The most interesting part of the road trip was the eastern goldfields of WA. The land is harsh and rocky but has wonderful desert landscapes and the most amazing night skies. Easy to understand why space observatories are built out here.
Gwalia is the most interesting place. There is still a very profitable working mine there but the nearby village is deserted and is now a national heritage site. It’s full of deserted miners shacks, maintained but not restored, and you can spend hours wandering through the huts and buildings still full of old artifacts, mining tools and household implements.
Heading west towards Sandstone we experienced fantastic winter weather. Blue, blue skies and warm enough to wear a t shirt through the day. A little chilly at night but not as cold as it can get sometimes below 0c. Sandstone is a very popular spot for modern day prospectors, as permits are not required and prospectors can go anywhere. It seems profitable for those that know the area and return each winter for gold and sunshine.
In Perth for a week or so I managed to catch up with Perth Sketchers for an outing to the Museum, which had a display of 100 artifacts on loan from the British Museum. Lots of choice for sketching there, although the low lighting was a bit of a challenge at times. The museum attendants were rather intrigued by our palettes and waterbrushes, as water containers are not allowed in the gallery. A Japanese tourist kept popping his head over my shoulder for a look and gave me the thumbs up.
I also met up with another sketching buddy who took me along to Tukurua. I remembered this place from my time living here. It was rather rundown then and I always wanted to buy it……. in my dreams !!!! It was recently sold for $18 million I think which was considered a very low price for it at the time.
We are back home now, after travelling many kilometres in just over 3 weeks. Our trip took us around the lower south west corner of Western Australia, which is almost half the size of Australia. We do travel large distances to get to some places. For those of you outside Australia here is a map of WA in comparison to Europe.