Western Australia has some unique self drive trails that you would find interesting and rewarding.
We leave Newman in the Pilbara of Western Australia, tomorrow morning and head toward the Wildflower Way of Western Australia, traveling through the area know as Australia’s Golden Outback. It is an area rich in history of the early settlement by wool growers, miners, the Kingsford Smith Mail Run and the days when travel was by horse and wagon.
We will be camping at the Gascoigne River, at a favorite bush camp, there is usually six black swans in residence on each of our former visits and there is a caretaker at this free camp, I suspect his main job is to watch over these valued and protected birds, the emblem of Western Australia. I find it interesting that on most occasions when I camp at rivers on the journey south the black swans appear, usually in groupings of six. On the last occasions when I traveled this route in the past, I painted the rivers and the black swans in oil paint, this time I plan to paint in watercolours. I don’t have a lot of time to stay in one place; we have 1,200 km to travel and to be set up ready to exhibit at Dalwallinu in a week’s time.
The landscape on this inland route is magnificent as well as a nostalgic history lesson, exposing the legacy of the gold rush era and those men and women who ventured to these remote parts to claim their share of the riches. What remains today are abandon settlements, beautiful architecture, graveyards, and decaying machinery and some beautiful old townships of Yalgoo, Mount, Cue, Meekatharra, and Sandstone.
There are some amazing geological formations in the area and the region provides good bush tucker for the indigenous community. Most of the roads are sealed and suitable for 2WD vehicles we take a few side trips, driving carefully to the road conditions, on unsealed roads to experience the majestic countryside of Peace Gorge. Peace Gorge itself is another place that stirs the emotions, it was so named back to June 1919, when Meekatharra's servicemen came home from World War One and the Road Board organised a gala picnic and sports day at the Granites. Since then the area has been known as Peace Gorge.
Peace Gorge draws me emotionally and spiritually and I am awed by its unusual beauty and a depth of feeling when I think about that celebration of the return of loved ones from the horror of war. Seeing Peace Gorge again will be a highlight of our trip and about as far, ‘off highway and road’, as I am prepared to tow our off highway eco-tourer caravan.
Ryn Shell writes stories of crime, love and Australia.
artist and author
Formerly Kathy Shell of Buninyong Gallery.
The splendour of nature and the Australian bush captured in work of acclaimed artist Ryn (Kathy) Shell.
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