A Travellerspoint blog

September 2018

Albany to Perth

...via Denmark, Bunbury etc.

semi-overcast 25 °C
View Sam Smart in World War II & Back to Oz on SteveJD's travel map.

Albany is a lovely town in a great position and it is not too surprising that a number of European explorers visited over the years, although it is surprising that, other than the excellent harbour, they were otherwise unimpressed. In 1627, Dutchman Francois Thijssen sailed by and made maps of the area. There was apparently no interest as a result of his exploration as it was not until 1791 that the British navigator, George Vancouver, visited. Although he too was not impressed he named a number of the natural features including Oyster Harbour, King George the Third Sound (now known as King George Sound) and Princess Royal Harbour as the day he provided all the names was the anniversary of the birth of Princess Charlotte's birth. Ten years later, Matthew Flinders visited the area followed by the French explorer, Nicholas Baudin in 1803. The British became concerned that the French would 'jump their claim' but it took until 1826 before the brig Amity entered the harbour with a small complement of troops.

Replica of the brig Amity

Replica of the brig Amity

The following year it was officially proclaimed as Frederick's Town after Frederick Augustus, Duke of York and Albany. He was the 'Grand Old Duke of York' in the children's ditty. In 1832 the name was changed to Albany in honour of the same person.

The main thing we wanted to look at in Albany (which we had visited a few times before over the years) was the new National Anzac Centre on Mount Adelaide. It was a little more expensive than other similar places and we gave up on the audio guide (which we understood was being phased out). That aside, this is a brilliant centre with excellent displays and good use of technology.

National Anzac Centre

National Anzac Centre

Trooper and his horse statue

Trooper and his horse statue

Silhouettes of marching troops on the window of Garrison Restaurant

Silhouettes of marching troops on the window of Garrison Restaurant

Outside the centre is a display of naval weaponry which was quite interesting and then there is a path up Convoy Walk to the top of Mt Adelaide. On the walk up and down we saw a nice variety of wildlife.

I believe the mountain was named after King William IV's wife, Queen Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, a good old English name!

Some of the Naval weaponry - deactivated!

Some of the Naval weaponry - deactivated!

White-breasted Robin

White-breasted Robin

King's Skink

King's Skink

Golden Whistler

Golden Whistler

Red-capped Parrot

Red-capped Parrot

Panoramic view over King George Sound from Mt Adelaide

Panoramic view over King George Sound from Mt Adelaide

At the top there are gun emplacements from World War II and information boards showing how the fleet would have been moored waiting to take troops to World War I. There are also underground areas showing how the shells would have been stored and used.

The fleet would have been an impressive sight judging from this board

The fleet would have been an impressive sight judging from this board

Naval gun on Mt Adelaide

Naval gun on Mt Adelaide

Some of the display of shells in the arsenal below ground

Some of the display of shells in the arsenal below ground

From the mount, we drove down to Lake Seppings and enjoyed a late afternoon walk around the lake. As noted above, the British took control of the region in 1826 when Major Edmund Lockyer planted the British flag. He found this body of water and named it after his cousins Sir Robert and John Milligen Seppings. Researching this has enlightened me as to the origins of the Seppings, almost on my doorstep in Suffolk. Their name is believed to originate from a nickname 'Sevenpence', meaning someone short in stature!

And we didn't see one!

And we didn't see one!

Female Superb Blue Fairy-wren

Female Superb Blue Fairy-wren

A green Treefrog

A green Treefrog

Western Australian Bluebell shrub

Western Australian Bluebell shrub

White-faced Heron

White-faced Heron

Late afternoon reflections

Late afternoon reflections

On our second and, unfortunately, last day in Albany we went down to the ANZAC Peace Park which is very nicely laid out by the harbour with Lone Pine Grove planted with pines from Lone Pine at Gallipoli.

