A Travellerspoint blog

Our first outing - Dongara to Cervantes

Day 3 - a long way round

sunny 27 °C
View Sam Smart in World War II & Back to Oz on SteveJD's travel map.

We made an earlier start and drove to Mingenew where we called at the Visitor Centre to see what wildflower updates they had. They had nothing new but recommended Coalseam and said that wreath flowers were out at Pindar. A visitor said there were wreath flowers north of Morawa near a rock - not very precise but at least we had another 'target'.

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These photos show the "Big Wheat", I presume, one of many 'Bigs' we shall see on our travels; a mural of stockmen adorning the wall of the local liquor store; quirky ornamentation outside the Visitor Centre and silhouette figures of a stockman with dogs and cattle opposite a rest stop on the edge of town.

We carried on out to River Bend in Coalseam Conservation Park and enjoyed marmalade sandwiches for (lateish) breakfast! We had a very pleasant amble along another part of the Irwin river and found carpets of yellow everlastings and signs of pinks and yellows coming through. Judith tried the toilets in the rest area and gave them a 5 star rating - better than many town toilets! The park has a great variety of plants and consequently holds significant value for several local aboriginal groups, with plants providing food and medicines. As at Miners, the cliffs show layers of rocks of varying ages - laterite from 40 million years ago; Victoria Plateau sandstone from 50 million years ago; Irwin River coal measures from 265 million years ago; High Cliff sandstone from 269 million years ago and Holmwood shale from 280 million years ago - if only rocks could talk, what a tale they could tell!.

The following photos are: Judith bending to the task of low level photography; flowers of the flannel bush (a variety of solanum); a white everlasting flower; an Australia Painted Lady butterfly; an oxalis flower; Steve trying to get a decent shot of some lovely bark on a eucalypt; a view along the river showing the stratification in the cliffs and, finally, a carpet of yellow everlastings.

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Judith chose to do all of the driving today (ending up nearly 600km) and continued out to Pindar where we found the wreath flowers well signposted, about 10km out of town. They are most unusual and fascinating plants, a variety of leschenaultia. At their peak they form a wreath edged with red but most of the flowers we saw were in their earlier stages with less red. The plants are about 5cm high and up to 50cm in diameter. The flowers covered the roadside for about 200 metres either side of the road but nowhere else anywhere near. They do occur in other localities but the ones at Pindar seem to have been the first this year. The following pics give some idea of how the grow and what they look like:

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Calling Pindar a 'town' is slightly misleading as it appeared to consist of a couple of houses and some grain silos. However, one of the houses was in much better condition and turned out to be the Pindar Guest House. After a fairly hot time finding and photographing the wreath leschenaultia, we needed refreshment and we were served some of the best scones with cream and jam and a delicious fruit juice - at prices below many Perth cafes. The building dates back to the beginning of the 20th century when a town was established, principally based around the former railway station. At that time, it was an hotel and the current owners apparently used to run a B & B but this became uneconomic so they just open in the wildflower season to serve Devonshire teas and the like. Certainly we were very pleased to find them open while we were there, even if Pindar is no longer a town, according to them as decides such things. The photos show the Guest House and the, rather weathered, coat of arms:

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We took a circuitous route to reach Cervantes, passing through Mullewa and stopping north of Morawa to detour in search of other wreath flowers which had been reported to be in the area. One detour was to Canna, an interesting, if a little eccentric, settlement but with no sign of wreath flowers.

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The other was to the War Rock which was of interest but had little in the way of wildflowers. War Rock gains its name from a legend from many years ago that a war occurred here between two aboriginal tribes with a shared boundary. The value of the rock was the gnamma (water) holes which occur on the rock dome. The photos show what I believe may be a surviving gnamma and some of the silhouette figures at the entrance showing aboriginal warriors and early European settlers.

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We continued to Perenjori where, many years ago, I had driven out with Judith for a job interview. The community welcomed us with open arms but I was unable to accept the job offer which eventuated. The house which went with the job appeared unaltered and rather run-down and the town itself seemed to lack the spark that other country towns had shown, so it is probably as well that I could not accept the job offer. I walked along to the tourist office but this was closed "..due to lack of wildflowers."! As time was by now beginning to run away from us we then headed to Carnamah, Eneabba and, finally, Cervantes - two long gins and tonic helped settle us in. A long, tiring but most enjoyable day.

Posted by SteveJD 23:55 Archived in Australia

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Comments

Brilliant photos. I just love reading what the two of you are up yo. How is Jet Set coping with the travels,
Lots of love to you both xxx

by Lorraine

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