More Unique Places in State of Western Australia

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Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in State of Western Australia

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    HUTT RIVER PROVINCE

    by balhannah Written Mar 26, 2016

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    Where to write this tip? For me it was a problem as it is off the beaten track and what I call a tourist trap.

    So lets begin.
    Probably most people outside Australia, have never heard of the "Principality of Hutt River" also known as "Hutt River Province." It isn't a Sovereign state but is a micro-nation, which means it was created and maintained by either one person or a whole family and still is today.
    What should be remembered, is a Micro nation is not recognized, even though the principality claimed to be become an independent sovereign state in 1970, it remains unrecognised by Australia and other nations.

    The Principality of Hutt River, founded in 1970, is the oldest Micro-nation in Australia and is owned and run by Leonard Casley and his family or I should say "Prince Leonard," his wife Shirley was known as "Princess Shirley," she died on 7 July, 2013.

    We came for a visit out of curiosity and found the Principality of Hutt River had become a known tourist attraction, often bringing coachloads of tourists, mainly curious backpackers and others like us that come to see just "what" is here!

    The Principality covers 18,500 acres of farmland between Northampton and Kalbarri. We were met by "Prince Leonard" who had his story down off pat! He told of how he was not happy with the government quota of wheat, so he took his land and broke away from the rest of Australia. This gave birth to the principality, a new Micro-nation in Australia.

    Years ago, when my family visited, the Principality was in good condition and thriving, today it's a different story. Sir Leonard is 85 years old, has lost his wife and he has not been well. His son who is in his 60's runs the show and has a large area of land to look after, as such, the Principality is quite run down and not like it used to be.

    If you do find your way here, then you can buy a visa and have your passport stamped by Prince Leonard, both for entry and exit at the same time. We didn't have passports with us, he said he would still let us in!

    For me the Post Office was the only interesting place as here were banknotes, first introduced in 1974, coins followed in 1976 - 5c, 10c, 20c and 50c, many are related to the family and all are Hutt River Province coins and notes.

    There are many postage stamps on display, most of these can be bought unless they are sold out.
    I bought some for myself, and posted a letter home from here.

    I imagine everyone would spend a little here, thus keeping the Province alive, as for myself, I did just this, have been and seen and never will return nor recommend the Hutt River Province to anybody.

    OPEN - 9 - 4pm daily
    Ogilvie Road West, Yallabatharra

    More information and photos on my PRINCIPALITY OF HUTT RIVER page.

    Prince Leonard
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    Ghosts of steam and timber

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Jan 11, 2016

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    The sense of times past at the old Yarloop Workshops (125km south of Perth, signposted off the main highways to Bunbury) is palpable. As you walk through the complex of sheds and workshops you would swear the knock-off whistle had just blown and the men who once worked here had all just left. It's nearly 40 years since the workshops closed down though, and the wonderful collection of steamdriven engines housed here only fire up for the steam days held here from March to November (2nd Sunday of the month). The workshops themselves are open daily from 10-4 .

    The great forests of WA's south-west yield magnificent timber and there was once a whole network of railway lines that serviced the timber mills that operated throughout the region. Whilst most of the engines and milling machinery came from England, the industry depended on the workshops to keep them running as well as to build and adapt others. The Yarloop complex , with its stores and sheds, forge and workshops - all still full of tools, machines, patterns, huge whim wheels - everything that needed to keep the mills working, is a fascinating place. There is even the lending library that provided the men and their families with access to literature and learning. This is industrial archaeology at its best.

    The knock-off whistle has just blown
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    TALC MINE @ THREE SPRINGS

    by balhannah Updated Dec 10, 2015

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    If your like me and have never seen a talc mine before, then you just may be interested in heading toThree Springs.

    The mine was quite easy to find, we just followed the dirt road to the look-out which looked to be an old tailings heap. Many of these are being re-vegetated. There was plenty of room for parking and great views over the open-cut mine and surrounding countryside.

    This mine is on the Western Australian Heritage list because of its high economic and social significance in the Three Springs region. It is the oldest and biggest resource of Talc in Australia, and the second-most productive Talc mine in the world. The Mine can produce up to 200,000 tonnes of high-value talc annually.

