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”
The goldfields were filled with men from all over the world but one group stood apart, their appearance and customs quite different to the rest. The name ‘Afghan’ was applied to anyone from the Indian subcontinent.
The Afghans and their camels were crucial to the early development of the remote goldfields but the completion of the railway line to Coolgardie marked the beginning of their numeric and economic decline.
There are a number of Afghan graves, some with exotic headstones but most unnamed, in a small enclosed area at the rear of the Coolgardie cemetery.
Prospector John Aspinall records in his diary in 1895:
We passed a team of 45 camels with a baby one at the tail end resembling an emu with 4 legs. The Afghans decorate their fancy riding came slwiuth beads, cowries and fancy tassels with the true oriental fondness for display.
Click on any map section or place below to discover The Golden Pipeline.