After recovering from our mammoth drive on Sunday, we woke up on Monday morning almost refreshed, grabbed some coffee and went to the West Australian Museum. They have a huge headframe as you go into the museum that they moved from the Golden Mile when the Super Pit swallowed up the old mine. There's an observation deck at the top where you can see all of Kalgoorlie and the underground workings at Mount Charlotte (and some MASSIVE spoil piles)
Exchange Hotel on Hannan Street. Kalgoorlie's main street has like 10 pubs on it.

Ivanhoe Headframe at WA Museum

View towards Mt Charlotte Mine and Super Pit from headframe at WA Museum
After the museum we had lunch at the Palace Hotel, where Hoover's Mirror is. Herbert Hoover was a mine manger at Gwalia outside of Leonora in the Goldfields. He went on to become the 31st President of the United States. After lunch we climbed Mt Charlotte (more like a molehill than a mountain!) to the reservoir and lookout. In the late 1800s, the WA Engineer in Chief, CY O'Connor, masterminded a pipeline from the Mundaring Weir, some 530km away and the reservoir is the final destination of the pipeline. If the same pipeline were built today, it would cost $1 billion.

We finished the afternoon with a tour of one of the brothels on Hay St, Questa Casa. All the brothels in Kalgoorlie used to be located on Hay St only, with the girls not allowed to leave the house or be part of the town. Some of the stories told were "interesting" to say the least.
Lawrie outside the brothel.
Our final day in Kalgoorlie was spent at the miners hall of fame, where we saw some more mining history and saw a gold pour. We then headed to the Super Pit and the old school lolly store, loaded up and headed out to Hyden.

Gold Pour

Still hot!

Super Pit, massive!


Thank god for audiobooks. They take hours off the long drives we've been doing. So far we've listened to Waiting for Godot, Cloudstreet, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Her Fearful Symmetry and The Turning, with more to come.

We left Streaky Bay on Saturday morning and drove for 9 hours, making it to Cocklebiddy just before nightfall. We knew we were in for a long drive when we put Perth in as our destination and just after Ceduna the instruction was "in 1205km, turn right".
GPS Instructions

The Nullarbor is the largest piece of limestone in the world and the way it rises out of the southern ocean is pretty amazing.

Nullarbor Cliffs - this part was actually closed due to cliff instability.
Lawrie didn't make the smartest choice standing here

Looking west along the cliffs
We refuelled at Border Village just before we crossed into WA and got a nasty shock at the price of fuel although we shouldn't have been surprised. The quarantine inspection getting into WA was pretty thorough but the lady was super cranky. We were planning on stopping at Eucla but we decided to keep going until just before dusk and the kangaroos. We put up our tent at Cocklebiddy and the wind was intense. It comes straight of the ocean and because the plain is so flat and there are no trees, it howls for miles.
Fuel at Border Village

Kitty at the border

Lawrie at the border

View of the plain from Madura Pass
The next morning we set out early and tackled the 90 mile straight - the longest straight road in Australia. We kept going and pulled into Norseman around 11am and checked in at Kalgoorlie around 1pm. We'd made it! We'd done 3100km since New Years and spent $800 on fuel.

Start of the 90 mile straight

Streaky Bay

We drove up the West Coast of the Eyre Peninsula from Coffin Bay and stopped in at some absolutely amazing places on the way. The water is so clear and blue and the cliffs make an impressive contrast. We drove around Elliston and had a look at the coastline there and when we got a little bit further north we stopped at Talia Caves and had a look around
Coastline at Elliston

Coastline at Elliston

'The Tub' at Talia Caves

Lawrie in the Tub

Waves breaking at Woolshed Cave

Woolshed Cave (creepy bats inside). The carpark is just above the cave - not sure if this is a super idea
We made it to Streaky Bay around lunchtime and set up camp. We were lucky to score a site right on the beach. We pulled out the bikes and went for a ride around town, had dinner at the pub and went for a walk along the jetty.

View from our campsite



Lights from the jetty
The next day we went for a drive down to the sea lion colony at Point Labatt and for a drive along the coast.
Point Labatt

Sea Lions at Point Labatt - they're the slug looking things on the rocks

Coast south of Streaky Bay
 After we got back we went for a ride around the bay and watched the sun go down from camp.

On Friday we drove down to Baird Bay and went out on a boat with Baird Bay Ocean Eco Experience and went swimming first with the bay dolphins and then with sea lions from the colony in the bay. The dolphins were good but they'd been having a hard time from another pod so were a bit cranky. We still managed to get  close to them but only for about 20 minutes. After that we headed over to the sea lions. Where we swam was in a reef pool so it was protected and shallow. Swimming with the sea lions was absolutely amazing. They play exactly like dogs. They copy your movements in the water and nuzzle you like dogs and one of them even goosed Lawrie! It's probably the highlight of our trip so far.

