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GOLDFIELDS TRIP 2023



Day 1 and we were on the road by about 8:30am and stopped only to refuel before heading to Midland, up Greenmount Hill and off over the Darling Range.

The Coaster crawled up Greenmount behind a big B-double truck that we were using as our excuse for going so slowly.

We stopped for coffee at the Clackline Lions rest area where there are shelters, seats, tables, a BBQ and toilets.

 

Clackline Lions rest area
Clackline Lions rest area

 

From there we continued towards Northam and stopped to have a look at the Northam Army Camp.

Before we left home we had sent an email to a local heritage group that is involved with the site hoping to arrange to do some filming but there was no reply. (Three weeks later we still had no reply so apparently they are no longer operating.)

As there were signs everywhere saying THIS IS COMMONWEALTH PROPERTY and SIGN IN TO THE OFFICE BEFORE MOVING AROUND THE SITE and the office was all locked up, I didnít think it was all that prudent to go wandering around without permission. So I got what footage I could from the entrance and we were off again.

 

Northam Army Camp
Northam Army Camp

 

We bypassed Northam and continued to Grass Valley where there is a hall and tavern I wanted to photograph.

There are public toilets at the hall and a playground so it is a useful place to take a break.

We decided to have lunch before moving on to Meckering.

 

Grass Valley
Grass Valley

 

There is a free overnight rest area at Meckering but it is right near the highway and the noise was bad enough to make us rethink our plans.

I had wanted to stop at Meckering and then go on to Cunderdin 2023.jpg the next day and have a bit of time to explore but it was already late in the day and the next overnight rest area was at Tammin.

So we refuelled and moved on.

 

Cunderdin
Cunderdin

 

The overnighter at Tammin is at the sportsground and has power, water, sowers and toilets. All that for just $15 a night so we couldnít resist.

We called in to the shire office and paid the fee and picked up a key for the showers.

There are toilets at the sports ground that are open all the time but the showers are inside the pavilion that is all locked up.

It turned out to be a great spot to spend the night as it is quite a way back from the highway and any traffic noise is minimal.

It was the first chance to get the scooters out and go for a bit of an explore around town.

 

Tammin
Tammin

 

The scooters were perfect for doing this. If we had walked we would have been worn out by the time we finished and if we had used to Coaster to look around we would probably have missed a lot of things.

They were easy enough to pull out of the trailer and unfold and similarly easy to put away when we got back.

A good start to the trip and the rain hasnít been a big issue so far.

Day 2

We woke the next day to a beautiful morning and took our time getting ready as we wanted to hand the shower key back at the shire office when it opened at 9am.

We took a few more shots of Tammin before continuing east to Kellerberrin.

 

Tammin
Tammin

 

After parking on the main street we got the scooters out for an exploration of the town.

As we were filming some buildings on the main street, someone called out and asked if we would like to visit the Menís Shed and have morning tea with them.

Of course we couldnít say Ďnoí and went in to have a look around and meet some of the locals.

Chris (I hope I have remembered his name correctly) was the one who invited us in and we had a bit of a chin wag with the members who happened to be in that day.

 

Kellerberrin Men's Shed
Kellerberrin Men's Shed

 

After a coffee and some cake (Iím on a diet so very reluctantly had to decline the cake part) we got a tour of the premises and it has to be one of the best Menís Sheds we have seen so far.

We also got to see how to start a tractor with a shot gun shell, no Iím not kidding, this is a real thing and it will be part of our video on the town when it comes out later in the year. (In fact we did do a quick video of the tractor start and put it up on our YouTube channel already.)

Eventually it was time for us to get moving but we really enjoyed meeting the guys at the Menís Shed and thank them very much for their hospitality.

Chris told us about a local attraction called Sharkís Mouth Rock so we made our way out to have a look and see what it was like.

