|Travelling Australia - Journal 2006
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17 May 2006 - Dalwallinu to Mount Magnet
After leaving Dalwallinu we topped up the petrol tank at Wubin at a petrol station found using FuelWatch. Wubin and Dalwallinu both have large grain storage bins but they were the last we saw today as the wheat lands ended quite suddenly about 40 kilometres from Wubin along the Great Northern Road. The roadside scrub initially looked a bit non-descript but then changed into bushy shrubs about two metres high (and the same across) with some taller gum trees among them. They were a healthy dark green which contrasted nicely with the red clay beside the road.
Weather was good for travelling. Traffic was light, with very few caravans or sedans seen; most traffic on the road was road trains going in the opposite direction and a number of very wide loads of mining machinery or processing equipment. The police have specially marked escort vehicles which drive on the wrong side of the road ahead of the wide load to force oncoming traffic to get out of the way; it's a bit surprising the first time to see a police car coming at you on the wrong side of the road with lights flashing; then you see the wide load taking up the full width of the bitumen and realise that pulling completely off the road is a good idea. I don't know how drivers with big caravans handle this unexpected diversion; the A-liner just tags along behind without any fuss.
|Highway south of Mount Magnet.|
The road surface was generally quite good, yesterday's bouncy stretches were not typical of our experience with Western Australia country roads which are usually quite pleasant to drive on (unlike Queensland country road which are more often than not hard work and unpleasant).
The green, two metre high scrub continued for much of the distance to Mount Morgan. Twenty kilometres from Mount Morgan we came into termite mound country; they were small, nearly hemispherical ones about half a metre high, not the graceful narrow and tall ones seen elsewhere. At about the same time as we first saw termites the scrub changed to be more open, not as high, and containing different species. The decreasing rainfall probably has some influence.
Mount Morgan is a gold mining centre (population 1,000) where a combination of open cut and conventional mining is used. A tourist drive goes past many of the working mines and includes a lookout over one of the longer established open cuts. We passed a herd of feral goats while on this tourist road.
|Feral goats around the Mount Magnet mine.|
|Mount Magnet shire office.|