Joined April 2018Living in: Golden Grove, Australia
  • Day76

    Day 74

    Yesterday in Australia

    The weather continues to smile on us, and today we did a 2 1/2 hour tour of the KCGM open mine Super Pit, where they mine 22,000 kilo of gold a year. The site covers more than 35,000 hectares and is made up of 260 individual mining leases. We were picked up by bus in the city centre and driven to the site.
    First we saw the Fuel Farm. They use 5 to 6 million litres of diesel a month.
    Then onto the Tyre Change Out Facility. The tryes weigh 5 tonne and the machine changes one in 45 minutes.
    We drove through an area of used tyres (they cannot be retreaded but are recycled), and looked at retired machines.
    Then off to the open pit. It is hugh. We watched trucks transporting the rocks to various destinations depending on their quality. As we stool outside the bus looking at the mine, several drove close by us. Most of the drivers tooted and waved. Next we watched the crushing machine where the drivers backed their trucks up to the opening and tipped their load in.
    Our guide Dan then drove through the hugh processing plant and explained how the gold was extracted using 3 different methods. The liquid gold that was left after that is sent away to be refined even further to extract more gold.
    We didn't get any free samples!!
    I went to mass tonight in a beautiful heritage listed church called St Marys. I wish I could get a photo of the outside, but it was too dark. Dan told us that there is more gold in the old bricks of the church, and the Exchange Hotel, than they extract from the mine in a day now.
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  • Day75

    Day 73

    June 22 in Australia

    We had a sleep in this morning and then had bacon and eggs for breakfast. Good start to the day. We drove to the information centre. It was in the town hall. Upstairs we looked through the war museum and downstairs we met Paddy Hannan, one of the first men to find gold in Kalgoorlie in 1893. There was another sculpture of him in the main street, where you could drink water from his water pouch via a drinking fountain.
    We wandered up and down the main street admiring many of the old buildings. Some are in good condition and some in disrepair.
    After lunch we did a tour of the Questa Casa, the only original brothel in Kalgoorlie and still operating today. The madam painted a picture of what life was like in the gold rush days, but I felt that it was through rose coloured glasses. Then she showed us through the building.
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  • Day74

    Day 72

    June 21 in Australia

    Not much to record today. We left Southern Cross amid fog this morning, which didn't clear until after 10.00am. We had planned to get fuel at Yellowdine, but they didn't have any. OOPS. Out with the 20 litre jerrycan we have been carrying for the last 10 weeks, but the funnel wouldn't fit, and petrol spilled over the ground. To the rescue came a gentleman from Harvey Bay, who had called in to get diesel. He had a funnel that we could use. Bless him.
    We called into Coolgardie for lunch and so did our new friend.
    Into Kalgorlie and the car wash to get rid of all yesterdays dirt and then to the caravan park, and who should walk in but the couple from Harvey Bay.
    The car and caravan are now sparkling clean. :-) :-)
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  • Day73

    Day 71 (2)

    June 20 in Australia

    Next a walk to Hippo Yawn and Wave Rock. Most impressive. Brian climbed to the top of Wave Rock, but I didn't. It was wet and I wasn't sure about coming down.
    After lunch, we set off for Southern Cross using a short cut. The road was gravel and well maintained. Unfortunately after a short time, it rained and turned to mud. Brian was not impressed as mud went everywhere. We stopped at the Dog Proof Fence before continuing on to the caravan park.Read more

  • Day73

    Day 71

    June 20 in Australia

    Another sunny morning as we set off to see Wave Rock and surrounding attractions.
    First, I went to the Lace Place and Brian went to the Minature Soldier Military Display. The lace display was amazing. Lace going back to the 1700s. Brian had given up and gone back to the car by the time I came back. He enjoyed the soldier display.