 

Sharkís Mouth Rock
Sharkís Mouth Rock

 

It is an interesting rock formation where part of an elongated boulder has split with the lower part falling away from the top. It has some resemblance to a shark with an open mouth although I tended to think it looked a bit more killer whaleish than shark like but I suppose Shark Mouth Rock has a better ring to it then Killer Whale Mouth Rock...

Next we had a very brief look around Doodlakine before heading for our overnight stop at Baandee Lake.

We visited the lake back in September 2022 but didnít stay over night.

It is a good site although the road in is a bit corrugated.

Facilities at the lake include toilets, cold showers, a boat ramp (water skiing is popular here) and some shelters.

There is good Telstra signal and we were a little surprised to be getting better signal on this more remote trip than we have when we were in the Margaret River area later last year.

A few other assorted vans pulled in but it was a bit too windy to do much more than stay inside and enjoy the view over the lake.

Recent rains may have topped the lake up as I really expected it to be at a much lower level after summer.

The plan for the next day was to pass through Merredin and as we had already explored the town and made a video about it, to go on and check out Burracoppin. From there our overnight stop was going to be Bodallin Railway Dam.

The wind at Baandee didnít let up all night but it was still a very nice sport to stay.

 

Baandee Lake
Baandee Lake

 

Day 3

Yet another nice sunny morning but with a forecast of only 18C max it was going to be quite chilly.

We stopped very briefly in Merredin to top up the fuel (cheapest was at the un-mannned station in town) and pick up some fruit.

 

Merredin
Merredin

 

There were even briefer stops at Burracoppin and Walgoolan just to update our pictures.

The old pub at Burracoppin is no longer open and is now a private residence.

The one thing we noted at Walgoolan was the old house that used to be next to the shops (now also private residence) is gone.

We photographed it on an earlier trip and just as well we did since there isnít a scrap of it left today.

 

Walgoolan
Walgoolan

 

We passed Carrabin Roadhouse that still looked like it hasnít opened 7 months after we last saw it. I could be wrong but there was no activity round it at all when we passed.

From Carrabin it was only a short drive to Bodallin Railway Dam.

The dam wasnít the easiest spot to find so I drew a mud map showing the best way to get there and what you will find in the three different areas.

 

Bodallin dam mud map 1
Bodallin dam mud map 1

 

Cross the water pipeline at A. turn east on to unsealed road.
Follow to Stephens Road B. and turn south.
See mud map 2 for details at C.

 

Bodallin dam mud map 2
Bodallin dam mud map 2

 

The first track you come to leading to the dam (pink) looks like the best alternative but it may not be.

It will lead to an embankment and just before the embankment is a roughish track (LtBlue) leading down to the large campsite (2). We took the Coaster down this track but it isnít the best way to get to site 2.

If you follow the large track across the embankment it will lead you down to the edge of the dam. Room here for 1 rig comfortably but it is quite uneven and sloping.

The best way to reach the large campsite (2) is via a smaller track (orange). It doesnít look as good as the large track (pink) but it is easier.

From the large campsite (2) there is a track leading around the back of the dam (yellow).

This isnít a good track for big vans or big rigs. Plenty of overhanging trees. We got the Coaster through but only by scraping through the trees and having some Ďsouvenirí branches stay on top of the Coaster.

It was worth it however as this s probably the best campsite. Room for 1 big rig or a couple of smaller ones.

 

Bodallin Railway Dam
Bodallin Railway Dam

 

Day 4

Day 4 had arrived and we have only just reached the edge of the Goldfields. It was rapidly becoming clear that Wiluna was likely to be out of reach again unless we decided to extend the trip past 2 weeks.

We were really taking our time and enjoying the spots we stayed at instead of just rushing from one to the next.

It was a cold night but a beautiful sunny morning to wake up to.

The wind had dropped so I managed to charge up the drone and get some footage from the air and then it was time to ease our way back through the narrow track to the main campsite.