    As with many mining finds, this one was accidental too!
    In the 1940's, when a Well was being sunk, talc was discovered. The talc mine started off underground, then in 1961, the mine changed hands and the new company established an open-cut mine.
    Now the Three Springs mine is the worlds largest exporter of white talc, and the world's 10th largest talc mine. The talc is graded, screened and washed on site and is trucked to Three Springs, then by rail to the Port of Geraldton for export. Japan receives approx. 120,000 tonnes for use in their pulp and paper industry, another 41,000 tonnes is exported elsewhere. The talc mill uses the latest processing technology to transform fine grain talc into paper, paint, plastics industries and probably other products.

    After viewing the mine, then it was time to look at the view and what a great one I had from here!
    I could see for miles and miles, mainly beautiful lush wheat crops and quite a few salt lakes.

    Come for a look, it's FREE.

    IMore information about the town of THREE SPRINGS can be found on this link.

    LOCATED 10kms north of Three Springs

    Three Springs Talc Mine
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    THE GORGEOUS MONSIGNOR HAWE'S CHAPEL

    by balhannah Written Dec 9, 2015

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    Yalgoo - A tiny town where I found the delightful Chapel designed and built by Monsignor John Hawes, the Architect Priest who came from Europe to Western Australia, then set about designing many beautiful religious buildings.
    We came across it when heading to the Yalgoo lookout, on the way back we stopped and read the information boards.
    Hawes arrived at Yalgoo not long after arriving in W.A. Yalgoo was hot, it was isolated, not something Hawes was used to at all. At the time, Yalgoo was a small gold mining town in decline, now people come to see the famous Chapel.

    In 1920, Hawes designed the wood and stone Dominican Chapel of St Hyacinth for the Dominican Sisters who were working in Yalgoo. Not only did Hawes design the building but he regularly travelled by horseback from Mullewa to oversee the construction and to work as a labourer for the local builder.

    Later on, I saw many more of his Churches, but this gorgeous little Chapel was the one I liked the best. The historical building is built out of small red stone and has a white Bell Tower. It wasn't open so I had to view from behind a fence.

    The Chapel of St Hyacinth forms part of the Monsignor John Hawes Heritage Trail, which is a self-drive four day tour including 15 houses of worship created by Monsignor Hawes.

    Address: Henty street, Yalgoo

    Chapel of St Hyacinth
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    CAVE HILL & BURRA ROCK RESERVES

    by balhannah Updated Dec 9, 2015

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    CAVE HILL and BURRA ROCK are two monoliths which you can visit the same day, or you can FREE CAMP at either one.

    Cave Hill is an important indigenous cultural site and was my favorite out the two.

    For thousands of years, Aboriginal people passed this way and camped at the rock to quarry stone for tools, collect water from gnammas (rock holes) and to make wooden tools from local timber.
    I was really impressed when I set eyes on this massive Rock monolith, believed to have been formed 2,600 million years ago. Approx 60 million years ago, glaciers and rivers wore away the surface and uncovered this big granite monolith that rises from the plains.

    At the car-park, the walk to the main cave was signposted. I followed the track, then it went across the rock and to a proper platform to view the giant cave I had just glimpsed. Wow! It was an incredible sight! I marvelled at the size, the colours and the shapes in the cave. I was so glad I had decided to come here! After taking a heap of photos, I found some other spots to view the cave before moving onto see what else there was.
    I could see where rainwater had flowed across the rock and down the sides, it had left a dark stain. This rock had flared rock slopes that look like waves, just like I had seen earlier at Pildappa Rock in South Australia.
    It also had some more caves but nothing like the one I had just seen. Altogether, this was a pretty amazing place!

    There was a lovely campground in amongst the bush with self-composting toilets. Nobody their in August, I guess because it was winter.

    I loved exploring this monolith!

    BURRA ROCK CONSERVATION PARK was further along the dirt road. It was another large granite monolith important to the Aboriginals.

    On arrival we set up camp in the camping area, then I went to Burra Rock. It was quite a surprise to find the old Woodline Dam full of nice blue water located on the rock itself. Pioneers have made a stone wall around the base of the rock so water would be stopped and run into the dam, and on the actual Burra Rock, they have chiselled out granite for water to head downwards and into the Dam - No water was wasted.
    I read your allowed to go swimming in these waters.

    I climbed to the summit of Burra Rock which overlooks woodlands and other granite monoliths, including Cave Hill where we had just come from, it's an excellent view. On my way back down the Rock, I stopped and looked at the large boulders that seemed to be balancing on the main surface, how they stay there - I don't know! I enjoyed myself looking at the unusual shapes they now were because of the wind.

    Well, Burra Rock was another adventure that I enjoyed!

