On the way at last! We were able to fold the trailer in our best recorded time today and we are ready to go inland again. We decided to drive the longest shortcut in Australia – 4,600 km from Perth to Cairns via Great Central Road.
Our next stop was Kalgoorlie Boulder with its huge Kalgoorlie Super Pit – a mining hole in the ground. After Kalgoorlie, we decided to go to Alice Springs via the Australia Longest shortcut. This way we missed the awesome Nullarbor and Esperance trip altogether. Maybe next time!
We were going to pass several deserts and three states. The Outback Way is an adventure of the greatest kind! This route was challenging and a high clearance vehicle is a must.
Kalgoorlie water pipeline all the way from Perth
Before driving to Kalgoorlie we read that the whole town is one great memory of the times when you could drink a beer on every corner. These were times when beer was cheaper than a glass of water.
It changed after water was sent to the town via pipeline from Perth. As we drove we could see one big pipeline running along the highway. The whole idea of running a Kalgoorlie water pipeline in those days was just crazy. This was argued to be impossible. A gentleman named O’Connor thought otherwise.
He designed eight independent water pumping stations that ran on steam! It was not until 1970 that steam engines were replaced with electric ones. And an interesting fact: the water takes about 2 weeks to travel 560 km from Perth to Kalgoorlie.
To this day, the Kalgoorlie water pipeline serves as an important water source for the entire town and surroundings.
Arriving to Kalgoorlie
Lead by the Kalgoorlie water pipeline, we drove 560 km from Perth and we didn’t even feel it as we were so excited to escape the windy coast. We were really excited to see Kalgoorlie Super Pit, but first, we drove to Mount
After arriving at the campsite, we did not even put the trailer up, we just quickly unhooked it and went to see the town and the huge gold mine that is still operational. We were really excited to see Kalgoorlie Super Pit, but first, we drove to Mount Charlotte Reservoir and Lookout.
Mount Charlotte Reservoir and Lookout
First, we drove to Mount Charlotte Reservoir and Lookout. From information boards, we could read about Mount Charlotte’s two fevers: gold and typhoid that raged with equal intensity in the end of the 19th century.
Also, there was a full story about how the water was discovered and transported to Kalgoorlie and stored in Mount Charlotte Reservoir.
From the 360 degrees lookout, we could see Kalgoorlie and its surroundings.
Kalgoorlie Super Pit
Gold mining in Kalgoorlie is really impressive. The huge hole in the ground, called colloquially Super Pit, was 3.8 km by 1.6 km by 600 m deep! As I said – impressive.
Huge trucks driving against the background of the Super Pit looked like children’s toys. The view was so surrealistic.
When we returned from the Super Pit, the evening was warm for the first time in several weeks. I love the outback. It has a fantastic atmosphere, people are very friendly and it is not commercial.
The next day we went to see the town of Kalgoorlie. It is a beautiful old twin town with a rich history related to gold exploration and mining.
Kalgoorlie local market
In the morning, we went to the local market, which takes place in Leonora every third Sunday of the month. Luckily it was the third Sunday today.
We saw some local handcraft, tourists strolling around, and a lot of very friendly locals to chat with. Nell got a balloon and ice cream.
Museum of the Goldfields
Later on, we did a quick tour of the Museum of the Goldfields. The museum offers a lot of information about gold mining and the rich history of the Eastern Goldfields.
They also have the largest collection of gold bars and nuggets. We could learn about the life and hardships faced by mining families at the beginning of the 1900s.
After this informative session we were on our way again – this time our plan was to go to Menzies, leave the trailer and drive to Lake Ballard sculptures that were made by Antony Gormley.
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4WD Equipment Checklist
Tire Repair Kit – to fix the tire by yourself when you don’t have access to the tire shop (we use Oztrail)
UHF Radio – for communication with your mates and in emergency
Full Recovery Kit (with Dampener Blanket) – must-have if you are going on real off-road
High Lift Jack – useful if you do serious 4WD tracks
Shovel – useful if you get bogged, also good for campfire cooking
Fuel funnel with water filter – additional protection when fueling up in dodgy places