Day 11 Leonora to The Middle of Nowhere (Davyhurst)

Looked around Leonora and then its twin town Gwalia this morning. Both were big mining towns in the late 1800s to mid 1900s. Leonora is still a reasonable size town servicing the still functioning mines and surrounding smaller (tiny) towns, as well there are still quite a number of individual prospectors who live or stay there. Leonora has a number of old buildings but Gwalia really is the gem. It is now a ghost town being mostly vacated in the mid 1960s when the mine shut down. It has been maintained a bit or at least parts haven’t been pulled down. As you can see by the photos the houses were mostly made from corrugated tin. The rather grand State Hotel was built in 1903 by the government to wipe out the sly grog shops. St Babara mining corp now use it as their offices and have re opened the Sons of Gwalia mine as a mini super pit.Gwalia houses small

pee tree tea tree small

I quite like the sense of humour of the person who created this ‘Pee Tree’ and ‘Tea Tree’

On the hill above the mine is Hoover House another flash building. It was built by Herbert Hoover, the future American president, when he was head of the Sons of Gwalia mine in the late 1890s it has been fully restored to its former glory and operates as a B&B and museum. Thoroughly fascinating, and drinks on the verandah mid morning was very pleasant. The museum was full of interesting stuff about mining. Two highlights both part of the same thing. The original mine head-frame and the enormous steam winder. This is the largest in the country and was used to lower and raise the men and ore in and out of the mine as well power the rock crusher.

We then continued on the driving tour. Next major stop was Lake Ballard. Here there are 51 sculptures by Antony Gomley placed on the massive salt lake flats of Lake Ballard. The sculptures were made by scanning 51 of the residents of Menzies, putting the dimensions through some computer program and coming up with the following to represent the ‘inside’ of Australia. A truely amazing exhibition in a spectacular place in the middle of nowhere.Lake Ballard 1 small

Lake Ballard 2 small

Lake Ballard 3 small

We were trying to make it to Rowles Lagoon to camp however with the sun rapidly dropping, hungry boys and at least another 60kms to drive we decided to camp in the middle of nowhere. Actually near Davyhurst, which is an abandoned town which now is nothing, except a cemetery. But I didn’t tell the boys.
A very pleasant stop except for Ben who leaped out of the car without shoes landing in a field of prickles. The type that stick to your golf balls and clubs.

Quick dinner of refreshingly cold fried rice and hamburgers. We retreated to the prickle-less, fly-less and mozzie-less tent for a game of Sleeping Queens. Thanks Kloss’ we love it.

Music today was the soundtrack from Annie (due to Herbert Hoover link) and Jack Johnson (with no water, being hot and lots of flies we were trying to channel the surf feel)

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8 Responses to Day 11 Leonora to The Middle of Nowhere (Davyhurst)

  1. Jacqui Tomlins says:

    Looks like you’re having blast. Had no idea Antony Gormley had made it to Australia and created that installation in the middle of nowhere. Looks fantastic. Everyone back to school today – cold and rainy – think you are in the better place.

  2. Kate W says:

    Those sculptures are amazing!

  3. Harry says:

    Hi Ben,

    We won our first game of footy against ashburton by a good 15 points i think. I kicked one goal & our two new balwyn were awesome, one of them kicked 2 his name was Paul the other is jack. We have some other new players two i forgot there names.
    Hope you are having a wonderful holiday!!!

    From Harry Borovac

  4. Camilla says:

    I love this. What an amazing backdrop and story for those sculptures. So many incredible sights to see in Oz of the beaten track you never hear of. Emma,you can spread the word…

  5. Harry says:

    I also really the sculptures.

  6. John McCarthy says:

    day 10 hello The boys look to be really enjoying themselves. the prestige cars ( hopefully one of them is not your toyota after only two weeks) looked very interesting but i doubt there will not be abig demand for them.
    day 11 heaven knows where you are now( it is time for the australian atlas). The exhibition looked absolutely amazing and the writing in your blog is really helping us to share in your journey.
    stay safe
    John & Marg

  7. Paul Roast says:

    Hi Tom and Emma,
    Love reading about your adventures-how is the golf score coming along?
    Hawks way too good for Collingwood and Hodgie back in form!
    Buddy scored an unbelievable goal from eighty metres out!

    First basketball match for the Panthers on Saturday-won’t be the same without Ben’s flamboyant shots!

    Happy Travels! The Roasts.

  8. KateKloss says:

    ps. Glad the card game is a winner!!

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