We seemed to make it through with no damage and then we dropped by at the Bodallin Roadhouse where there is another free overnight stop.

Apart from the roadhouse, there are public toilets, a shelter with a seat and a public phone box.

Unfortunately, like all the rest areas close to the Great Eastern Highway, it suffers from noise especially from the massive trucks passing almost every few minutes.

We wanted to have a more peaceful experience so we were looking for places that were close to the highway but just far enough back to get away from traffic noise.

We did have the option to push on further as we had seen Southern Cross and Lake Koorkorrdine before but we decided to just take it easy and stay at Koorkorrdine anyway.

 

Koorkoordine lake
Koorkoordine lake

 

Last time we had a look at the lake we were in the Prado and didnít really have a good look around so staying overnight meant we got a chance to explore a bit more.

There was still plenty of water in the lake and there were lots of really nice spots with a view of the water.

Good strong Telstra signal here too as we are only a few kilometres out of town.

We did briefly stop in town to have a look at the op-shop and I wound up spending $40! You just never know what goodies are lurking in op-shops.

There is another overnight rest area in town opposite the Railway Hotel. It is only for self-contained RVs though. We did think about staying and getting a meal from the pub but the lure of the bush and a water view won us over quite quickly.

As we had to pass through town again in the morning, we took the opportunity to re-fuel, fill the water tanks and dump the black waste before moving further east.

 

Southern Cross
Southern Cross

 

Day 5

Another peaceful night although not quite as cold this time.

This was quite a good time to travel (April) as the weather was pretty pleasant and there werenít too many flies or mozzies to spoil things.

It was only a short run back into town and job number one was to empty the porta potties. Who says travelling is always fun and glamorous?

Then it was time to fill the water tanks and there is a pay station near the dump point to pick up water.

I donít have any issues with paying for water if the prices are reasonable and the sign read, 10c for 20 litres. Fair enough, I got the hose out and put in 20c. Imagine my surprise when the water stopped after a short time and the tank was not full and the meter on the dispenser still read 5c credit. That would be 10 litres I had not received. I tried again this time with 10c. Ok so the meter now read 15c credit and I opened the tap. The water ran for an even shorter time and I would have been lucky to get 5 litres. One more go with another 10c and again the water stopped short with the meter still showing 3c credit. I probably got around 20 litres, if that. What I was getting was about 5 litres for 10c. Ok, I wasnít going to go broke but I still donít like being ripped off.

I just gave up and decided to have a look for a tap at the fuel station as we still needed to fuel up.

The unmanned fuel station was the cheapest so we filled there and also completed filling the tanks with water.

 

Southern Cross
Southern Cross

 

Then it was off to Yellowdine where we stopped to take a photo of the roadhouse and to have a look through the old abandoned building across the road.

This is one of many rest stops next to the highway and although it was nice enough, it certainly wasnít quiet enough for us.

 

Yellowdine
Yellowdine

 

It was another fairly short day driving wise as we arrived at Karalee Rocks around 10:30am. Perhaps we should have continued to Boondi Rocks (another 50km) but decided to stop and look around.

Like many granite rock formations, this one has been used for collecting water and a large dam has been constructed with an aqueduct running from the rock to the dam.

These were used in the days of steam trains and a series of them can be found along the route of the old rail lines all over W.A. Today they make first rate campsites.

5 days on the road and we still had another 155km to go before we even reached Kalgoorlie. We were certainly taking our time.

 

Karalee Rocks

 

Day 6

Finding rest areas that are well off the highway was paying dividends with lovely peaceful nights sleep.

The disappointing thing about the Karalee rest area was the closed toilets and a dump point that was over-flowing. Not sure who is responsible for this site but they really suck at maintenance.

We moved on another 50km to Boondi Rocks. Yes, a campsite well back from the highway again.

This turned out to be a better place to stop as the toilets were working and the dam was much more attractive.

