MONDAY 30 AUGUST SANDSTONE TO LAVERTON 405kms
It was another early departure from camp, on a cold morning.
The road east to Leinster was excellent.
We drove into the settlement, which was off the through road, for fuel, and to have a look around. It was a purpose built modern mining town, similar to Tom Price. There were lots of trees growing, though, and it was quite a pleasant place.
Fuel was $1.22 cpl.
Then we headed southwards, to Leonora.
The country had enough jump ups and breakaways to keep from being monotonous. There were still lots of wildflowers and generally green bush.
We had a quick walk around in Leonora. This was another of the old gold mining towns of the 1890’s. We visited the Tourist Information Centre.
Leonora was renowned for the great Sons of Gwalia gold mine.
We drove out to Gwalia – the old mining settlement, now a ghost town, established around the mine, on the outskirts of Leonora. The mine began in the 1890’s, and lasted until 1963. Herbert Hoover was an early mine administrator here, before he went on to become President of the USA.
We spent over an hour at the mining/historical museum at Gwalia. It was quite fascinating and I certainly could have used more time there.
We were shown over Hoover House – the former mine manager’s residence.It was quite grand, especially for these parts. It had now been turned into a B&B establishment, and was quite well done.
I loved the little miners’ cottages there, that were now being done up by some locals.
The Sons of Gwalia mining company revived mining at Gwalia, in the 1980’s. They went for open pit mining, and so there was now an impressively deep pit there, where the first mines were shafts.
Ironically, just as we were driving into Leonora, we’d heard on the radio news that the Sons of Gwalia company was going into administration! That probably would not bode well for the future of the revived operation.
Got fuel at Leonora – $1.16cpl. In these parts, we were topping up wherever we could.
I had hoped to stay at Leonora overnight, so we could have more of a look around the area, but John decided we would push on to Laverton.
Laverton was another town dating from the gold finds of the 1890’s. It still serviced mines around the district, as well as the surrounding cattle stations, and the local aboriginal communities.
Topped up the fuel again there – $1.21cpl.
Went into the privately owned Laverton Caravan Park for the night – $22. Bit costly, although the park was quite pleasant.
We were able to stay hitched up.
Went for a short walk around the town. A little bit of exercise, after a long day spent mostly driving.
It was a cold night.
Watched the last of the Olympic stuff on TV. Thank heavens!