildings that are still standing and in good condition.
Tuesday 28th October 2008, Merredin.
We arrived at what could be our third last stop before making that trip across the Nullarbor again. We are now at Merredin (see map) which is on the main highway half way between Perth and Kalgoorlie. We had a minor tyre problem today on the caravan with one tyre being about half deflated when we arrived here. It, hopefully only, was a faulty valve and has now been repaired, free of charge by the local tyre company by the way. We get the impression that this is one of those very few towns that the locals are extremely friendly, and that was one example. Another was when Linda was in town waiting at an ATM and some ash from another woman’s cigarette blew into her eye, and the offending woman bent over backwards to help Linda by taking her to the local chemist to get some immediate treatment, which again was free. The caravan park owners here are among the friendliest we have met as well. I do hope the rest of the visit will be as amicable.
Monday 27th October 2008, Hyden, Wave Rock.
We are finally getting some warmer weather, almost thinking of turning on the air-con, it is nice for a change not having to run the heater of an evening. We went to Wave Rock today and also did the long walk around the area, we have now made up for the lack of exercise lately. Wave Rock is a bit smaller than I imagined, then I was probably misled by some of the advertising photos seen over the past couple of months, but it was certainly worth the trip to see it. The rock is actually called Hyden Rock, but publicity calls it Wave Rock, the wave section is only a small section of the entire rock, and another small attraction called Hippo’s Yawn looks just like its name suggests.
. Wave Rock Enlarge.
. Hippos Yawn Enlarge.
See more pics on Flickr.
Sunday 26th October 2008, Karlgarin, Hyden.
Went for a drive to Hyden today, but as we started day-light saving today and we slept in we were a little late getting away, I also wanted to watch a little car racing when we returned. We decided that we would not have enough time to see Wave Rock and its surrounds so we drove around to see the other rocks in the area, and we will return to Wave Rock tomorrow. Some of these other rocks are The Humps, a very large granite outcrop that contained a cave called Mulkas Cave. Further around was another outcrop called Kings Rock, This is not usually visited by tourists, obviously, as there was a gate across the entry and not many tyre track after it. As there were no signs barring entry we went in anyway, we had driven that far to see it so we weren’t going to miss it. Overall the day was rather worth it as there were a couple of lengthy walks at the Humps, one was over the top of the rock and being reasonably high and steep I was surprised Linda actually managed to do it.
Saturday 25th October 2008, Karlgarin.
We have finally reached the vicinity of one of the only must see destinations we knew of in WA before we headed across this way, Wave Rock at Hyden. We are camped at Karlgarin (see map) about 20K west of Hyden because the caravan park is a lot cheaper than the ‘Resort’ at Hyden. We will be here for a few days as we have some washing to do, and the Indy car racing is on at the Gold Coast and that will slow me down a little. It was just as well we chose to stay at Narrogin for two days, I had an idea the weather wasn’t going to be the best and we did have the best storm we have seen for a long while.
Thursday 23rd October 2008, Narrogin.
We are now at Narrogin, about 150K east (see map), and will only be here for 2 days. We chose to stop here because it was too far to go to Hyden in one leg. It seems a nice enough town, the caravan park leaves a little to be desired though at $25.00 per night, but we don’t intend doing much while here. It is raining at the moment which is the reason we decided to stay for two nights instead of only one, it will hopefully clear up by Saturday when we move on again.
Tuesday 21st October 2008, Collie.
Today was the day to visit Wellington Dam National Park and do some bush-walking, but again when we awoke it was raining. We decided to go there for a drive anyway and it was just as well we did, because we saw something that really made the days travel worthwhile. Let’s backtrack a little: Last night we were talking to some other travellers and while talking about where we had been they referred us to a couple of things to see while here, eg Gnomesville. Not knowing exactly where these places were, and not having enough time, we sort of brushed the idea of them aside. Today while looking around the National Park another tourist asked us if we knew where Gnomesville was, seeing it was in the nearby area, our response was that we had no idea. While then looking at the N.P. map to see where to go to next I noticed that Gnomesville rated a mention and it was very close to where we were about to go, so it was now added to our list. We had heard that at Gnomesville there is a big round-about where someone some years ago placed a gnome, and since then other people have added others to accumulate a gathering of them, but when we arrived we could hardly believe what we saw. We found the round-about, in the middle of nowhere, and saw nothing, but in the bush to the left there they were. Spread around the bush were literally hundreds of gnomes with plaques, and the area was worked so one could easily walk around the display and peruse the scenery. I had originally thought that Gnomesville was a township, but it turns out just to be a small village purely of gnomes on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. View some pics on my Flickr site. Back to the National Park: Even though we didn’t get to do any bush-walking we did enjoy the drive and the scenery that was on offer.
Monday 20th October 2008, Collie.
Today we had intended going to Wellington Dam National Park, but when we awoke to a thunder storm passing close by we decided to have a trip into Bunbury for a look. Bunbury Is about 55K away, on the coast, and it wouldn’t have mattered if it rained because we only intended having a look around. Bunbury area, like the rest of the total area of the coast of WA, is dead flat with a mountain range about 10-15K inland, this range extends the total length of the coast. Very close to the shore in the middle of the city are two smallish hills with lookouts on each, but one lookout is different to any lookout I have seen throughout our travels. The local Rotarians have built a lookout tower on top of one of the hills, at about 20-30 feet high this tower gives a magnificent view of the entire city area and to a distance beyond. This gave me an idea spot to take some photos of the city as we weren’t going to be here long and these should give me some memories of the city in future. When we did first arrive at Bunbury we both were heard to say “Why didn’t we stay here instead of Collie
Saturday 18th October 2008, Collie.
That old usual feeling is starting to happen again: It is just starting to sink in that we are on our way back east (home) and our attitude is once again starting to change to ‘all we want to do is get there’. We had a walk around the river walk in town today, and went to one of the dams for a look, but the enjoyment of sightseeing a new area just wasn’t there. We are now starting to wonder why we booked into Collie for a week, but we will stay and do what we intend to do while here. There are still a few things we do want to see on our way back but we no doubt will reconsider how long we stay in the different places. I am not one to make long trips while travelling, so it is not as though we are going to just travel and get there, we will have to do some sightseeing on the way.