    For more information and photos, please click on this link BURRA ROCK & CAVE HILL

    Cave Hill Cave Hill
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    LAKE THETIS STROMATOLITES

    by balhannah Written Dec 4, 2015

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    Lake Thetis is located in the Nambung National Park. It happens to be one of only a few places in the world, with living marine stromatolites, or 'Living fossils'.

    We came by car and found a free car-park, then followed the boardwalk, seeing some lizards and birds as we made out way to the look-out over the water. This is where we viewed the lake's stromatolites, nothing spectacular to look at, rather like an old cow pat lying in the shallow water. It is the age that makes them very important, as these stromatolites were around 3.5 billion years ago, and the ones in Lake Thetis are believed to be 3,500 years old! How often do you get to see something this old?

    There were quite a few here, easily seen in the water. A long time ago, they were quite abundant. Living colonies have been found in Western Australia, Shark Bay is another place to see them. Now they are some of the OLDEST LIVING FOSSILS ON EARTH.

    The drier months when the water level is at its lowest, is the best time to see them, it was like that when I saw them. The best place is south-western edge of the shoreline. The walk around the lake was a flat and easy 1.2 kms. Interpretive boards explain what Stromatolites are.

    THESE ARE VERY OLD - LOOK, BUT DO NOT TOUCH!

    Address: Hanson Bay road, Cervantes

    Directions: You can get to this site by: Two-wheel drive GPS: -30.3027, 115.044

    Lake Thetis Stromatolites
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    THE WHEATBELT OF W.A.

    by balhannah Written Aug 10, 2015

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    I guess if you have limited time then you may not travel to the Wheatbelt area of W.A.

    It may be hard for you to imagine the size of the Wheatbelt area - Bigger than England with much smaller population (72,000 people) – about one person for every 2 square kms.

    The wheatbelt region is one of the nine regions of Western Australia.

    This happened to be one of my favourite areas in W.A. As this is such a large area the landscape varies a lot, so do the industries. The arid land is mainly used for sheep farming, gold, nickel and iron ore mining. The remainder of the region is where two thirds of Western Australia's wheat is grown, half of its wool production, and the majority of its lamb and mutton, oranges, honey, cut flowers and a range of other agricultural and pastoral products are grown.
    There is a good chance you will see sheep being transported in a four tier high semi-trailers on their way to market. The driver will stop every so often to make sure they are alright and not getting crushed.

    What I liked the best, were the many imposing granite monoliths rising from the plains in this area, such an amazing sight to see! I loved exploring them, free camping and seeing the stars at their brightest, all the bird and animal life and the amazing array of wildflowers in Spring.

    If you have a car and the time, then I recommend coming and exploring this part of Western Australia.

    Sheep transport Sheep transport Monoliths Wheatbelt wildflowers
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    MONOLITHS OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA

    by balhannah Updated Aug 1, 2015

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    Something amazing we saw once away from the coast and in the country of Western Australia, were giant granite outcrops known as inselbergs and monoliths rising up from the surrounding plains. Made from granite they are found across much of Western Australia.

    Interesting is plants grow on these rocks and they provide a refuge for a range of animals. Some only live on these granite outcrops, including four species of reptile, including a spider, crevice Dragon and the larvae of a fly. The most prominent species are the rock-wallabies such as the Black-flanked Rock-wallaby.

    I found pools of rainwater in rock-holes known as gnammas that have formed on granite outcrops. Around 230 aquatic invertebrates of which at least 50 are only found in these areas live in the pools.

    Many are the Monoliths are significant locations that tie in with the Aboriginal and European cultural heritage of Western Australia.

    Most of these Monoliths are millions or billions of years old.

    W.A. Monolith
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    VISIT THE OUTBACK OF W.A.

    by balhannah Updated Feb 18, 2015

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    Just visiting the bottom half of Western Australia like I was?
    Well, you don't have to head way up north to experience the Outback, this can easily be done in this area. The goldfields Highway is completely sealed making it easy for everybody to visit this part of the Outback. It is only detours from the main road where you will be on gravel which we found to be in good condition.

    The Outback is where you can experience wide open spaces, clear blue skies, the night sky is so black that the stars are easily seen and landscapes are ones only mother nature could possibly create!
    Towns are unique, some are ghost towns full of stories to tell. People are friendly and many of the towns have quite a large population of local Aboriginals.

    We timed our visit with the wildflower season July - October, but best between August & September, although it does depend on when the rains fall.

    Authentic Aboriginal communities, miles of open roads, simple but wholesome accommodation and of course, having a "beer at the local" is like you will find nowhere else on earth.