ANZAC Peace Park sign

ANZAC Peace Park sign

Seahorse mural on silo by harbour

Seahorse mural on silo by harbour

Jetty into the harbour by the Peace Park

Jetty into the harbour by the Peace Park

And a pelican came flying by

And a pelican came flying by

Little Pied Cormorant perching nicely for Judith

Little Pied Cormorant perching nicely for Judith

Judith on her way back from a photographic foray

Judith on her way back from a photographic foray

Two of the pines from Lone Pine

Two of the pines from Lone Pine

Back in town we found a good lookout point from which we could see the impressive Albany Entertainment Centre and other attractive buildings and features before heading back to sort ourselves out ready for the off tomorrow.

Albany Entertainment Centre

Albany Entertainment Centre

An old building now part of the University of Western Australia

An old building now part of the University of Western Australia

An attractive formal garden near the foreshore

An attractive formal garden near the foreshore

In the evening we met up with another of Judith's relatives, Lisa's sister Kim, and enjoyed an evening BBQ at Emu Point with her and her sons Lukas, Blake and Ethan. Unfortunately, we didn't get to meet Kim's husband Daniel as he was working in Hopetoun.

On a less fine Thursday we drove west through Denmark, detouring to Green's Pool and Madfish Bay but no photos from here as it was dull and damp. We got to the Valley of the Giants (the giants being huge Tingle trees) and were a bit disappointed to find how commercialised this has become but we did find a nice place for a picnic lunch among the tingles.

e4e4fb70-c03d-11e8-9387-13474368505c.jpgSteve and Judith with the Beast at the picnic spot

Steve and Judith with the Beast at the picnic spot

After lunch we took some side roads to get down to Ficifolia Road where, in a previous life, we had found lovely Beaufortia squarrosa flowering and were delighted to find many flowering shrubs in the coastal bush. From here it was a winding road roughly northwest to Bridgetown where we enjoyed an overnight stay with Bill & Judy with whom we had stayed at the start of this trip.

Mixed bush along the road

Mixed bush along the road

Many Beaufortia scattered among the bush

Many Beaufortia scattered among the bush

A Beaufortia squarrosa bush

A Beaufortia squarrosa bush

The flower of the Beaufortia squarrosa

The flower of the Beaufortia squarrosa

An unidentified pea flower

An unidentified pea flower

The Beast on the road to Bridgetown

The Beast on the road to Bridgetown

On the way to Perth we stopped at Balingup Country Park which is lovely but the autumn colours had not quite started in earnest, still a recommended place if you are in the area. At Judy's suggestion, we stopped in Kirup to get fruit and veg at Newy's Veggie Store, really excellent local produce. We picked up some Rocky Road at Donnybrook (as was our custom in the past) and drove on to Bunbury where we stopped for lunch at the Dolphin Discovery Centre and saw a few dolphins in the sea just outside afterwards. The Centre is well worth a visit if you are in the area. Our route then took us up the coast to Rockingham where we had afternoon coffee with Judith's 365Project friend Merrelyn and her husband Graham.

Newy's Veggie Store

Newy's Veggie Store

The Dolphin Discovery Centre

The Dolphin Discovery Centre

Dolphins just outside the Centre

Dolphins just outside the Centre

In Perth we stayed in a lovely apartment at West End Apartments in West Perth. It was well equipped and roomy but we did find that we had to street park rather expensively as the Beast was too big to fit in the allocated parking spot! Fortunately for our budget, we had a Gumtree buyer who took the Beast off our hands (amid much wailing and gnashing of teeth!) within a couple of days of our arrival in the smoke.

Farewell to the Beast

Farewell to the Beast

Several days were taken up with collecting a hire car, shopping (among other things, a new suitcase was needed as one of the ones we brought broke on the flight to Perth) and catching up with friends but we did find time for an afternoon walk in King's Park, still as lovely as ever with great views over Perth and South Perth and the Swan. Also walked through West Perth to Subiaco and back, seeing many lovely old buildings preserved in spite of the gentrification of these suburbs.

