Every morning in Kalgoorlie has been different – this morning we awoke to very thick cold fog. By 9.00 there were quite a few vans waiting for the fog to clear so that we could all get going, as no-one wanted to head off with poor visibility.
We headed north along the Goldfields Highway towards our first stop, Menzies. Just after we left Kalgoorlie we noticed a very tall chimney from the Gidji Roaster spewing a huge cloud like a stain across the sky. We could see it beside us for about 13 kms down the road and then it was still going as far as we could see. To be honest we don’t know what the smoke/cloud is, but it certainly seems to be a bit of a worry.
Menzies is an interesting town. It seemed to be a mining ghost town that was trying to come back as a destination town near Lake Ballard. Most shops had closed although several had been restored or were in the process of restoration. There was an Information Centre, an airfield, a number of new houses, a trendy pub, a café, a new Caravan Park, and a card only petrol station which was covered all over with number plates and other car signs, etc. There were a number of interpretive signs around the town telling the story of the town and its population, and a number of attractive iron sculptures along the street-scape.
From Menzies we drove further north to Leonora for lunch. Leonora is a busy mining town. We stopped at a truck stop through town for lunch in the sun before proceeding further north.
We intended staying at a free-camp just south of the town of Leinster but it was very exposed and unappealing next to the railway line, so we drove into town to the Leinster Caravan Park. This can best be described as a bush camp with a mix of powered and unpowered sites, some with water, and a reasonable amenities block and laundry. It’s really good value at only $15 per night.
Leinster is a BHP Billiton mining town with a quite modern shopping centre comprising a number of shops, and a card only petrol station. There’s a police station and a drive-in theatre.
Tomorrow we will be heading westwards to Mt Magnet. We’re not sure if we will have mobile or internet access, although it does seem that miners need internet access so we may be lucky.