 

Boondi Rocks
Boondi Rocks

 

We had already decided to move on to Coolgardie though, so we didnít stay longer than it took to have a look round and take some footage.

20 kilometres west of Coolgardie we found the old Bullabulling Tavern. It was abandoned but well secured and so far, un-vandalised.

The diesel pump outside proclaimed a price of 75c per litre so that gives some indication of how long it has been closed. After doing a bit of research when we got home we found that the tavern closed around 2015.

 

Bullabulling Tavern
Bullabulling Tavern

 

By mid-morning we had arrived in Courthouse Museum and spent the rest of the day looking around.

The scooters were really useful for exploring towns and we would have been totally exhausted without them.

The Courthouse Museum is a must see attraction as is Warden Finnertyís House. At the latter you can get a nice Devonshire tea and relax on the verandah.

 

Courthouse Museum
Courthouse Museum

 

The only shop of note in town is an IGA but if you have any serious shopping to do the Kalgoorlie is only 45 km away.

Coolgardie is a funny town because it started to develop quickly and many of the buildings are large and imposing. People obviously thought that it was going to be the main town in the area for a long time to come but then came the gold finds at Kalgoorlie.

Coolgardie was completely overshadowed by its near neighbour and is now virtually a backwater with only the big imposing buildings as a reminder of what might have been.

Day 7

We decided to be a bit decadent and go to the local pub for a meal.

We strolled over to the Denver City Hotel and ordered a beer, a lemon lime and bitters and two Scotch fillet steaks. Total $90.50.

When the steaks arrived mine was fine, nice and big, thick and cooked just right. Belleís was about half the size, thin, and because it was so thin, over-cooked. It looked more like a minute steak than a Scotch fillet. Belle was so disappointed that I gave her half of my steak to compensate.

I guess we should have complained but we just werenít in the mood for a confrontation but there is no way would ever go back there and be charged those sort of prices for what was really only half of a decent meal.

 

Flat overcooked steak
Small flat overcooked steak from the Denver City Hotel

 

The next morning we decided to make use of the Ďautoí dunny in Coolgardie before we left, so we drove over and Belle went in and found the toilet was blocked and overflowing with water.

Considering the toilet was out of toilet paper the previous day, it isnít a great look for the town to have the only public toilet (that we could find) continually needing attention.

Unable to use it we remembered there was a sort of public toilet up at Warden Finnertyís house so we nipped up there to solve the dilemma.

 

Warden Finnertyís house
Warden Finnertyís house

 

Kalgoorlie was only 38 kilometres away so we dropped in to have a look at Lake Douglas on the way.

This is a really HUGE campsite. There were a couple of long drop dunnies (both functioning), seats and tables, fire pits and bins. The lake wasnít the most attractive I have ever seen but it was ok.

There was hardly anyone camping there which was surprising.

It is about 3 kilometres in along an unsealed road. The road is nice and smooth until you pass the private road (mine entrance I assume) on the right but after that there are a few corrugations.

 

Lake Douglas
Lake Douglas

 

If we had more time we would probably have stayed a night but a week had gone already and we still had a lot to do and some long drives ahead.

We pulled in to Centennial Park on the way in to Kalgoorlie proper.

The park is only about 3km from the centre of town so we found a spot (it was REALLY BUSY at the time) and got the scooters out to go exploring.

 

Kalgoorlie Centennial Park
Kalgoorlie Centennial Park

 

Kalgoorlie has some really unique and iconic buildings and the scooters made getting around town a doddle.

Usually it would be a case of trying to find appropriate parking for the Coaster, getting out, taking pics and filming then hopping back in to get to the next spot and repeating.

With the scooters it was so easy just to ride in to town and explore as we pleased.

We had a couple of pies for lunch at the local bakery in Hannanís Street and they were reasonably priced and nice and tasty. A decent size too so we are happy to recommend them.

