Super Pit and Wave Rock

After two weeks more or less following the coast, it was time to head up north. Grab a beer (as it gets hot) and read all about it.

Never-ending Train at Norseman

Soon after leaving Esperance the landscape started to change and became much drier and dustier.

We stopped at Norseman where we saw a freight train with 100 carriages (we suspect they are for the wheat).

A very loooong train

Norseman is also the turn off to go east towards Adelaide through the famous Nullarbor desert.

Again, the distances are just crazy – Norseman is still 700 km away from the Western Australian border and it’s 2000 km to Adelaide (the next major city). So we saved this for the next trip.

Instead, we continued up north to Kalgoorlie a mining town where we stayed for the next two days.

Kalgoorlie Super Pit

The next morning at 7 it was already too hot to stay in the tent and so we got up for an early breakfast before heading to the excellent mining museum in town.

Kalgoorlie Mining Museum
Kalgoorlie Mining Museum

Mining is the major industry in (Western) Australia as this Wikipedia entry illustrates: “Mining in Western Australia, together with the petroleum industry in the state, accounted for 85 per cent of the State’s and 41% of Australia’s income from total merchandise exports in 2017–18”

We were quite impressed by not only the history of the town itself but also by the water pipeline which was built from Perth to Kalgoorlie in 1903. It’s more than 400 km long and sustained the mining boom.

After lunch, we went to the lookout of the Super Pit. For once the superlative is well earned. The pit is more than 500 meters deep, 3.5 km long and 1.5 km wide. Till 2016 it was the biggest gold mine in the world.

In summary, it’s really a big whole (really). Apparently you can even see it from space.

The Photo doesn't do it justice - Kalgoorlie Super Pit
The photo doesn’t do it justice – Kalgoorlie Super Pit

Currently, they estimate that the mine will operate till 2029. What happens afterwards is still open (some plans talk about a big resort with the pit filled up with water). Let’s see.

One big Shovel
One big Shovel

Wave Rock at Hyden

The next day we were heading westwards towards Hyden (including good Chinese food for lunch). After a lot of desertlike scenery wheat fields started to dominate again.

Hyden is home of the Wave Rock – which looks like, surprise, a gigantic wave. Well worth the 500 km drive and so we decided to stay two nights there. Surprisingly the nights got quite cold again.

Wave Rock in Hyden
Wave Rock in Hyden

After a good night’s sleep, we ventured out to explore the Wave Rock and the other nearby attractions.

Although there are no hippos in Australia, a nearby rock formation is nevertheless appropriately named Hippo’s Yawn.

Hippo's Yawn and silly Kevin
Hippo’s Yawn and silly Kevin

A trail across the very big and very dry salt like nicely showed us how dry the region is. We also passed Lake Magic which still carried some water and where bacteria made the water look green (quite groovy).

Lake Magic
Lake Magic

A short drive out of town is Mulka’s Cave which has impressive Aboriginal handprints on its walls. It’s assumed that they are two to three thousand years.

Like a few years back in the Northern Territories, we were impressed by the accessibility and beauty of this native art.

Aboriginal Hand Pintings at Mulka's Cave
Aboriginal Hand Paintings at Mulka’s Cave

Also interesting were the nearby waterholes used by Aboriginals.

Aboriginal Waterhole
Aboriginal Waterhole

We were really glad we made the small detour to Hyden to see all this. Next, we were heading further west back to the coast.


Where to pitch your tent:

Kalgoorlie: Kalgoorlie Goldfields (was nice and hot)

Hyden: Wave Rock Caravan Park is right next to the Wave Rock (and is nice as well)


Wave Rock

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *