As our tour of the Big Things of Australia series continues we cover many sparsely populated kilometers across the bottom of Australia and come across a range of ‘Big Things’, some worthy of viewing, some maybe not.
Day 8 – Ceduna to Eucla
Our last Big Things Australia blog post left off in Ceduna South Australia with the Big Oyster, Big Farmer and the start (or end, whichever way you want to look at it) of the World’s Longest Golf Course.
A good hour further down the Eyre Highway you won’t be able to miss the Big Whale. Not because of its enormity, but because it fronts the only building for miles either way. The Roadhouse and whale are close to the Head of Bight, a famous whale watching spot where whales are often seen playing.
Onwards we head another hour’s drive along the Eyre highway to Yalata, a town with a population of seven and a Big Boomerang. The Big Boomerang arches majestically over the town’s only service station and is a good reminder to fill up the car as service stations are few and far between on this stretch of highway.
The next stop the Big Kangaroo at Border Village on the South Australian side of the Western Australian and South Australian border, is affectionately known as “Rooey ll” and was built in 1986 to capitalize on traffic making its way to Perth to watch the America’s Cup. “Rooey ll” has a tight grip on a can of soft drink that was once a can of beer, but it was thought this gave off the wrong impression to visitors to the area.
Eucla, just over the Western Australian border, is the first ‘Big Thing’ stop in WA where a second Big Whale sits proudly fronting another road house. I guess at this stage I could mention two more ‘Big Things’, firstly the big expanses of nothing along the Eyre Highway which for city dwellers are surprisingly interesting and the Great Australian Bight with its towering cliffs and rolling sand hills.
Day 9 – Eucla to Norseman
(7 hours 15 minutes)
A long drive along straight highway through desert, desert and more desert interspersed by the occasional mob of emus and troop of kangaroos leads to Norseman and the Big Camels (more aptly known as the Tin Camels as they’re really more life sized than big). Constructed of corrugated iron, the camels are a tribute to the old camel trains that used to transport freight to and from town. Herds of feral camels are occasionally seen grazing in the area so keep your eyes peeled on your travels.
Day 10 – Norseman to Kalgoorlie
Kalgoorlie is a historic mining town founded in 1893 during the Yilgarn Goldfields gold rush and is now the 5th largest town in Western Australia. The town has two claims to fame with ‘big things’ one pretty impressive, the other not so much! The first is commonly known as the Super Pit and is a canyon sized open cut working gold ore mine. Its awe inspiring size can be viewed from a number of lookouts or if you’re really keen you can take a 4WD tour into its depths. The Super Pit is the biggest gold open mine in the country and produces up to 850,000 ounces of gold each year.
The second ‘big thing’ in Kalgoorlie is the World’s Tallest Bin, a huge length of rusting pipe jutting out from the ground bearing enormous handles and the words World’s Tallest Bin. Originally erected by the Keep Kalgoorlie Klean Kommittee in 1980 to support the activities going on for the Tidy Towns Competition and to remind the town folk not to litter. There were talks of the bin being included in the Guinness Book of World Records but alas, this never happened! The Quality Inn Railway is a welcome sight with its clean and comfortable Kalgoorlie accommodation including six self contained units close to Kalgoorlie attractions.