West End Apartments in West Perth

West End Apartments in West Perth

A colourful mural

A colourful mural

An attractive Art Deco building - I think it was a cinema

An attractive Art Deco building - I think it was a cinema

A view along Rokeby Road, Subiaco

A view along Rokeby Road, Subiaco

Subiaco Hotel

Subiaco Hotel

b9d2a5b0-c040-11e8-82f6-ab98518f71fd.jpgA couple of sunset shots from our apartment balcony

A couple of sunset shots from our apartment balcony

6e72baa0-c041-11e8-82f6-ab98518f71fd.jpgRainbow Lorikeets were amusing company in the palm trees outside the apartment

Rainbow Lorikeets were amusing company in the palm trees outside the apartment

Early in April we were delighted to be invited to the 80th birthday lunch for very good friend Len Stewart and met more of his family (some we already knew).

Len with one of his sons and his daughter plus lovely big cake

Len with one of his sons and his daughter plus lovely big cake

Posted by SteveJD 09:09 Archived in Australia Tagged australia anzac perth albany bunbury forest_of_the_giants Comments (0)

Kalgoorlie to Albany

...via Hyden and Kulin

sunny 40 °C
View Sam Smart in World War II on SteveJD's travel map.

Our first day in Kal was mainly admin stuff with a bit of exploring. For those who have read our blog about our visit to Yackandandah, the grave we visited there was of Judith's 3x great uncle, Matthew Sharpe Rome, who appears to have been drawn to Australia by the gold fever of the 19th century. One of his sons, Jacob Richardson Rome moved to Kalgoorlie around the time that gold was found here in the 1890s and appears to have spent his life as a prospector. One of his four sons followed in his footsteps and through family history research we had found three addresses at which he had lived. Without giving names, in case of offending anyone, it would appear that his fortunes varied as his first house was quite pleasant but his second house was in what appeared to be a lower socio-economic area. However, his third house was again rather nice but from here he moved to Bunbury for which as yet we have no address. Had we known of his existence when we first came to Perth, we could perhaps have met up as he only died in 1985.

The name Kalgoorlie probably has its origins in the Aboriginal word meaning 'silky pear', a plant which is common in the area (not that we noticed any!). European history really began when a prospector, Paddy Hannan, struck it rich in June 1893. His discovery sparked off a gold rush which brought, among others, Judith's relatives mentioned above. There are still many buildings dating from the period of the gold rush and many more which sprung up as a result of successive discoveries in the area. There are several corner pubs or hotels which must have been made on a production line as the style is found all over Australia. Hay Street is notorious for its prostitutes but when we drove through during the day it was disappointingly respectable!

Palace Hotel

Palace Hotel

York Hotel

York Hotel

Exchange Hotel

Exchange Hotel

Replica of statue of Paddy Hannan, now a water fountain

Replica of statue of Paddy Hannan, now a water fountain

With wide streets and lovely old buildings, the city is quite attractive with a number of green parks but it is almost unbearably hot in the summer to the extent that we didn't think we would care to live there - the heat of Perth in summer was more than enough!

The following day we were delighted to meet up with Lisa, one of Judith's relatives (not related to the Romes above) and her daughter Grace who was enjoying her 4th birthday. We also enjoyed some of her cake! After relaxing and chatting, we all went into the city and had a lovely lunch at the York Hotel, sitting out on the balcony. Little Grace took some of our photos!

Lisa and Grace at the York Hotel

Lisa and Grace at the York Hotel

ff353e30-b9c7-11e8-82b1-5fac205b352e.jpgPortraits of Judith and Steve by Grace

Portraits of Judith and Steve by Grace

I wonder where she learnt that?

I wonder where she learnt that?

View from our lunch table

View from our lunch table

Interior of the York Hotel

Interior of the York Hotel

Having had a family day we then visited some of the parks in Kalgoorlie. We had been interested to hear about the Kokoda Trail panels in Centennial Park but there were only a couple of these in a scrubby area and the park was not especially exciting although it is probably good for parties and some concerts as it has a nice music bowl. The next stop was Hammond park which is more 'manicured' and is probably a great place to take children. From preference I would see birds in the wild and I find it a bit distressing to see fairly common birds locked up in cages but I suppose each to their own taste and maybe even caged birds will start that bubble of interest in nature in the young children who visit.

There is also a fascinating miniature Bavarian castle which is said to be decorated with over 40,000 gemstones - I didn't count but there were certainly many.