    Take the plunge and make the long drive, especially if you a city dweller, the outback will open your eyes to scenes and experiences you will never forget!

    You will even find your star-sign in the night sky!

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    Wildflowers and a Wave at the Rock

    by tropicrd Written Oct 13, 2013

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    Look out for the wildflowers poking out of rocks and crevices and the sandy soil in this area around Wave Rock at Hyden.
    They are so beautiful..don't forget your camera..best time to visit is Australia's spring September to November.Take the loop walk to Hippos Yawn and then follow the track back to the car park..look out for the delicate orchids.
    Remember it is against the law to pick wildflowers so take your camera and start shooting you will be amazed at how many pics you take.

    Pretty as a picture Delicate wildflower I think these are wild freesiers !! A splash of colour Looks like a log man..on the track.
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    Explore the back roads without a map

    by tropicrd Written Oct 12, 2013

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    One of the great fun things to do in Australia or in this case Western Australia is to go on a road trip and explore the areas without a road map.
    I loved some of the roads our tag a long group went on and although the hosts had it all planned it was still wonderful to experience. Just follow the road signs and no doubt you will have the time of your life. I love taking pictures of long long roads.
    So let your imagination take hold and your travel spirit rise and drive these amazing roads to somewhere or nowhere, you can always go back the way you came if you think you are lost. Most of the back roads are good to drive on,so you won't need a 4x4 unless you go onto the bush tracks.

    The long long road to somewhere A bush road Straight and long Which way ? Follow the sign posts Plenty of room to park
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    Croc Creek

    by iandsmith Written Feb 2, 2012

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    One of the more magical places we visited on our Kimberley Cruise was Croc Creek; or, more specifically, the swimming hole at the head of the creek.
    It's a wonderful spot, often visited by yachties as evidenced by the stuff hanging from the shelter here.
    The swimming holes (there's another above the main pool) offer delightful freshwater bathing in surroundings as colourful as you'll find anywhere.

    The main swimming hole Colours of the creek The lower falls beneath the swimming hole Roof of the shed and its memorabilia
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    Golden ghosts

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated May 8, 2011

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    Siberia and Ora Banda are just two of the many ghost towns that can be found scattered around the Eastern Goldfields region that centres on Kalgoorlie, 600km east of Perth.

    All were founded in the heady days of the Western Australian goldrush of the 1890s. Some, like Siberia, gazetted as a township in 1898, have no buildings at all to show that once there was a sizable town here, with two hotels, a hospital and its own doctor. The first gold was found here in October 1893 and soon several mines were operating. Land for a townsite to be named to be named either Waverley or Siberia was set aside. The locals chose Siberia, taking the name from Siberia Tank, a nearby water supply for the area. No-one really knows quite why such a hot place was named thus but the story goes "A swagman struck the track near here and cut on a tree the words: To Hell or Siberia."

    Ora Banda (Spanish for 'Band of Gold") has more to show for its 100 year history - the solidly built sandstone pub is still open for business and although little else remains a story board tells visitors something of the town's history. As with Siberia, gold was found here in 1893 and by 1910 2000 people were living here, with a police station, post office, school and Catholic church just some of the amenities of the town. Thanks to some good "shows" (finds of gold seams) the mine remained open until the 1970s.

    Siberia is 80km from Kalgoorlie , Ora Banda is closer, 66 km from town .

    Siberia Ora Banda pub The story of Ora Banda Old Ora Banda
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    Bush riding "Down South"

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    A really great way to see the bush is to take a ride through it, and there's nowhere better to do this than on Cape Naturaliste. A bush ride will take you across ridges with wonderful views out to sea, down deep gullies filled with wildflowers, and perhaps even onto the beach. You don't have to be an experienced rider and you will get a fantastic feel for the bush. Go early in the morning or for a twilight ride and you may see even kangaroos.

    Beach ride
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    The perfect beach?

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Meelup Beach, a few kilometres out of Dunsborough on the Cape Naturaliste Road is without a doubt one of the most beautiful beaches you will ever see. The forest comes right down to a crescent of fine, white sand; the sheltered, brilliant turquoise water always seems to be the right temperature for swimming; there's shady grass for picnicking on, barbecues to cook on (watch out for thieving kookaburras) or you can walk up through the bush to a nearby vineyard for a leisurely lunch; and for those feeling like a little more exercise there is an excellent bush trail, the Meelup Coastal Track.

    Meelup Beach
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State of Western Australia Off The Beaten Path

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