Kalgoorlie, Lake Ballard and a Camp Kitchen at Menzies

Our journey continues as we leave The Duke at Orleans Bay and head back to Esperance. We meet up with our travelling friends Sue and Steve again and are invited to spend the night in the front yard of their friends property.

It’s been a while since we’ve camped on lush green grass, with an ocean view but that’s just the location, the best part is the wonderful company, warm hospitality and shared dinner that night in their friends home. We continue to feel blessed and so grateful for the people we’ve encountered on this journey.

We head off the next day but not before one last swim at Twilight Cove. The white sands and clear waters of Esperance will forever stay in my mind.

Now we’re going inland, bound for the gold mining town of Kalgoorlie. After a peaceful free camp overnight at Bromus Dam with millions of stars above us, we arrive in Kalgoorlie, a place full of mining history, grand architecture and streets of red earth and charm.

Kalgoorlie Vibes

Kalgoorlie is down to earth, warm and welcoming. It’s a genuine, working class community with wide streets, stone buildings and hotels on every corner, all with gold mining tales of the past and present. We explore the main streets, pose in front of colourful murals and visit the lookout at the Superpit, marvelling at the massive scale and operations of this gold mine.

The Golden Mile Super Pit is 3.7kms long, 1.5 kms wide and 480 metres deep open cut gold mine, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.

Later that day Doug has a catch up with an old school mate at The York. At the same time Sue and I check out Kmart for new knickers and stop at Kalgoorlie’s famous and only remaining brothel (the pink Questa Casa) on the way home. Purely for a photo out the front of course!

We spend three nights in Kalgoorlie and on our final evening drive out to see the Two Up Shed in the bush. This quirky shed is one of only a few places in Australia where Two Up can be legally played all year round. But it wasn’t Sunday so the shed was empty. Sue and I threw a twenty cent coin instead!

Menzies Caravan Park

From Kal we head out to Menzies, but not before a stop off for a drink at the Broad Arrow hotel. It’s a literal ghost town, and the pub is virtually the only building in town. The welcome is friendly and the place is filled with quirkiness and outback Aussie hospitality. We continue onto Menzies with the intention to visit Lake Ballard, to see the unique art on the salt lake. There’s free camping at the lake but the weather is stinking hot so we opt for a couple of nights at Menzies instead.

This shire run caravan park is smack bang in the middle of town. Menzies is a good looking place but there’s. not much there, a cafe and pub (which isn’t open) an information centre (that’s closed because it’s Saturday) but the sites at the park have power and water, very clean facilities and there’s gorgeous little herb gardens scattered throughout the park.

We don’t need the big ritzy resorts. It’s the simple things on the road that are often the best and the colourful people we meet that stay in our mind.

The best bit is the large, modern and well equipped air conditioned camp kitchen. During our stay it becomes a makeshift hair salon, barber,games room, bakery, bar and communal dining room. The local characters living at the park all know each other and at night converge on the camp kitchen. We had a couple of very social nights here.

Lake Ballard

Lake Ballard is about 50kms from Menzies. On our second morning, we head out early to beat the heat and the notorious flies. We’re warned not to drive on the lake, a recipe for disaster, but it’s obvious that walking is the best way to experience this outdoor art gallery.

From a distance, silhouetted in the early morning light, the steel structures seem to come alive. They look eerie and other worldly, and up close they look both alien and human like. It’s an extraordinary artistic landscape.

The 51 steel structures on the salt lake are the creation of international sculptor Antony Gormley and well worth a visit. They’re spread out over a vast expanse of the salt lake. The story goes that they’re modelled from the locals at nearby Menzies.

Back in Kalgoorlie Sue and I decide to register for the Nullarbor links, the worlds longest golf course. Open to both pro golfers and newbies the Nullarbor Links is an 18-hole par 72 golf course that spans 1385 kilometres, along the Nullarbor/Eyre Highway, from Kalgoorlie in West Australia to Ceduna in South Australia.

I’m no golfer, the most I’ve played is a hit or two of mini golf with the kids so It’s gonna be an interesting trip along the Nullabor. We play our first two rounds at the Kalgoorlie Golf Course and, we have a lot of laughs. My swing leaves a lot to be desired.

They call it Golf because all the other four letter words are taken.

In my next post I’ll take you with me as we travel Australia’s longest straightest road, the Nullarbor, spanning two states and two time zones. We’ll free camp along most of its route, from bush camps to cliff tops with views that will take your breath away. I’ll aim to improve my golf swing as Sue and I make our way along the worlds longest golf course.

This trip continues to surprise and delight me. It’s allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and try things I’ve never done before. I guess we’re never too old and it’s never too late to try something new.

Wherever you are in the world I hope you too can embrace a sense of newness, whether it’s trying a different something or simply adopting a new way of looking at life.

It’s better to look back on life and say, “I can’t believe I did that.” than to look back and say: “I wish I did that.” – Unknown

Sometimes life’s adventure can be as simple as looking at the world through different eyes, questioning, taking chances, realising that all of us have the ability to create our own reality by the choices we make.

Wishing you all magic, love and light (and even a stroke of luck) as we continue our journey.

It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of new beginnings

25 thoughts on “Kalgoorlie, Lake Ballard and a Camp Kitchen at Menzies

  1. That gold mine is like our open pit copper mine in Silver City, NM. They are amazing. Lake Ballard is something else. Is all covered with a calcified surface? That is one long golf course. That is farther from my house to Los Angeles, CA crossing three states. You are having a ton of fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love how you’ve made such wonderful friends on this trip, people you never would have met otherwise. Talk about making lemonade out of lemons….you’ve turned a difficult situation into a way to step out of your comfort zone, meet new people and experience new places! I wish more people followed your example… Keep on being you, Miriam! You’re an inspiration that is so needed right now!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wowowowowow!!! Miriam, what haven’t you done? Where have you not gone? Oh my goodness!!! I look at this post and just drool. Thank you so much for sharing your life with those of us who are not privy to travel. Bless you from the bottom of my heart!!! xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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