Sea Lions sunning themselves

In the water

Posing for the camera

Sooo cute!
On our way back from Baird Bay we stopped in at Murphy's Haystacks, which are inselberg rock formations in farmers field. Pretty interesting.
Murphy's Haystacks

Lawrie under the Haystacks
In the afternoon we went for a drive along the coast just north of Streaky and went to the Whistling Rocks and Blowholes. We thought that there were birds making funny noises but it turns out that it was the ocean. Have a look a the video at the RAA South Australia website to see what we mean.

On Saturday we packed up camp and started our trip along the Nullarbor....

Coffin Bay

After the dry and dusty area around the Flinders we set off early heading south along the Eyre Peninsular with the target of getting to Cowell (mid way down) but got a good roll on so we made it to Coffin Bay. Driving through we were lucky to find that the farmers night markets were on, we made plans to come back that night!

We hadn't booked any accommodation so we arrived at the National Park and drove in, hoping for a campsite. We went looking for the 4wd area but missed the turn so ended up camping in Yangie Bay. This was around 17km from town so it didn't take too long to get back into town that night. We walked through the markets, which were packed and ended up getting some beer and fish & chips for dinner. We relaxed on the grass overlooking the water as the sun went down.
Campsite at Yangie Bay, nicely protected.

Coffin Bay

View from our patch of grass
Over the next few days we made our way around parts of the National Park, the weather wasn't very kind, very windy. It was a pity not to be able to get the kayak out.
On the way to Black Springs

One of the salt lakes.
We spent the first full day just chilling out and having a bit of a down day. On the next day we headed into Port Lincoln to do some shopping (not much in the way of groceries in Coffin Bay) and had a look around. On the way back we stopped in at Pure Oysters in Coffin Bay and got a dozen oysters opened for $10! Not bad especially when they only came off the boat 2 hrs before.

Lawrie sizing the oyster up

And down it goes
We had one more day after that and went for a 4 wheel drive to have a look at some of the other place in the park but because of the weather and the bees that were rampant at our campsite, we packed up on Wednesday (12/12) and headed up to Streaky Bay. It was really good to get some quiet time though.

Flinders Ranges

We spent Wednesday morning packing up and headed to Big W in search of butane, basket and rear rack. We ended up with only the butane and then found a bike shop where Kitty bought the flashest bike basket around, quick disconnect and carry handle making it great for shopping. After the doctors visit we started the drive up to Willow Springs Station, near Wilpena.
We couldn't resist the urge to visit an old mine on the way up, which was discovered by Wombats.
Old Copper mine near Burra.

Overall, it took around five hours to get there and we setup and settled in for our best camping sleep yet, the weather was perfect! Willow Springs is a working sheep station and was recommended to us by Andrew as they had stayed there in the past and had family friends in the area. Our campsite was great and secluded, we were the only guests and were around 1km from the homestead and hot showers, though we had our own loo.
Artwork sign at the entrance to the property

Campsite at Willow Springs Station

No need to unpack our table and chairs!

We were on the edge of a creekbed.

Thursday we headed to Wilpena pound for a walk up Mt Ohlssen Bagge, which took around 1hr 10min to climb, the temperature steadily rose to 38 during this time. We enjoyed a cool drink and salad (+ham) rolls, enjoyed the vista and some not to nice ants!

The start of the walk and the only really flat bit!

A view of the pound from half way up

The view from the top

Lawrie getting his bearings

View to St Mary peak
The descent (circa 500m vertically) was a thigh killer so we made a beeline for the shop (ice-cream!) as a reward then drove to sacred canyon to look at the engravings. We were baking at this point and the sun was relentless so our stop was brief.
Walking into sacred canyon

View up the canyon towards the second waterfall.
Friday morning early we drove to Skull rock, another tip off from Andrew. This is right in the corner of the national park and only really accessible from Willow Springs and by 4wd. The track took us past some spectacular formations and views, past old barite mines and to the scull, made of a tufa limestone formation.

Heading to the Skull

Skull Rock

Barite mine entrances.

A view from the track
Andrew's advice had so far been on the money so we decided to do a loop through Blinman, Parachilna and back through Brachina gorge. At Blinman we stopped at the old copper mine & smelter. Interestingly, the town gets its water from the lower levels where it can be pumped easily, the old miners must have done a good job as the water is not tainted or acidic.

Adit into the mine

They stoped up to the surface

On the drive to Parachilna

Gums in the riverbed, we followed gorges the whole way

The water was still flowing.
After Blinman we went to Parachilna for a feral feed, refer to photos!  (NB: Kitty maintains her vego status)

Parachilna Pub

Feral Mixed Grill (FMG)

We left Parachilna and followed the Brachina gorge geological trail, glimpsed the rate yellow footed rock wallaby and back to Willow Springs.

Near the Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby area.

View of the Ranges

View of the range again...pictures probably don't do this justice!

Emu and his Babies