Day 16 – a lazy Kalgoorlie Sunday


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Today really was a lazy day. We left the motel around midday and went down to Boulder to look at the monthly market day.

Doing some research last night, we found out that many of the museums in Boulder are currently closed due to earthquake damage. Evidently there was an earthquake on the 20th April 2010 that caused damaged to many historic buildings. (we had wondered why we saw so many with scaffolding around them)
This did make it a pretty short stroll around town and was disappointing as I was hoping to see the historic Philip Goatcher Curtain in the town hall.

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The art deco styled Palace Theatre and the Boulder Town Hall.

Some of the classic cars offering rides to raise money for the local cancer charity.
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The other item on list for the lazy day was the Mining Hall of Fame, but before that, the superpit lookout once again.

KCGM Superpit

Mining Hall of Fame
The Mining Hall of Fame attraction in Kalgoorlie.

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The huge CAT 793C dump truck on display. We did a guided tour up onto the cab deck. Some of the wear marks and bends in the steel were impressive. The rocks in the mine must be incredibly heavy to cause the damage.

 

The other attraction that we primary went for was the gold pour. A KCGM employee who also works at the Hall of Fame, talked about the process to extract the gold out of the rock and then performed a gold pour into an ingot. In this case, it was only 35% gold (65% copper) as insurance companies won’t let them do a higher percentage.

Gold pourGold! well 35% gold.

The actual Mining Hall of Fame building must still be a work in progress as it had some large areas basically empty.

Tomorrow morning we go on a 2.5 hour tour of the Superpit and associated areas.

Day 15 – Gold country

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Today’s journey was a relatively short trip to Kalgoorlie, however in our usual style, we found plenty of detours to make the journey take a little longer.

We headed via another huge rock formation called The Humps and up the 170km road to Marvel Loch. This is basically a small mining town with plenty of old abandoned mines around along with a few decent sized open cut mines that are still active.
After Marvel Loch, we took a track out to the abandoned May Queen Mine and on the track drove through a large spider web, with large spider included. (I moment I wish I had the video running at 60 fps.)

After a fuel stop (for us, not the car) in Southern Cross, we headed along the Great Eastern Highway to Pumping Station number 6. This is the ruins of one of the historic pumping stations that was part of the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme. This scheme delivered water via a huge pipeline to the towns of Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie. It’s still in use today but utilizing modern pumping stations.

Goldfields Water Scheme, Pumping Station No.6Stumpy tail lizard
The pumping station and one of the locals.

From the pumping station, we followed the pipeline for about 5km before getting back down to the main road. Next side trip was the Karalee Dam and Rock.
Once again, this rock had been used to collect water and this time a long iron aqueduct had been constructed between the rock and dam.

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Following on from this, we detoured beside the pipeline again between Woolgangie and the No.8 pumping station along the Golden Pipeline Trail.

Getting to Coolgardie, we stopped past the old railway station and an abandoned opencut mine.

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We are now in Kalgoorlie for the next two nights where we’ll be checking out the Boulder Market Day and then doing a tour of the KCGM Superpit gold mine (Largest opencut in Australia). We did stop by the lookout and take few shots just after sunset. Absolutely huge.

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Day 14 – out to the wave

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Day 14 took us down to the Perth coast. There was a sculpture thing on at Cottesloe beach all of March but we didn’t see more than what on the foreshore. The coffee in Cottesloe was horrible, as expected, and I’m now convinced the best coffee in Australian is in Melbourne (and probably Fabric in Southbank).
We travelled up the coast as far as Scarborough which was still pretty much as I remember it with only a few alterations to the carpark layout.

We decided we’d seen enough coast for a while and jumped onto the Reid Highway to head out of town. The Reid Highway is much like the Monash Freeway was in Melbourne when it was the South Eastern Arterial, originally built without overpasses. Now it must be getting the traffic volumes as they are now being built causing a few slow patches of traffic.
I am convinced that it is impossible to get a green light on that road as we stopped at every set of traffic lights on the highway.

The trip east took us out to Northam where the train station looked like Spencer Street in the 80’s and then onto York.

Mount Brown
Mount Brown lookout above York.

On the way into a town called Corrigin we came across a dog cemetery. The seem to love their dogs and set a world record for the most number of dogs in a ute in 2002 with 1527.


Scooby Doo? We now know where you are.

We got into Hyden reasonably early so checked in before heading down to wave rock. It’s just an incredible natural sculpture and the rock itself is absolutely huge.

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I wasn’t aware beforehand that they built a small wall around the top of the rock to collect water and funnel it into a dam for drinking water. (now used for cattle only)

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Wall visible above the wave.
(the photo of me taking this photo is here)

On the way back to the carpark I came across a tree that reminded me of the one Horton the Elephant sat in.

Horton the Elephant's tree