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Published: September 20th 2018
Wildflowers as far as the eye can see ... we could travel 100-200 km on these red dusty roads and at each side of the road we marvelled at swathes of all different wildflowers and flowering shrubs and trees . On a couple of days I counted the cars that we saw 3 one day and 4 the next . Yes this was remote and where else but in Oz would you drive 60 km there and 60 km back to a place near Pindar to see wreath flowers. And there they were along the side of the road ..they only grow on disturbed earth and they do look like wreaths ... lots of cars trailers and caravans there just to see this spectacle.
We were aiming for Kennedy Ranges National Park...that would be the furthest north we went ... we could fill up on fuel and water at any little settlement as we went along the Mullewa Road to Gascoyne Junction and beyond. One little place was Murchison Oasis , a lovely spot with a rammed earth museum building ...some of these towns had been flooded completely in the past few years and then the whole town was rebuilt
and relocated to a different spot. Always on the look out for the next fuel stop you didn’t miss the sign that said NEXT FUEL 298 km !! At some point we saw a sign that said we had crossed the Tropic of Capricorn 26 deg.
At a side trip to Coal Seam Park we walked amongst the wildflowers saw galahs ( kind of parrot ) and marvelled at the scenery and the flowers .( I am putting a picture of the map on here so that perhaps you can follow our route.)
Kennedy Range National Park had a campsite run by volunteer hosts, a very friendly couple who let us choose a great spot for our site .... you weren’t allowed to your own campfire but they had a communal fire going and as it got dark we sat with some of the other campers with our beers as we waited for Colleen‘s bread to bake in the camper oven on the hot ashes !!! Yes we even made bread !
The one draw back here was FLIES ...bloody pesky flies so we did wear flies nets and very fetching we looked too!! There were several
marked trails here so the following day ,after a bacon and egg breakfast with homemade bread, hiking up the gorges was on the agenda. No one else here just the Famous Five scrambling and climbing over rocks ...some interesting geology with siltstones , fossilised limestone and iron sandstone , copper and nickel concentric mineral deposits ...I was happy to see these. At the end of the Temple Gorge was a deep green pool but we didn’t fancy a dip ! Again there were beautiful wildflowers along the trail surviving on bare rocks It seemed. In the afternoon we tackled another gorge climbing higher to view the plain in front of us from the escarpment. Glad I had my hiking boots and trusty Leki Pole !
After 2 nights at Kennedy Range we set off turning east at Dalgetty Downs with Mount Augusta in the far distance ... it is stunning how you are on a very flat plain and then a range of mountains looms up in the distance. Often we were crossing over Creek and river beds where it obviously floods extensively in the rainy season, as we would see floodway markers at the side of the road
telling you depth of water should there be any !! At the Lyons River Crossing we stoped for coffee, such pretty pools and eucalyptus trees and so many birds.... egrets , cockatoos, budgies swallows and cockatiels. Gascoyne Junction was a very friendly place and at the caravan park we paid a few dollars to have showers and do some laundry . Nice to feel clean again and the flies had gone.
Late afternoon we could see the Robinson Range in the distance we came across the Mount Gould Lock up, which was being renovated .. a sad story of aborigines being locked up , then put in chains and marched 100s of miles. Horrible.
Once it got to about 4 pm we would start to look for a suitable camping spot and here just after the Moorarie Station we took a track along by the Yalgar River ... Peter is very good at spotting the best places so we set up camp again by a dry river bed , beautiful white gum trees and lots of fallen down trees for firewood and nobody else around ...perfect! as soon as the tents were up we would make a large
circle of stones and get the campfire burning. No need to chop up a very long branch ..you just stick one end of it on the fire and feed the rest in as it burns away. It was pretty chilly so the campfire was essential for our after dinner games of canasta ( which Colleen insists on teaching me ) and a game called UPwords ( a sort of 3 D version of Scrabble) and of course there was the nightly ration of Port to send us to sleep. But it was cosy in the doonas ( Oz word for Duvet ) ...I had abandoned the flysheet over the tent by this time as we knew it wouldnt rain and the roof of the tent was just mesh so I could lie in bed and look at the wonderful black starry night.
Try saying Meekathara ...well I kept saying Meerkats and it took me quite a while to get my tongue around it ...I love some of the names ... Widgiemooltha, Munglinup Milliebillie to mention just a few. Stopping there we got food supplies topped up and had coffee at a food truck while we did the laundry in
the back of a ladies gift shop . This is the wild remote country where the legendary Flying Doctors would have to rescue the sick and there was one of them waiting for his cup of coffee ...had to take a pic of course! Seeing our first mine at Meeka we were now getting into the Goldfields but before that we took a trip along the GunBarrel Highway to the Gundbarrel Laager campsite for the night. The hosts here at this station made us very welcome and you could even have had homemade ice cream or a cream tea ..however I was on chefs duty and it was spaghetti Bolognese on the menu.
Next episode Five go Goldmining
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