  • Day72

    Day 70

    June 19 in Australia

    The sun is shining today so we decided to visit the Old Farm, Strawberry Hill. Is is known as the first farm in WA. Dating back to 1831, part of the original building has been preserved. Unfortunately, it was closed.
    Next plan was to visit Emu Point. What a delightful spot. It juts out between King George Sound and Oyster Harbour. The waterway is very suitable for children as it is very protected.
    We stopped for lunch at Jerrumungup, and then drove onto Raventhorpe. We checked out their three massive painted silos, and then booked into the caravan park.
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  • Day71

    Day 69 (2)

    June 18 in Australia

    We visited the National Anzac Centre, which is set in a 260 hectare Parkland Reserve. This Centre is dedicated soley to honouring the Anzacs of the First World War and overlooks the actual location from which over 41,000 Australians and New Zealanders left Australia for the Great War. First we did a tour of the Princess Royal Fortress listening to our guide, Tony, talk about the history of the fortess and its uses over the years. We went into places like the Garrison Barracks and the Underground Museum, where they kept all their artillery. We saw the guns which were used to protect our shores, first from overseas traders in the 1800s, and then, when the fleets were gathering in King George Sound before setting off to war.
    We then went into the Centre where we were given the card of a soldier, which we could use to follow his history through the war. Mine was an aboriginal Private Gordon Naley and Brian's was Sargeant Alfred Foster. It was very interesting to follow their stories. We were also given an audio pen which we used to listen to other soldiers stories. This museum is a credit to Albany.
    After lunch we continued our journey to Mt Clarence Summit, where around 3,000 people gather on Anzac Day, to Padre White Lookout, which Tony told us was the best view of Albany. Unfortunately it was difficult to see through the rain. We also visited the Desert Mounted Corps Memorial.
    A very thought provoking day.
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  • Day71

    Day 69

    June 18 in Australia

    Todays adventure started with a visit to a Chainsaw Carving Farm. We drove through the gates, followed a circular road around amazing carvings, and then out could leave a donation if you wished! I don't know how long he has been carving, but there were way to many to photograph.

  • Day70

    Day 68

    June 17 in Australia

    What a beautiful way to start the day. A tree top walk In the sunshine. We drove to the Valley of the Giants in the Walpole-Nornalup National Park, and commenced our walk on a 60 metre long steel, see through bridge, supported by steel pylons. It had quite a sway at times (aided by Brian). At the highest point, we were 40 metres above the ground and the tingle trees still towered above us by 30 metres. It was amazing. We then caught up with a group being lead by a tour guide in the Ancient Empire Walk. I joined the group and thoroughly enjoyed listening to the details and facts about the trees and the creatures that live in the forest. I learned that the holes in the middle of the trees are caused by fires, usually started by lightening. Each time the tree is burned, the damage goes further up the middle of the trunk and eventually termites etc eat the middle out, leaving a large opening. The trees roots are very shallow and form a wheel like structure around the tree. We met the "Grandma Tingle" tree.
    Back on the road we drove through more trees. Some forming a canopy over the top of up. We turned off at a sign that said "Peaceful Bay". It was indeed peaceful and quite secluded. A pity the weather wasn't a bit warmer.
    We ate our lunch in Denmark and then drove to Albany where we will stay for a couple of nights.
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  • Day69

    Day 67

    June 16 in Australia

    Today we said goodbye to Margaret River. We really enjoyed our stay.
    We travelled through some amazing karri tree forest. At times we couldn't see the sky. We stopped at Manjimup and were very impressed with their facilities. The taps and hand drier were all connected. We have never seen these before. We called into their farmers market and I bought some fig jam.
    We called into the visitor's centre at Walpole, and after a chat with a lovely gentleman, we decided to set up camp and explore as there were some places we couldn't take the caravan.
    The scenery is amazing. At Knoll Drive there were panoramic views of two inlets with some very secluded fishing spots.
    We walked to the Giant Tingle Tree. It is 30 metres tall,, around 400 years old and very impressive. It is surround by many other very large and impressive trees. We then drove around to the Circular Pool. The water flowed quite strongly through rocks and small pools until it flowed into a very large pool. The water was very dark and there was lots of foam. It is often referred to as a cuppucino. The reflections of the trees etc in the water were very beautiful. So glad we decided to stay.
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