The Bavarian Castle

The Bavarian Castle

More to our taste was the Arboretum just down the road where there were some pleasant walk trails among trees, many of which were labelled for identification. Not surprisingly there were quite a few birds there.

Another Red Wattlebird

Another Red Wattlebird

Australian Ringneck parrot (better known to us as a 28)

Australian Ringneck parrot (better known to us as a 28)

We then made our way to the Super Pit for the daily blast. This was due at 1pm so we stood with cameras poised until our batteries ran out! Luckily we had spares with us and were able to get them in just in time for the blast at 1:55pm. The pit is enormous and the people and vehicles in the bottom before and after the blast looked like ants and Dinky Toys respectively. We found the variations in colour of the different strata that had been revealed as excavations wore their way down very attractive.

View over the Super Pit

View over the Super Pit

Trucks at the bottom of the hole

Trucks at the bottom of the hole

Terraces cut into the side of the pit

Terraces cut into the side of the pit

The blast - bigger than it looks!

The blast - bigger than it looks!

In the evening, we had a meal at the hotel and were delighted to find that their cellar included Piano Gully wines. A former colleague of mine in Perth took a share in Piano Gully Winery in the Pemberton area some years ago. When we met up in Perth on our return we heard that he had sold out of the vineyard but retained the rights to the name and had the wines made independently - this was, to us, an unusual arrangement but the wine still tasted great.

Before leaving Kalgoorlie, we visited Lisa and her family and met the rest of the brood - delightful, it is such a pity we live so far away. We left them and headed west on the Great Eastern Highway, stopping for lunch at Boorabbin Rest Area where several adult and immature pied butcherbirds besieged us while we ate.

Steve with Lisa and her family

Steve with Lisa and her family

20180318_P1140908.jpgAdult and immature Pied Butcherbirds

Adult and immature Pied Butcherbirds

Steve being made to feel guilty!

Steve being made to feel guilty!

The Ambush Line

The Ambush Line

Before reaching Southern Cross, we turned off the highway onto about 150km of unsealed road known as the Emu Fence Road. The fence is also know, less picturesquely, as the State Vermin Fence which was a not entirely successful attempt to keep rabbits, kangaroos and even emus east of Western Australia's agricultural areas.

Jet Set and Bobbie hanging in there as we barrel along the road

Jet Set and Bobbie hanging in there as we barrel along the road

The Emu Fence Road

The Emu Fence Road

Wildflowers beside the road

Wildflowers beside the road

At the end of this long stretch, we came on Hyden where a comfortable cabin awaited us in the caravan park. I'm not sure whether there is anywhere else to stay in Hyden so it was fortunate that the park itself was very good, the cabin was slightly rustic but well-equipped and comfortable and very close to Wave Rock. We quickly settled in and then went off for a walk along the very impressive Wave Rock and then on to the top where we saw several ornate dragons, very attractive little creatures, and had good views over the (very flat) countryside.

Wave Rock

Wave Rock

Steve walking very carefully along sloping rock above Wave Rock

Steve walking very carefully along sloping rock above Wave Rock

20180318_P1140921.jpgTwo Ornate Dragons

Two Ornate Dragons

View from the top over Wave Rock

View from the top over Wave Rock

When we returned to ground level we went along to Hippo's Yawn which again is an impressive chunk of rock but not easy to photograph, particularly in the afternoon light.

Steve bracing himself for the hippo

Steve bracing himself for the hippo

20180318_P1140933.jpgTwo views of the Hippo's Yawn

Two views of the Hippo's Yawn

Inside the Yawn

Inside the Yawn

Friendly Galah

Friendly Galah

Our 'rustic' accommodation

Our 'rustic' accommodation

It seems Hyden gained its name from a German prospector, Karl Heyden although there seems to be no certainty but rather supposition based on the knowledge of the man and the fact that Heydens live today in York which is not that far away.

The following day, we revisited Hippo's Yawn and had slightly better light but got some lovely light (but duff photos!) on the salmon gums which formed most of the woodland through which we walked.