 

Kalgoorlie york hotel
Kalgoorlie York hotel

 

We dropped in to the Museum of the Goldfields (free entry) and I went up to the top of the head frame to get some shots of town from a bit of a different angle.

Then it was just a matter of trying to get as many shots as possible before dropping in to Woolies to pick up some supplies.

The only problem during the day was with the left hand brake handle on my scooter. I noticed it had stopped braking when I pulled it in and on inspecting it, I found part of the metal inside had broken. I did drop the scooter so perhaps this was a result of that and when we got home I ordered a new brake handle to replace the broken one.

We did think about spending 2 nights in Kalgoorlie but we are already starting to run short of time so we decided to keep going and move on to Niagara Dam after we had a quick run around Boulder and checked out the Super Pit.

 

Kalgoorlie Super Pit
Kalgoorlie Super Pit

 

I had booked in to Hoover House in Gwalia for Thursday night and with that, we will fill a bucket list item that has been on our list for a very long time.

Day 8

In the end we were glad to be moving on from Kalgoorlie.

Donít get me wrong, it is an amazing place with tons of history, many fantastic old buildings and would really rate a much longer stay but for us, the traffic, the general noise of civilisation and the hustle and bustle were much more than we wanted to deal with.

The peace and quiet of the bush was calling so after a very brief visit to Boulder, checking out the Super Pit lookout and refuelling the Coaster, we were off again.

 

Kalgoorlie
Kalgoorlie

 

There was a lot more we could have seen and done in Kalgoorlie and I know I should have spent more time filming Boulder but one day in Ďcivilisationí was quite enough.

With about 150 kilometres to drive we had some places to check out along the way. The first was the old Broad Arrow Tavern.

This is a real landmark in the goldfields and for many years people scrawled their names all over its tin exterior.

This practice has now stopped and if you want to leave your name now, you have to purchase a magnet with a ribbon ant throw it up to the tin roof.

 

Broad Arrow
Broad Arrow

 

The next stop was the old railway buildings at Goongarrie. One is protected behind high barbed wire fences but the other two have sadly been vandalised by brain dead scumbags with nothing better to do that wreck our history.

By lunchtime we had reached Menzies so we had another break and a look around this tiny pin prick of a town.

There are a few interesting old buildings, a rest area with toilets and showers and for some reason, a large well laid out, modern caravan park.

I have no idea how this little town survives but I am glad that it does.

 

Menzies
Menzies

 

It was another 50 kilometres to Niagara Dam. The story goes that this place was named after Niagara Falls, not because of the abundance of water, but for the opposite reason, the lack of it. Thatís the Aussie sense of humour at work.

The dam didnít have a lot of water in but wasnít totally dry.

We chose to camp at the lower campground where there is a small pool of water at the foot of the dam wall.

Facilities at the dam include seats, tables, shelters, BBQs, bins, and flushing toilets!

There is heaps of room to park up for the night and when we stayed there were only a couple of other campers overnighting.

 

Niagara Dam
Niagara Dam

 

Day 9

The next day there was another perfect morning to wake up to.

Clear blue skies and nice and cool.

We could have gone to look at Kookynie as it was only a few kilometres away but if was in the wrong direction and since we saw it on the previous trip and it just didnít seem interesting enough to visit twice, we turned west and then north towards Gwalia.

There was nothing much of interest along the way so it was just a matter of driving until we reached our goal.

To me Gwalia is fascinating, the old restored mining settlement cowering beneath the hill where the mine managerís residence looks down in contempt on the meagre homes of the workers.

The divide between workers and management is about as stark here as it can possibly get.

 

Gwalia
Gwalia

 

The old tin minerís shacks must have been freezing cold in winter and boiling hot in summer but you can see the trouble many of them went to, to make them as livable and as pleasant as they possibly could.

The old state hotel nearby is being left to rot by the mining company that owns it and this, to me , is an absolute disgrace. We only have 2 state hotels left in WA and to just let such an amazing old building disintegrate is really disgusting.

