Day 1. Fri 4th July .
W all met at Doodlakine Camp site Thursday night , John S was first to arrive, around 4.00pm we, John& Lorene arrived, followed by Bob & Leslie, Kym & Glenda. A warm welcoming campfire greeted Steve Morris when he arrived sometime after dinner.
So, we departed camp 9.00 am, our target destination Donkey Rocks. Morning tea, fuel etc was at Bodallin.
We made good time at a steady 95km hr and stopped for lunch at Boondie Rock, a very pleasant campsite, with a large dam, plenty of shady campsites, and WC facilities.
Back on the road about 1.30 our good progress soon came unstuck. Two gigantic Haulpak trucks were being transported at around 75km hr. No one was able to pass and the trucks remained on the road. Eventually we arrived in Coolgardie and stopped for a comfort break to let the trucks roll on.
Kalgoorlie was soon our final fuel stop and for some a quick shop. We re-gathered at the top end of Hannan St and were soon on the gravel track. Donkey Rocks was still a long way off as the sun was starting to fade, so we chose to find a campsite nearby. Bob and Leslie ventured down one track and discovered a great campsite by Lake Gwyne.
Camp fire started and tents up, Happy Hr in full swing. Ahh The Serenity!
The Lake was well stocked with ducks, Black Swans with Cygnets and a pair of Canadian Geese.
Some time later I was casting a casual eye over our vehicle and noticed the fuel cap missing, so I thought. Turned out the cap had snapped off leaving just it's sleeve around the filler pipe. A stubby holder was a snug fit, that'll do me for the rest of the trip !! J & L.
Saturday 5th July Trip Leader Kym
John Setlak advised us that the trip was not for him and returned to Perth.
After a relaxing breakfast and pack up, we broke camp around 9:30am and headed back along the road we came in on. We soon found a track on the left which took us up to the top of a ridge we had spotted. The track was quite steep, but it posed no problems for any of the vehicles.
Once at the top we had good views over the lake we had camped by. Everyone suddenly had phone signal, most made the most of it and contacted home etc.
We then proceeded down the hill and followed the track which meandered through the valley until we came to the fence line. We hung a right away from the main road and headed up another steep hill. This was not as firm under foot as the first hill and several vehicles had to have a couple of goes. After reaching the top, we had morning tea with John Stoffels and his coffee truck providing the brew. After morning tea we meandered around the top of the ridge taking in more views of the lake systems in the area. We then took a steep decent back to the main road and headed back to camp to pick up my trailer. We then proceeded down Yarri road to Gindablie. We were going to look around, but there was nothing of note here. We then realised we were on Donkey Rocks road (we had been advised that it did not exist), so we followed it with no problems, stopping for lunch at an old mine site.
We wandered around the area and then after lunch we found another site. (No Gold Found} before heading off. The track remained good until it finally came to end. The tracked crossed a river delta flood plain. We followed the track for several Kilometres before it became completely obscured. The GPS was telling us we had deviated off course, So we had a scout around on foot, before coming across another track which then took us in the right direction and finally getting back onto donkey rocks road. It was now starting to get late and we were still along way from our destination and rendezvous with Paul who was travelling up from Perth today. We reached Carr Boyd Well, which gave us a multitude of exiting tracks, but we finally determined the correct track from the GPS and kept heading north.
We finally reached Goongarrie National Park, where I picked up a radio message from Paul. I arranged a meet on Pianto road and pretty much as we arrived at the junction of Pianto Road and Donkey Rocks road, Paul arrived. We were not permitted to camp at Donkey Rocks, so we had a scout around and soon found a nice campsite in the bush. followed by another great happy hour
Sunday 6 July – Steve M trip leader for the day.
What a beautiful day – fine, sunny and no wind. After a relaxing breakfast we broke camp at 10:00am and headed up to Donkey Rocks, which was only a few kilometres away. By the time we got there the wind was up and it was quite cool.
The cool conditions didn’t stop us from mooching around for about an hour. The rocks were a little disappointing especially after the recommendation John got from an acquaintance. We looked for a body of water on the rock that we had seen in a photo of, but only found a few little pools. A couple of them had tadpoles and little fish in them. Lorene found a baby dead brown snake, which she decided to keep for her grandchild. Then she discovered it ponged a bit, but the last time I saw it, there it was sitting on the dash. I wonder how long that is going to last.
It was too cold for morning tea on the rock, so we headed off to a windmill in a sheltered area. Leslie found a fig tree that was full of fruit but had only a couple of leaves. After a quick taste Leslie harvested a good few figs for later on – fig and pear rice pudding as it turned out.
After morno’s we headed off to Edjudina station to drop in and introduce ourselves to Malcolm’, as we had promised to do. Malcolm updated us on the things happening around the station and suggested a camping spot at the old Pinjin town site – one stone walled building with a few diggings around it.