The morning Yawn

The morning Yawn

Just outside Hyden is another rocky area called The Humps, of which Mulka's Cave is the most significant feature. Inside the cave there are some Aboriginal linear drawings and many hand stencils. The story of Mulka is that as he was illegitimate, he was cursed with cross-eyes and an extremely tall build. As a result of being cross-eyed he could not aim a spear and took to eating children (as you would!). In the cave it s said that his handprints can be seen much higher than anyone else could reach. His mother objected to his behaviour so he killed her. The local Aboriginal people were not all that impressed so took off after him and speared him near Dumbleyung, about 156km south-west of Hyden. As he did not deserve a proper burial, they left his body to be eaten by the ants - a grim warning!

Salmon gums along the road

Salmon gums along the road

Entrance to Mullka's Cave

Entrance to Mullka's Cave

49ea18e0-bb4b-11e8-a2af-a5a2e8c2e7f4.jpgExamples of the hand stencils

Examples of the hand stencils

By now we were 'rocked out' and headed west to Kondinin and then south to Kulin where we had coffee in a lovely little park. When leaving the town, we saw a sign stating that we were on Tin Horse Highway which sounded a bit odd but then we started spotting tin horses in a variety of guises. It was all very bizarre but apparently the Kulin Bush Race runs down this highway and some bright spark had the good idea of recycling tins of various sizes to make the figures that we saw along the road until the course of the bush race turned off to one side. I lost count of the figures but they were sufficient to delay us quite considerably!

The start of the Tin Horse Highway

The start of the Tin Horse Highway

A collage of some of the tin horses

A collage of some of the tin horses

A horsetronaut!

A horsetronaut!

Tin Horse Highway Patrol Random Breast Testing Station

Tin Horse Highway Patrol Random Breast Testing Station

Kulin was originally called Jilikin (or Jilakin) but was later changed to Kulin, when the railway reached the town. reportedly as the Aborigines who showed Surveyor John Septimus Roe the Kulin Soak referred it it as "coolin". No one is sure what the original "coolin" meant although it was probably the name for the Kulin Soak. There is also an interpretation which says Kulin comes from a Nyoongar word "koori-iny" meaning "coming and going". (Acknowledgements to Aussie Towns for most of that bit of information).

Rather later than planned, we reached Lake Grace, a bit further south, just in time to have our picnic lunch along with a super abundance of flies! The salt lakes here were very interesting but we could not now dally all that long.

Again, referring to Aussie Towns, I learned the following: "In 1909 the district surveyor, Marshall Fox, named the lake after Grace Brockman, the wife of the Surveyor-General, Frederick S. Brockman. Grace Brockman later became Grace Bussell and achieved fame in 1876 when she and a stockman, Sam Isaacs, rescued people from a shipwreck at the mouth of the Margaret River."

The salt lake spreads to the horizon

The salt lake spreads to the horizon

A Lonely tree by the lake's edge

A Lonely tree by the lake's edge

A few sparse gum trees by the lake

A few sparse gum trees by the lake

The next stop was again to refuel our inner selves with coffee and cakes at Bluff Knoll Cafe before continuing on to Albany via a longish detour through the Stirling Ranges National Park, which was a bit dumb on my part as we didn't have time to stop if we wanted to get in before nightfall. I just find it irrestible! We eventually arrived at the Ace Motel where parking was a bit tight but the room was very comfortable and the place itself is very convenient.

Posted by SteveJD 11:05 Archived in Australia Tagged western_australia albany wave_rock hyden kalgoorlie super_pit Comments (0)

Coorabie to Kalgoorlie

...via Madura Pass and Fraser Range Station

semi-overcast 29 °C
View Sam Smart in World War II on SteveJD's travel map.

Today's drive was a long one but, as we gained time crossing back into Western Australia, we arrived at our overnight stop in good time. On our way across the Nullarbor, we stopped at a couple of rest areas before reaching the border, one of which gave some good views of the Bunda Cliffs.

076d9e00-aeb8-11e8-b5b7-db0245ffce65.jpgTwo views looking east along the cliffs

Two views looking east along the cliffs

Looking back towards where we had come from

Looking back towards where we had come from

A Nullarbor skink

A Nullarbor skink

On reaching the border, we took a break for coffee and to take photos of the Big Kangaroo which marks the start of Hole 6, the Border Kangaroo, on the Nullarbor Links Golf Course.

