It's 700 Kilometers of pavement, with road houses, road trains and road kill along every turn. This trip can be done in a long weekend, but if you have the time, take a bit longer and enjoy some of the scenery.
Driving in the Outback of Australia is unlike driving in many other places. After leaving Perth, you actually drive for 7 hours without passing through a city with a population of more than a few thousand.
Luckily to break up the trip, there are some interesting places to stop and stretch the legs, or learn a bit about Australia. The most interesting part of this road trip is the scenery. There are two main areas you will pass through. The wheat farming area, known as the wheatbelt and the gold mining area known as the goldfields.
This trip is great because everything about it helps define this country. Long open roads through the arid deserts that cover half this country. The truckies who drive road trains day in and day out which helps the industries in these remote regions. The Kangaroos which have a wish to die and take your vehicle down with it after the sun goes down. These are all aspects of this country which you can experience on a road trip from Perth to Kalgoorlie.
The history of Australia also includes invasive species, many of which ran amuck in a country with no natural predators, and thus came the rabbit proof fence. Taking 6 years to complete, this was finished in 1907 and stretched over 2,000 miles, from Esperance to Wallal Downs. At first it makes me think, gosh, it must have been tough work building a rabbit proof fence right through the middle of WA. The second thought then is gosh, Aboriginal people have been living in these places for tens of thousands of years, making those 6 years seem pretty easy.
The Ora Banda Historical Inn is just north of Kalgoorlie, but an interesting place to see nonetheless. It has a history with the area as a place where locals go.
The Ettamogah Pub is based on a Kan Maynard comic strip and hard to miss when passing through Cunderdin. I can't vouch for the food or service, but the building is certainly unique.
Since we're on the topic of unique buildings, why not mention this camera shaped building that acts as a camera museum. While the Big Camera website looks like it was built in the 1980's, the place is friendly and makes for an interesting stop to break up the trip.
How could I make this drive without a mention of the Goldfields Pipeline. The pipeline is a reminder of how hard life is in the outback and the engineering required just to cover the basic human necessities. With such little water in the outback, it would have been impossible for any city to sustain thousands of residents needed for working the gold mines. Creating the pipeline was a feet engineered by Cy O'Connor, a man who is honored to this day with his own streets, parks and a statue.
The Goldfields Pipeline is over 100 years old and still operational to this day. If you're interested in this marvel of engineering from the turn of the century, check out the Goldfields Pipeline Heritage Trail stops. There is plenty more to see along this drive, but the main attraction is Kalgoorlie.
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Perth: Its a great big city that deserves a lot of attention, and attnetion it shall get.