Post 75 – Gladstone Jetty

Ian Collard
September 12, 2018

Gladstone Jetty



South of Carnarvon are the remains of Gladstone Jetty. This was once an important jetty, complete with a tram track. It was used primarily to transport wool to Fremantle. There used to be a large wool storage shed on shore.

Today there is a campground stretched out along the beach. It is not free and it could be argued that it is overpriced for what you get.


Post 74 – Shark Bay

Warribanno Chimney - on the way to Shark Bay.



On the way to Shark Bay we had a look at this chimney. It is really only the base left the top 3 tiers of brick work are missing. It was for a lead smelter that was built around the base of this hill to treat ore from a mine 5 km away.

Note there are still lots of flowers

Big Lagoon


In Denham we checked in at the Parks and Wildlife Service office. There are quite a few campsites in the Francois Peron National Park but I was concerned about soft sand and access. We left assured that access to "Big Lagoon" would not be a problem.


Shot is of Big Lagoon.

Explorer Motorhome

Big Lagoon Campsite


Not a bad campsite for a couple of days.

The camp, has a camp-host who is right onto checking that everyone pays their camp fees.

Monkey Mia


We got up early enough to get to the first morning interaction with the Dolphins at Monkey Mia. Can you find Ann?

Monkey Mia


Checking out all the tourists.

Monkey Mia


Finally I get a fish.

Hamelin Stromatolites


I'm not sure what I expected, but these stromatolites don't look alive at all. No bubbles or anything. Without the signage I would have thought they were unusually shaped rocks.

Shell Beach


This white beach isn't formed from sand but millions of small cockle shells. In this section of the bay the tidal flows are restricted by large "sand banks" and the water becomes hyper saline. This small shell fish thrives in this water, and the shells have formed this beach.

Post 73 – Kalbarri

Pink Lagoon



This is the Hutt Lagoon and it is indeed pink. It is on the way to the Hutt River Provence. We didn't go in and say Gidday to Prince Leonard even though we did see the sign. Our destination was Kalbarri.



Just before you get to Kalbarri you come across the southern section of Kalbarri National Park and these spectacular sea cliffs.



Kalbarri is a seaside village on the mouth of the Murchison River. To the East is more of the Kalbarri National Park encompassing the Murchison River Gorge.



This is us at Nature's Window. We did the camera shuffle with another couple.



There are still wild flowers everywhere.

Post 72 – Geraldton




The trip into Geraldton was wet, and the view on the beach is pretty miserable.

It looks as if removing the window blinds for cleaning  at home has created a water leak around one of them. 🙁




On the plus side I managed to get the car serviced. On the down side I managed to get a parking fine while doing the grocery shopping. I have lodged an appeal as in the 2 minutes the car was unattended while I was getting change, the officer had issued a ticket. He was still there when I came running back but said he had issued the ticket and there was nothing he could do.


Geraldton Port



Geraldton was established as a port to service the rural and mining industries. It looks as if this is still the main industry in town.

Post 71 – Mullewa



Lots of wild flowers now. Here is "Clifford" tip toeing through the daisies at our camp spot for the night.

Wreath Flower - Pindar



These flowers are pretty special. They naturally grow in a circle and bloom on the circumference just like a wreath.

Wreath Flower - Pindar




Looks like the secret is out and a few other people have found the wreath flowers.

Ground Orchid




Ann was pretty excited to find these small spider orchids. I was pretty excited to get a decent shot of them in the windy conditions.

Post 70 – Mt Magnet

Mt Magnet Drive


We did a tourist drive around Mt Magnet. The drive went through an active mining area to this the last remaining stone miners cottage. (Photo by Ann)

Mt Magnet Drive



Ready for a motor home conversion?  (Photo by Ann)

Mt Magnet Drive




There are quite a few wildflowers when you pause to look.


The drive ended in an area called " The Granites". This quite a scenic area with white sandstone erosion undercutting the red sandstone on top. Quite a few wildflowers. We spent a bit of time trying to find the aboriginal art sites that are here. No luck. I can't believe that I don't have photos 🙂

Post 69 – Sandstone

Sandstone Heritage Trail


We drove the short 20km Heritage Trail around Sandstone. "London Bridge" is a sandstone archway.

Not far away is a cave that was carved out of the sandstone as cool storage for the beer from the brewery built on the cliff top above it. Looks like in the middle of nowhere now. I guess things were different when there were a lot of thirsty miners in the area.

Government Stamp Battery



The road took us straight past an old government stamp battery - used for crushing gold ore. The actually battery was in operation until the 1980's. You could see that it had adapted to be driven by an electric motor.

There are still a couple of office/accommodation buildings standing.

Post 68 – Lake Ballard

Lake Ballard



Lake Ballard is a salt lake about 50km from Menzies. This is the first time I have walked on a dry salt lake. Well this one wasn't completely dry. I could feel the underlying mud squelch as I walked on the salt.

Lake Ballard - Inside Australia



This lake is the location of an art installation titled "Inside Australia"

This installation consists of about 30 of these statues place on the lake bed. The statues have been made after body scanning residents of Menzies. The statues are so unlike a human body I am not sure why he bothered with body scans. They are about 3/4 life size and are placed at distances of 2 to 3 hundred metres.

We were both underwhelmed when we first got to the lake. As we camped there the night and I walked out and photographed a few of the statues, I have to confess that I warmed a bit to the installation. Still don't think it is some kind of master piece however.

Lake Ballard



Inside Australia - art installation.

Post 67 – Kookynie




We drove south down a portion of the Golden Quest Discovery Drive to Kookynie - a living ghost town.




I'm not sure what time the pub opens, but I think the horse is a little early.

Turns out his name is Willie and he has sort of adopted the town. He is a old pacer, who was left to retire in the horse paddock of a neighbouring  station. He wandered into Kookynie and has never left.




This motor is sitting on the back tray of an old truck in Kookynie. Do ford still stamp their name on the top of their pistons?




Yes there are a few houses that are lived in, but most of the business buildings look like this, or worse.

Post 66 – Laverton Leonora


Laverton as the start or end of the Great Central Road was a little disappointing - smaller than I expected. It did have a great dump point, with potable water though.

Leonora - Gwalia was much more interesting, although the grocery shopping was still uninspiring.

Still an active gold mining area this is the open cut pit next to the Gwalia Museum.



Gwalia steam winder.



The now defunct underground mine had an inclined shaft, at about 45 degrees, roughly following the gold seam down. This is the winder room with the piston steam engines used to haul both men and ore up and down.

At one stage Herbert Hoover was the mine manager - he went on to become Amercia's President Hoover.


Gwalia ghost town



Stumbled across this board in one of the museum sheds. I mustn't be as old as I think I am as I have never seen a synchronising board that looks like this. Perhaps some of the operators from Callide A have used something similar.

Gwalia ghost town



There is a whole partially restored town of corrugated iron shanties surrounding the mine

Gwalia ghost town



I think this piano might need a tune.

Gwalia ghost town



Gwalia ghost town


The State Hotel was owned and built by the State Government.