The Big Kangaroo

The Big Kangaroo

The fairway looks a bit rough!

The fairway looks a bit rough!

Name and details of this hole

Name and details of this hole

Additional hazards are encountered

Additional hazards are encountered

Continuing on our way west, we stopped just after Mundrabilla at Jillah Waterhole Rest Area. This was quite pleasant and we found a few flowers amidst the fresher growth. We heard plenty of birds but didn't see many and none in photographic range.

Two big Beasts at the rest area

Two big Beasts at the rest area

Some of the attractively treed part of the rest area

Some of the attractively treed part of the rest area

The bush looks a bit greener now

The bush looks a bit greener now

And it contains some attractive flowers including this zygophyllum billardierei

And it contains some attractive flowers including this zygophyllum billardierei

Shortly after arrival at Madura Pass Oasis Motel, we found the tee for hole 9 of the Nullarbor Golf Links Course, Brumby's Run, just by the motel. This had changed management since we stayed last year and although the accommodation was much the same, the service in the restaurant was appalling. I hope they sort that out as it is a useful stopping point.

The tee for hole 9, Brumby's Run

The tee for hole 9, Brumby's Run

The information board for Brumby's Run

The information board for Brumby's Run

The bush does look a little greener and it would seem the birds enjoy the recent rains as, on a short late afternoon walk into the woodland behind the motel, I came across fairy-wrens (too skittish for photographs), weebills (very close up) and sittellas which are a first for us.

A weebill

A weebill

A pair of sittellas

A pair of sittellas

On Tuesday, we made an early start and as we travelled along the Eyre Highway had an escort of a black kite parallelling us for a while quite close to the vehicle. We've seen plenty of these birds in our travels but none quite so close. Just after having a very good breakfast at Cocklebiddy, where we found Hole 10 of the Nullarbor Golf Links Course, Eagle's Nest, we saw a couple of birds in a tree and they turned out to be, very appropriately, wedge-tailed eagles, a cause for further delay! While looking at the eagles, we also spotted a little wildflower which thus far remains unidentified - any help would be welcomed.

Wedgetail Inn Hotel

Wedgetail Inn Hotel

Population statistics!

Population statistics!

20180313_P1140797.jpgTee and information sign for Eagle's Nest hole

Tee and information sign for Eagle's Nest hole

Pair of wedge-tailed eagles

Pair of wedge-tailed eagles

Wedge-tailed eagle in flight

Wedge-tailed eagle in flight

Little white wildflower!

Little white wildflower!

Once again we encountered the Ninety Mile Straight, just before reaching Caiguna. We took a break from the straight, beyond Caiguna, at Domblegabby Rest Area and enjoyed a cup of coffee. I wandered off to see what wildflowers there may be, a few but there was not a great deal other than eremophila which was nice to see as we grew several varieties in our garden in Perth. I came back and found Judith chatting up a young Danish cyclist, Mats. He was taking a break from cycling from Perth to Sydney (and the Blue Mountains)! Understandably, he was glad of some company and a cup of coffee. He had already run a marathon and after his bike ride, he planned on climbing Mount Doom (aka Ngauruhoe) in New Zealand. He is evidently a Lord of the Rings fan as well as someone who needs a regular challenge. He was very keen but told us that the headwinds he had experienced along the Nullarbor had reduced him to tears - let's hope he made it all the way. Just before leaving we had a visit from some friendly galahs.

The eastern end of the longest straight road in Australia

The eastern end of the longest straight road in Australia

Eremophila shrub, also known as emu or poverty bush)

Eremophila shrub, also known as emu or poverty bush)

Flowers of the eremophila

Flowers of the eremophila

20180313_P1140822.jpgWe can never resist taking pics of galahs

We can never resist taking pics of galahs

We continued to Balladonia which seemed to have smartened itself up since we came through last year. We enjoyed coffee and toasted sandwiches there before pressing on to Fraser Range Station where we had planned to spend two nights. At this stage of our journey we were brassed off with a shambles of a check-in process and although the room was nice enough, we decided that one night would do. There was no map of the station other than a scrappy trail map which was rather difficult to follow. In the room, there was no toaster or washing up facility. We don't mind using a camp kitchen but prefer to breakfast on our own so although the place has had good reviews, for us it was a work-in-progress. In essence, it was more like a motel than what we have come to expect of station stays - a pity. The area around the accommodation is attractively planted and the bush is quite interesting without much life, although we did see our first camel, albeit not really feral.

