A project from the National Trust of WA
A self-guided drive trail between the Perth Hills and Western Australia’s Eastern Goldfields. Go with the Flow. Follow the water to discover more about the audacious goldfields water supply scheme and Engineer CY O’Connor.
“Future generations, I am quite certain will think of us and bless us for our far seeing patriotism, and it will be said of us, as Isaiah said of old, ‘They made a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert”
This is mining country. No green hills, no ploughed fields. No flowing rivers, indeed no fresh water at all. Just gold. Looking around it is easy to believe John Aspinall when he wrote in 1895 that
Men will go much farther for gold, and endure more than for honour and glory.
Great Eastern Highway passes through sand plains, low hills, and broad valleys draining into salt lakes. Between Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie are two Nature Reserves and other areas of remnant vegetation with eucalypt woodlands, and chenopod and acacia shrubland growing on the red soil. But about halfway between them the sign for Kurrawang reminds us of what is not there – trees. The Kurrawang woodline ran into the forests as part of a huge operation to gather timber to fuel steam powered trains, pump stations and mines.
The Kurrawang woodline was one of a number of railway lines which ran off into the forests to service the timber cutters. Trees were cut down in their thousands, probably millions, to feed.
The ride to Hannan’s [Kalgoorlie] is not an inspiring one. The road runs for twenty-eight miles in nearly a straight line, through undulating, sparsely-wooded country that is scorched and dismal. A third of the journey consists of a gradient which is known as the Nine-Mile Hill, and every inhabitant for miles around who owns a buggy, can tell a personal story of how he came to grief on that incline. The track is plentifully sprinkled with outcrops of quartz, and tree trunks rising from one to three feet out of the ground. Albert Calvert 1897
Click on any map section or place below to discover The Golden Pipeline.