He mentioned the predation being caused by wild dogs and that there are three doggers working the station as well as a group of tourists. The station has recently fenced off a paddock, baited the dogs and introduced some sheep. After a season, including lambing, well over half had been taken by dogs, crows and eagles.
On the way to our campsite we were supposed to drop into the old Yarri gold battery, but I was having navigation problems and drove straight past – a good thing as turned out. When we arrived at old Pinjin we found the building good order, but the site had no firewood and was too exposed for a comfortable camp, as it was quite windy. We noticed a tailings area a few hundred metres away so walked over to check it out. Unfortunately the ground was not really suitable, but it was a good walk with lots of material left by the old inhabitants, including many old tobacco tins, so we had a good look around. I found a tobacco tin in reasonably good condition. We decided to look further down the track for a campsite, but wanted to remain in the area. We checked out Edjudina bore as it had trees in the area, but had plenty of cattle nearby and was not the best camp area. After about 45 minutes of driving around we found a slightly better protected area on a station sidetrack. It was clear of spinifex, level and no rocks.
It was a flood zone but we set up camp as the sky was clear and it was getting near sunset.
With plenty of firewood and the wind dropping we had a great night around the campfire. We sang happy birthday to Glenda and Leslie knocked up a delicious fig and pear rice pudding using the figs harvested earlier in the day. Paul then brought out the homemade Irish cream to finish off a great day.
Hit the sack around 10:30pm to and overcast sky and rising wind.
Monday 7 July 2014 Trip Leader Paul
Edjudina well to Mulga rock
We started our travel at 9.00am . The schedule was to go and see Yarri Battery , we got there fairly soon we had to travel only 15km.
When we got there a big sign said trespassers would be prosecuted. The sign was so old that we ignored it and we proceeded ahead. The old battery no longer was there but it was taken over by a gold mine that was abandoned few years back.
we searched for any clue of the old track but nothing was found we forged ahead and we stopped for morning tea at Monaghan well at 10.30am
By 11.00am we finished our morning tea and we travelled towards Kirgella rock. At the mine site of Pinjin we could not find our way so we stopped a 4wd towing a working trailer and we ask for direction.
We talked to them for about 10 min and at the end they just said: FOLLOW US. So we did and we got to the Nippon High. We found Kirgella rock
Once we where there we decided to go and see the doggers camp we did not get there because the track just disappeared but we did found interesting sites
By that time it was getting late for our next camp at Mulga Rockhole
So we left and we did get to destination at about 3.00pm
Thank you to all for the good times
Tuesday 8th July Trip Leader Bob
After a wild and woolly night at Mulga Rock Holes, our convoy departed 9:50am to journey east along the Nippon Hwy a good long straight sandy road. A few kilometres from Argus Corner we took morning tea. At the corner we turned right into Queen Victoria Springs Road where Bob thought he was 18 again and did some scramble track racing while the rest of the convoy were taking photos or rearranging and stabilising GPS in vehicles.
At the junction where there was a track going to the left Paul did a reccy to see if it was the track to Striechs Mound and Bob continued on to find the turn to Queen Victoria Springs finding a good camp site on the way. Convoy Grouped at the red helmet where we turned right for 6 kls to Q V S.
Only muddy water at the springs! Plenty of birds ha! Ha! old crows.
We had a late lunch, campground was not so good however there was an interesting tree that bore joggers, Billy and jaffle irons and varieties of beer. I exchanged my worse for wear Billy lid for a good stainless steel one! Yes I’m married to a scot!
Convoy then headed back to the good campsite we had spotted on way in as we were going to do the walk to Striechs Mound in the morning.
Another great day topped off with a good campsite & fire.
Bob & Lesley
Wed,9 July. Trip Leader John Stoffels
The windy conditions had finally eased to make packing up straightforward. By 9.30 we were on our way to Streich's monument about 8ks from the camp spot. Apparently he was a geologist, in the area 1891/2. The monument is located by a walk of about 1.6 km along a
sandy track to the top of the highest ridge, panoramic views rewarded our effort.
Morning tea over, we backtracked a short way to the turn off, heading for Cundeelee.
The track was mostly very narrow with the scrub licking either side of the vehicles.
A constantly changing vegetation and some wild flowers in bloom maintained interest on the twisting, turning track.
There was no time for in-attention, constantly scanning the way for those nasty stakes waiting to puncture a tire. Average speed 20 km hr.
Any form of wild life was non-existent, only seeing a stinking camel carcass trackside and a few birds randomly.
Lunch over and back on the track, we soon arrived at Cundeelee an abandoned Aboriginal Community. Relics only remain. Continuing on, the track finally widened, varying conditions kept speeds low. We were amazed by the beauty of the Forrest, lush, in an Australian way.
