Perth to Kalgoorlie
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Published: June 19th 2013
At Highbury Tavern
Abit of pool playing
June 2013. Well, here we are back in the big west island. Our first two nights in the Midland Budget Motel were fine, fortunately we weren’t expecting anything flash, and we weren’t disappointed. The rooms though were perfectly adequate, clean and recently renovated. All accommodation is expensive here in Perth. These units were attached to the Commercial Tavern, a workingman’s pub – the only females aside from me, were the Irish bar girls and the cook (the owner’s Mum). Yes, and all pubs seem to have one - the local p*%!h(MISSING)ead, a Maori fella who wanted to serenade me with Pokarekare Ana. I didn’t let on that I knew the words, I would probably still be there!
June - up and on the train into Perth and Fremantle with the early commuters, where we sorted out our phone and data sims . Then onto a bus to O’connor (suburb) where we picked up our satellite phone that we’d had to post over earlier to be upgraded. Then back into Perth city for lunch and a beer (because we can).
June – Willie Boobyer met us for early morning coffee and a quick catch up
Home at Highbury
A bit of a jam session
before he dropped us at the Midland Railway Station to catch the coach to Highbury via Narrogin. Great to see you, Willie. Therese and David were on the roadside to meet us. They have been looking after our Landcruiser and trailer since October 2011. What a great couple. We had only met them for an hour on the Milford Rd, South Island. We stayed across the road in the cabins at the back of the Highbury Tavern for two nights while we checked over the trailer and vehicle. Therese and Dave kindly gave us space in their large shed to replace right front wheel bearing and seals, and all shocks on the cruiser. We had lots of space to spread our stuff around and refamiliarise ourselves as to where all our sh…t was packed, and what we had doubled up on…too many clothes. Therese and Dave are musicians who play New Vogue Dance Music. The New Vogue dance style is an Australian form of sequence dancing that originated in the 1930s. Since then it has become an important part in the Australian ballroom scene. They also play the older style of Australian country music, incorporating guitar, ukelele, banjo, harmonica and
A bit low in the back with all the fuel, food, water, spare parts, tools, and us
fiddle. After a bbq we had a great singalong, being joined by the third “Dave” and a lovely young lady joined us briefly and sang 2 or 3 songs – she would be equal to any performing in the final 12 of X-Factor!
Thursday/Friday – spent in Narrogin getting supplies for the first part of our trip. We have 180 litres of fuel, 100 litres of water, 3 spare tyres, 4 spare tubes, a satellite phone and PLB, and five days supply of food. We think we are ready! Friday night we set up the camper trailer behind the shed and had our first night in the open to toughen up, get emotionally prepared and it was a little chilly.
Saturday we headed up to Popanyinning to set up camp at the Laze Away camping ground. Only campers there, sharing the grounds with a few kangaroos and a wombat, many galahs and several ring-necked parrots. At 7.30 we headed up to the Popanyinning Town hall for a night of dancing. T and D invited me to play guitar and ukelele for 5 tunes (Australia Has Talent here we come) – and I danced the Maxina for the first
time in 40 years (I did remember most of it – I guess that’s something Bill Gibson taught me at High School that I remember!) (And no Dave didn’t dance, I danced with Bruce.)
(very short video link).
Just down the road we came across one of the organisers of the evening, Don, who had run out of petrol, and towed him to Narrogin (30km away), so didn’t get back to the camping ground until 1.30am – very cold in the trailer and the first time I’ve slept wearing gloves, socks and a beanie, and full thermals.
– Drove to Hyden. Then after visiting Wave Rock and the Hippo's Yawn, rock formations caused by 10s of 1000s of years of erosion, we started on the Holland Track, making our way about a quarter of the way up before finding a camp spot at 4.30pm. Sun sets about 5pm, and the temp drops quite quickly. The Holland Track runs from Hyden to Coolgardie.
– From Broome Hill (near Hyden) to Coolgardie, the Holland Track was originally built in the gold rush days as a shortcut to the Goldfields. Hardly ever visited for
Well worth a visit just out of Hyden
nearly 100 years, it was re-cut as a 4WD track in 1992 and is a popular trip with locals.
“The Holland Track is the longest cart road ever made in one stretch in Western Australia. It is a unique route that was created by pioneers in 1893 to enable prospectors arriving at the port of Albany to shorten their trip to the Goldfields by more than a fortnight. But the route was soon forgotten as prospectors used the newly built railway line to travel to the Coolgardie Goldfields and John Holland was never given any recognition or recompense for "services
rendered" to his country for his efforts. The north east portion was slowly reclaimed by the bush, whilst the south western section was overtaken by pastoralists and their farmlands for nearly 100 years.
Then in 1992, a small group of enthusiasts understood the importance of the Holland Track and planed to re-cut the track so that it wasn't forgotten forever. In doing so, they have given us the chance to retrace the footsteps of the important pioneer John Holland and Co. and to marvel at his incredible feat. In opening the route, we now have a unique
Sitting near the tonsils
4WD track that allows us to experience the beauty of isolated camping in this long forgotten area that still contains wonderful relics of pioneering days.”
The Holland Track begins in the heart of the Southern Wheatbelt region and heads in a general north-easterly direction into remote bushland and eventually meets the Great Eastern Highway at Coolgardie
in the Goldfields. Although much of the southern half is now incorporated into the present road system around pastoral lands, you can still find many points of interest pertaining to Holland and his party with numerous commemorative plaques too see, heritage
signs to follow, and many nice campsites to enjoy.
Stayed in the Victoria Rock campsite – (justlike a DOC one, but you can have a fire) no-one else to share it with.
– Ice on the tent walls this morning…brrrrr! But we are cozy. Go to bed at 7pm and don’t get up till the suns up at 7.45am.
Drove the rest of the track – mainly a good metal mining road at northern end, and stopped briefly at the ghost town of Coolgardie – once in goldrush days having a pop of 15000, now only
Some parts just go on and on and on
On arrival at Kalgoorlie we drove straight up to the viewing area of the Super Pit. 3.8km long, 1.35 wide and half a kilometre deep, just in time to see an explosion caught in my photo (middle of picture). Now we know how Alan Bond made is money! Great old buildings here and a town of real character. There’s even a brothel tour if you feel so inclined. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.
Lovely to be with Jim and Sandra Dorset (ex-Whangarei) for a couple of nights and a good old catch up chin wag. Nice meal out at Sails Restaurant and the Museum of Western Australia was great.
Won’t get to do another blog entry until we get to Alice Springs……..thanks for reading! And the photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.
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