Some attractive bush on the station

Some attractive bush on the station

'Skippy' disturbed by us walking

'Skippy' disturbed by us walking

Camel in the trees, not exactly feral

Camel in the trees, not exactly feral

Good old faithful emu

Good old faithful emu

A station horse enjoying a roll in the dust late in the day

A station horse enjoying a roll in the dust late in the day

Fraser Range, was originally founded in 1870 by John and Alexander Forrest but was only settled two years later by the Dempster brothers, becoming the first sheep station on the Nullarbor Plain. It had been a sheep station since then but, after problems with a high density of wild dogs, switched to cattle only three years ago. These are Santa Gertrudis cattle which were developed in Texas. The station is also home to the Sheep's Back hole of the Nullarbor Golf Links.

From Fraser Range we made a good start the following day and enjoyed travelling through the Great Western Woodland, although not all was what I would describe as 'woodland'. We stopped at Fraser Range Rest Area where we had a view over a dry lake which we think may be the edge of Lake Dundas. This area had some interesting birds but also more of the dreaded March flies!

20180314_P1140836.jpgTwo views of the dry lake area

Two views of the dry lake area

34e7b390-b037-11e8-a9b2-af89fa2a41e1.jpgTwo views of a brown-headed honeyeater

Two views of a brown-headed honeyeater

An Australian ringneck parrot, or '28'

An Australian ringneck parrot, or '28'

The Great Western Woodlands cover almost 16 million hectares and is the largest remaining intact Mediterranean climate woodland on Earth. More than 3,000 species of plants are found here, including 20% of Australia's eucalypt species. I wish we had know about this before getting there as it clearly merits closer inspection, although probably Spring is a better time to visit. It stretches from just east of Cocklebiddy to just north west of Mukinbudin and from north of Kalgoorlie almost down to the coast, quite a feature. Some of it made me wonder how it could be called woodland but some was really great to see and full of wildlife.

One of the road trains we met on the way around, just near Norseman

One of the road trains we met on the way around, just near Norseman

In Norseman, which again failed to impress us!, we had coffee and cake (which did impress!) before carrying on but hadn't got far out of town when we passed a very long train and decided to get ahead of it and take some photos. I got none as I was wearing a blue shirt and March flies just tried to eat me alive! In the end, even Judith didn't manage to get much worth mentioning as she was also bugged although not quite as badly. After a while, we had one more stop as we found a nice stretch of the woodland.

New bark on eucalypust, not sure which species, possibly Salmon Gum?

New bark on eucalypust, not sure which species, possibly Salmon Gum?

Great Western Woodlands

Great Western Woodlands

Immature grey butcherbird

Immature grey butcherbird

On finally reaching Kalgoorlie, as our room was not ready, we made for Mt Charlotte Reservoir Lookout but kept our exposure to a minimum as it was stinking hot! The views were good but we were glad to get down and into our room where we started to cool off a bit.

With great regret, we have listed the Beast on Gumtree and already have some offers - this is all coming to and end far too soon, although there are probably a couple of blogs to complete the trip and then we have South Africa for a short trip before getting back to England.

Panoramic view from Mt Charlotte

Panoramic view from Mt Charlotte

View over the city

View over the city

View of the adjacent mine and the Museum of the Goldfields

View of the adjacent mine and the Museum of the Goldfields

Replica of Paddy Hannan's statue in the city

Replica of Paddy Hannan's statue in the city

Posted by SteveJD 15:18 Archived in Australia Tagged nullarbor south_australia westrern_australia coorabie fowlers-bay madura_pass fraser_range_station Comments (1)

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