Friday, 7 October 2022

Off to See the Wizard - Wongan Hills to Southern Cross

Another day of wheat paddocks and small towns.  After such vast distances between settlements, it has taken a little getting used to travelling through so many towns.  If it wasn’t for my notes and photos I wouldn’t remember them all.

This was on the Thursday, being the Australian Day of Mourning for Queen Elizabeth II, so most businesses were closed.  As the following Monday was also a scheduled public holiday, many businesses were also going to be closed on the Friday, to give people a nice long, long weekend.
The first little town we came to, travelling south, was Goomalling.
From here we started to work our way slightly east, coming across Dowerin.
Like most, it had some lovely old buildings.
A few murals.  
I wonder when the patchwork shop closed down?  It would be hard to make a go of it in these rather remote places.
As we drove into town we passed a dog sculpture of  “Rusty”. We then found “Rosey” in the Main Street. They were both fabricated by a local engineering firm.  They do very nice work.  Why tin dogs?  Because Tin Dog Creek runs through the town.
The garden beds were nice and cheerful and the first time we had seen bedding plants similar to what we would see at home.
Next we drove through Wyalkatchem.  I had to put it in, as it is such a crazy name.  The wheat elevators at the entrance to town show that it is definitely a farming community.
I noticed it is known as “Wylie”.
As we travelled east, Trayning was our next stop, for morning tea. More nice old buildings.
Another colourful mural on the community centre, only completed this year.  Around the back of the building there is a sensory garden.
There was a sign saying that the name Trayning is a derivative of an aboriginal word and means “snake crawling in grass near campfire”.  Therefore, in the park in the middle of town there is a large sculpture of a campfire.
We had lunch at the town one Merredin.  This was the biggest town we had been to since Geraldton and is on the Great Eastern Highway, the main highway from the eastern seaboard to Perth.  Having said that, it still isn’t all that big. It makes you realise that, although there are lots of small towns, generally only about 50kms apart, it is hundreds of miles to reach any sizeable centre for shopping or medical care.
Anyway, back to Merredin.  Yet another mural.  They really do brighten up  the place.  I’m guessing the artist is the same as at Trayning, as the style is very similar.
More old buildings.
It is good to see that the theatre is still used for stage events.  They had one coming up shortly after we were there.
Everything was well presented.
It has been, and still is, a very large railway town and there is a museum in the station.  We didn’t worry about doing a tour, just taking some photos of the buildings from where we were parked.
I love the old advertising signs on the railway water tanks. The other side advertised Oatmeal Stout, as depicted in the mural.
The highlight of this town was that it had some silo art.  The first we had seen in WA.  There are quite a few painted silos in the state, but other than this one they are in the south west corner, which we were not going to visit on this trip.
The position of the silo, railway line and road, make it difficult to park to get a photo, and impossible to get one with the ute in front.
Back on the road, you could say we were starting the next section of our trip, as we started to head east along the main highway, and therefore home.  Beside the road there runs a pipeline.  This is the waterline from Perth to Kalgoorlie, being 560 kms long.  It was started in 1896 and completed in 1903.
We met quite a few wide loads travelling west and had to try to get off the road to let them past.
I had seen a billboard for the town of Westonia, which looked interesting, so when we saw the turn off we headed in.  We assumed it was just off the highway, but it was actually 10kms in.  There was nowhere to turn around, so we decided to go and have a look anyway.  The entrance was rather cute.
It was a rather unusual little town.  Reading up it was founded back in 1910, but the facades of most of the building are recreations.
There were a few items on display up the centre of the street.

The two pubs, on opposites corners of an intersection, were abut the only original buildings and were both trading.  This is probably because there is a gold mine, the Edna May Mine just out of town.  It has been opened and closed for the last 100 years.  I think it is currently open, although I came across a news article advising that a 115 million dollar expansion was rejected by the government as it would impact on a rare wild flower.  I have also read there is a mine lookout, but we missed that.
Finally, we arrived at Southern Cross, our destination for the day.
Complete with more public art.  We took their advice and took a break here.

The highlight of the day was the silo art.


Flickenstichlerin said...

Nice art pictures Janice, thank you for sharing. Love the silo art too.

loulee said...

It feels to me like that was a long day. Maybe it's all the little towns along the way, make it feel long.

Jenny said...

Lovely small towns and plentry of art stuff go see. I didn't know there was a town called Sothern Cross, such a wonderful symbolic name.

cityquilter grace said...

love those wall murals...definitely don't see many of them here in maryland or new england many of these little towns are time capsules, looking like it was still early 20th century or older. just fascinating!

kiwikid said...

Lovely to drive through those small towns and to see the street art. Nice to see the silo's too.