After taking our time photographing and filming the old settlement we made our way up the hill to Hoover House.

Despite the blindingly obvious difference in the quality of life between workers and managers, this old house is simply stunning.

It has been restored and as have other buildings from the period such as the assay office and the winding machinery shed. There is a museum and the whole complex is, for an amateur historian like me, mind numbingly good.

We had an extra bit of luck as were were the only people staying overnight at Hoover House so I had a heap of time to poke around, read all the signs and totally immerse myself in the history and ambience of this fine old building.

This is one of the most significant buildings I have ever visited and I was over the moon with delight at being there.

 

Hoover House

 

Day 10

Up early and had a pleasant breakfast at Hoover House that is part of the package. It is just a continental brekky but it was certainly sufficient.

It was going to be a long day driving so we left before any of the staff arrived and put the keys in the locked box by the gates.

It was sad to leave such a lovely place but we still had a long way to go and only 5 nights left of the trip so there was nothing for it but to make a start.

Chore 1 was to fill the water tanks which we did at the toilet in the shacks area of Gwalia.

Leonora is only about 2 kilometres from Gwalia and we had a quick look around town and did some filming, fuelled up (at $2.35 a litre, the most expensive fuel of the whole trip) and then began the days driving.

 

Leonora
Leonora

 

There was nothing of great interest between Leonora and Leinster so we just kept on going.

Leinster isnít much more than a big mining camp with donga style accommodation for the workers and nothing much of interest to photograph or film. We got what we could and fuelled up again at a slightly more reasonable $2.01 a litre.

 

Leinster
Leinster

 

We had been battling our way north into a headwind but once we turned west it was much easier and speed increased from a sedate 80kph to a mind blowingly fast 90kph!

By lunch time we reached the Peter Denny Lookout which is a rest area with seats, tables and bins.

There is a small breakaway formation that the rest area over looks but the country is really quite barren and uninteresting otherwise.

 

Peter Denny Lookout
Peter Denny Lookout

 

We called in to Sandstone and just got some driving around footage and then continued west to the object of the days drive, Jundoo Dam.

This campsite isnít signposted so we followed the information provided by Wikicamps and had no problems finding the site.

It is a surprisingly big dam and quite attractive. There is plenty of room to park and even some shade.

There are rumours that the dam contains a fair few yabbies but we werenít carrying any nets so we didnít get the chance to confirm it.

 

Jundoo dam
Jundoo dam

 

As we were sitting in the shade of the Coaster, Belle noticed that one of the rear tyres looked flatter than normal and it didnít take me long to confirm that it was quite flat. The inner tyre had been taking all the weight on one side so I set about trying to work out what the problem was.

I pumped it up again and there was a tell-tale hiss coming from the valve so I replaced it and pumped the tyre again. This time there was no hissing sound so I waited a couple of hours to see if there was any change in pressure.

Sadly it started to go soft again but as it had taken some time, I decided to pump it up again in the morning and make the 120km (roughly) run into Mount Magnet and hope there was a business there that could repair the tyre.

Itís not that I canít do the job myself, itís that I hate mucking around under vehicles and would much rather pay to have someone else do it for me.

Of course if there was nobody in Magnet who could do the job, then Iíd have no choice but to put the spare on myself.

I also discovered that one of our water pipes needed a re-cut and adjustment of the hose clamp so that job I did in the morning before we started moving. On checking the pipe I discovered that it wasnít the hose at all but the bayonet fitting that pushed in to the hose that had cracked. It would have to wait until I could get a replacement to I blocked the end of the hose as best I could and left it at that.

There was only one other camper that pulled in to Jundoo Dam and it was a nice quiet night.

The days drive had been something over 300km which in the Coaster can be pretty tiring.

There was another issue that is starting to concern me and that is what seems like an increasing consumption of diesel. My guesstimate was about 5km per litre and this seemed to be somewhat heavier than usual.

Since we were well and truly out in the boonies, there was nothing I could do but wait until we havd a chance to check the problem out more thoroughly.

Day 11

When we woke up we realised that it was Saturday and getting ANYTHING done in a country town on a weekend is like trying to get blood out of a stone.

It was before sunrise but still light so I decided the only thing to do was to change the tyre myself.

Thankfully, being an outer rear, the job is a lot simpler than doing an inner.

I also have all the right gear to make the job easy so first things first, I loosened the wheel nuts using a force multiplier (awesome gadget) and then put a chock under the inner tyre and drove up it.

 

Tyre repair
Tyre repair

 

With that done it was just a case of lowering the spare using a crank handle and then swapping the wheels over.

Reverse everything above and the job was done.

It was then just a matter of putting some more air in the spare tyre as it had been sitting underneath for a long time and we were ready to go after brekky and we were on the road by about 8:30am so we didnít even lose any time due to the puncture.

It was about 120km to Mount Magnet where we stopped just long enough to fill up on fuel and then it was another 120+ km to our campsite for the night.

 

Mount Magnet
Mount Magnet

 

The campsite turned out to be just a big flattish area off a dirt road 2km back from the highway so at least it was nice and quiet.

There isnít much else than can be said about it though as there are no facilities, no trees for shade and no nice view.

 

Paynes Find RA
Paynes Find bush camp

 

Day 12

We had a nice quiet night away from the highway and were on the road before 9am.

Decent camping options along this stretch of road are very limited. They either seem to be miles off the highway or right next to it and neither are what we generally look for.

This particular one was ok in a pinch but not somewhere we would normally seek out and stay.

We only had about 150 kilometres to drive to get to the next campsite but along the way we stopped at Mount Gibson rest area as there is a dump point and that was a chore we needed to get done.

 

Mount Gibson RA
Mount Gibson Rest Area

 

Our destination for the night was Buntine Rocks. We had considered Wubin Rocks but as that is close to the highway we opted for the one that would be completely peaceful.

Arriving just before lunch time we settled in and got some Ďhousekeepingí done which means charging up all the camera gear, tidying up the trailer and getting rid of as much DUST as possible.

My great enemy on every trip in the Coaster is DUST. The damn stuff gets in to everything and turns my hair into a big mat of uncomfortable straw. It takes days to get rid of it and clean most of it out when we get home but I know there is always plenty of it still lurking around in the Coaster in places that are too hard to get to.

Buntine Rocks used to be a great spot for wildflowers in the spring but it has been over-run with weeds and this time of year (mid-autumn) is is rather dry and desolate.

There is still plenty of room and there are a number of different places to camp so it is an ok choice at times outside wildflower season too.

 

Buntine Rocks
Buntine Rocks

 

Day 13

Woke yet again to beautiful blue skies but in the distance was a big bank of ominous looking heavy grey clouds.

We stopped briefly in Wubin to get some fuel as we were getting pretty low. The fuel station we usually go to in this town (the Ampol) had closed down for some reason and the other station was charging $2.01 so we only put in 30 litres and went on to Dalwallinu.

(One day I need to be in Wubin long enough to see the museum but it wasnít going to happen this time.)

We knew from the forecast that rain was coming but I hoped that it would hold off until we got to Dalwalinu and I was able to get the flat spare tyre out from underneath, get it repaired and put it back again.

I wasnít that lucky. Thankfully it was only drizzling while I scrambled around in the dirt under the bus getting the tyre out but I still managed to get pretty grubby.

A quick walk up the road while the tyre was being repaired and I got all the bits I needed to repair the water hose leak from the local Mitre 10 hardware store.

For some inexplicable reason the water tap that was available for people to fill their tanks was all blocked off so we decided to carry on with what we already had on board.

A quick visit to the fuel station to top up the tanks and we were off again.