We chose to find a campsite a few kms away from the Trans Australian Rail Line to avoid any late night disturbance. Routines established by now, setting up camp, fire and Happy Hour is a mere formality. J & L.
Thursday 10th July Trip Leader Kym Batten
Left camp around our usual 10am start and headed south to the trans line.
Turning onto the trans access road we were greeted with a 6-lane highway (Not what we expected). We travelled west until we reached Chifley (Railway Passing Loop) - now just a place on the map) where we had morning tea. We then decided to follow the train line instead of the main road and finally came across a road crossing where we had to wait for a freight train to pass.
After it passed we walked up to gate to see if we could get through. All OK so we went back to our vehicles and continued up the track where we happed upon the most magnificent dam. (Anketell Dam)
The construction of this dam was such that the water was funneled into a reeded collection area that had a pipe running into the dam at some height above the reeded base.
Water was extracted by syphon ( See Leslie trying to get it going.)
Paul had previously lost his shower water from his car tank, so he spent a considerable amount of time fishing for water for is 12 minute shower.
After spending some considerable time here, we set off for Babington Rockhole where we stopped for lunch
After lunch we carried on only to come across another dam of similar construction as Anketell Dam. (Just amazing)
We then carried on to Dingo Rock. Another fantastic spot.
After leaving Dingo Rock, we headed North to Rowes Dam. The track became narrow and scratchy, stopping on a number of occasions to clear the track.
Upon reaching Rowes Dam, what a disappointment!
No water, Tracks washed away. We made our way around the back of the dam thinking the track on the other side would lead us out in the morning, where we set up camp for the night with a great camp fire and happy hour ( we are getting good at this!)
Friday 11 July – Steve M trip leader
We woke up to a fine day but cloudy to the east. That was annoying because the temperature got down to -2.4 c and ice covered everything. The clouds stopped the sun drying out the tents, so we packed up wet and headed off about 9:30 to try and find our way out on the track to Cardunia Rock Soak. The track was on the map but after about 2km it faded to nothing and we reluctantly decided to backtrack to a turnoff we had passed the previous day. After a quick on foot inspection, as it looked overgrown, we decided to give it a go. It quickly opened up and we had a good run to our destination – Cardunia Rock Soak and nearby quarry, arriving just after 10:30.
What a spot. It was quite a large rock and has extensive and very well built rock walls to guide the rain flow into a chute running into a proper walled dam. Very good water with ducks (grebes) swimming around. The dam then ran into a lower water body with wooden poles for a roof.
There was evidence of yabbies’ being caught and cooked as well as shooting, with a number of different caliber shell casings found. Adjacent to the dams was a quarry site, lime?, with a rail track.
After a leisurely morning tea we headed off towards the trans Australia access road at Karonie to head to Kalgoorlie. We stopped at Majestic Timber reserve for a quick lunch and then headed to Kalgoorlie to visit the super pit. After a good look at the mining activity we said goodbye to Kym and Glenda, who were staying in Kalgoorlie to visit friends.
We headed straight off to Coolgardie to fuel up before heading to our next camp site at Walleroo Rock. John got the reference to this place from an article in the Western 4WD Driver magazine. It has recently been upgraded and an access road opened up for tourists. The turnoff we took was at Stewart, just west of Bullabulling. This was a great gravel road that led us up to the trans access road where we turned west for about 20km to the Walleroo Rock turnoff.
We arrived at the rock at around 5:00pm for our last happy hour together. We had just finished happy hour when it started to rain. Fortunately it just drizzled for a few minutes and then cleared up for the rest of the evening. About 240km covered for the day.
Sat, 12 July.
Having had light rains during the night we awoke to a damp chilly day with the cloud cover, preventing our tents from drying. Walleroo rock awaited us, we drove further in to the area, finding the facilities and 3 camping areas. Walking up the slopes, braving the icy wind, we were rewarded with great views over the region and one of the dams. A cairn on the summit grew larger as some rocks were added, a photo shoot and we walked down the other side ( nicely out of the wind ) to find the other dam. The whole rock was too large to explore now, so we had to leave it for another time.
We left via an unmarked track that was to take us the most direct path to Great Eastern Highway. What an amazing journey that was! Ever changing woodlands and scrub, on a delightful track. Definitely a must do, maybe in spring.
Steve M parted with us remaining WANDERERS at this point on GEH, so Bob & Leslie, PDG, Lorene and myself went on to Southern Cross for lunch. From Moorine Rock, we turned off to meander our way to Mandurah, marking the end of a Great Trip.
The only indecent was one puncture. The "JOURNEY" was memorable, with some surprising destinations out shining, the Queen Victoria Springs ! And new destinations added to our trip list. For Another Time !! John & Lorene.