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Sandstone to Menzies

Trek through the goldfields #part2

After a busy morning sight seeing around Mt Magnet, we decided to treat ourselves to a powered site at the van park in Sandstone,. A small park with clean amenities, communal fire pit, green grass and most importantly only one block away from the pub. All refreshed from a nice hot shower we strolled up to the National Hotel - a lovely cosy pub for a pint & parmy.

The following day we drove around and checked out Sandstones local attractions, London Bridge, The Brewery & the old state battery. With the van in tow, we grabbed some fresh milk & veges from the store before heading east towards Leinster. Just over halfway to Leinster we found a ripper camp-spot near some granite formations.

London Bridge

It was such a good spot, we decided to stay 2 nights. We loved sitting back next to a fire and watching the Granite cliffs change colours, especially around sunset. We then moved up the road into Leinster, for 3 nights. The town itself is purely a mining town with just a pub, grocery store, petrol station and a communal recreation centre. At only $20 a night for power and water plus free washing machines, it was the perfect place to catch up on some work, maintenance and of course washing.

One night, we headed to the pub as we were craving another chicken parmy. Wow is all we can say. The food was delicious and such massive servings. You can see why it was full of people. Thanks Leinster for some down days, now off towards Leonora.

We had planned to have a lamb roast for dinner, so we didn’t travel too far down the road when we found another epic free camp to set up at. Plenty of firewood scattered around, which is what we wanted so we started the fire and slow cooked our lamb. Needless to say, it was delicious. The next day we made it into Leonora.

Not really alot to see in Leonora town itself, so headed south to check out the Gwailia Ghost town which was only 5km south of Leonora. We had a few people recommend to us to visit here, so we were excited to check it out. You make a donation at the front counter, where the lady then gave us a map so we could wander around the museum and township. A great museum with lots to see and it also had a small cafe on the grounds.

We decided to head out to Malcolm Dam - a free camp 15minutes east of Leonora to stay for the night. There were plenty of vans scattered around but not much water in the dam unfortunately. The following day, we made tracks and headed south and out to the ghost town of Kookynie. It is practically a real life ghost town with only the Grand Hotel left open and a few residents of the town.

Free Camp

The Grand Hotel was very unique as it was like a step back in time, & what made it unique was ‘Willy’, the resident horse standing out the front. Willy is not tied or restricted to the pub, but he has been trained to pretty much just stand around. We had a beer, look around the pub and then headed off to look around the town. The detour out here was only 25km on bitumen, so any van could get here and experience the hotel and see Willy!

Menzies was the next town we passed through. We decided to head out to Lake Ballard for a night. Lake Ballard is quite famous for having sculptures scattered around, on the salt lake. We pulled up around 3pm with only 4 other campers scattered around. We found a great spot to park up for the night, overlooking the lake.

Lake Ballard Statues

We watched the sunset while cooking up dinner on the fire. That night, we heard pitter patter on the roof and to our surprise it was raining! We awoke in the morning to a bit of water lying around on the lake, which was cool. We walked around some of the sculptures and climbed atop of snake hill, which is a small lookout over the lake. Lake Ballard was a pretty cool place to see for an overnight stop.

Next stop, into Kalgoorlie

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