 

Dalwallinu
Dalwallinu

 

This section of the Great Northern Highway has a lot of long sloping hills and this combined with strong winds, made going a bit tough for the poor old Coaster. It was a case of 70kph up one side of the hill and 100kph down the other.

We had intended to get to Toodyay via New Norcia as we wanted to buy some of the delicious bread made by the monks but we reached the turn off to Bindi Bindi and Google Maps was indicating that this was a faster way to get to Toodyay.

Reluctantly abandoning this bread idea we turned left and went down the back roads past Piawanning (there is a free rest stop here with toilets at the local hall) and on to Yerecoin.

It was already lunchtime and any hope of getting to Toodyay in time for a nice steak lunch at the local hotel had faded away.

Instead we decided to stop overnight at Yerecoin. There is a good little caravan facility in town with toilets, showers, power, water, playground and a gazebo with seats and a table.

It turned out that the cost was $25 a night regardless of whether you connect to power or not. Cheap enough for a powered site but a little over the top for an un-powered one.

Since we werenít going to get much solar due to the clouds we opted to hook up to power and after paying at the local store (cash only for the campsite) we made our way down the road and settled in for the rest of the day.

The steak lunch at Toodyay was going to have to wait one more dayÖ

 

Yerecoin
Yerecoin

 

Day 14

Well the weather cleared up overnight and again we woke to blue skies. It is due to rain again later in the day but with a bit of luck we would get everything done and settle in at the campsite before it arrived.

Being ANZAC Day there were some shops that were closed but many were open and the pubs opened at mid-day.

We watched the ANZAC Day march in Toodyay and then went to the bakery to pick up morning tea.

 

Toodyay
Toodyay

 

After that it was just a matter of wandering around, picking up some supplies at the local IGA and then going to have lunch at the Freemasons Hotel.

We were going to try lunch at the Victoria as we were told by a number of people that it was the best in town but as it got closer to mid-day, the crowd outside began to grow and it was easy to imagine just how long it was going to take before lunch got served.

Nobody was waiting outside the Freemasons so we went over there and ordered a couple of steaks with fries and salad.

The meal was good although the steak was just a little overdone for medium rare but we were happy enough with the quality and the quantity.

 

Steak and chips at the Freemansons Hotel
Steak and chips at the Freemansons Hotel

 

The price is another matter. It seems like just about every pub is charging around the same prices for food and drinks and a couple of steaks with a pint of beer and a glass of soft drink will set you back almost $100! That is a big chunk of money to fork out for lunch.

We lunch over we waddled back to the Coaster and set off for Cobbler Pool.

It was about a 15 minute drive and the weather kindly stayed nice and dry until we got camp all set up and emptied out two spare containers of diesel into the fuel tank.

We took our last ride of the trip on our scooters around the campsite and shortly afterwards the rain arrived.

Intermittent trains rumbled past from time to time but generally the campsite was nice and quiet.

 

Cobbler Pool
Cobbler Pool

 

The trip had only had a couple of minor hiccups and was both enjoyable and successful in terms of filming and discovering a few new places.

The highlight for me was undoubtedly staying overnight at Hoover House. That was simply amazing and worth every cent of the $170 is cost us.

Going home is always a bit sad but we needed to get all the dust out of the Coaster and get everything cleaned up and ready for our next adventure, where ever and whenever that might beÖ

Day 15

Much to my surprise we woke to blue skies again, the weather gods were certainly smiling on us for a change.

There was no rush so we had a nice cooked brekky and slowly packed up the Coaster ready for the final run home.

Since the sun was out and the wind was down I got the quadcopter out one more time and got some nice shots of the river and the hills around the campsite.

I was hoping that a train must just come past as it would have made a great bit of video from the drone but peace and tranquillity reigned supreme.

 

Cobbler Pool
Cobbler Pool campsite

 

The drive home was uneventful, which is always good and yet another trip was over...

 

 

Updated June 2023

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