Golden Quest Discovery Trail - The complete Audio Files, Part 2

Article published on  November 9, 2013. Written & compiled by admin.

The Golden Qeust Discovery Trail is a 965-kilometre adventure drive in Western Australia’s Goldfields, one of the world’s most famous gold-producing regions. Running from Coolgardie to Laverton, the trail winds through 25 interpretive sites recording the lively and fascinating history, flora and fauna of the landscape. You will journey through a number of key contemporary and historical mining towns, legendary country pubs, the fascinating Gwalia ghost town and visit Lake Ballard with its extraordinary Antony Gormley sculptures that rise from the remote salt lake.

"Gold! Gold! Gold!" was the euphoric shout that echoed globally in the second half of the 19th century. This was the era of the great goldrushes that ignited passions, fuelled economies and created massive migrations to some of the world's most remote regions.

The first big rush was to California in 1849-50. A year later, "Australia!" was the cry as discoveries in New South Wales, then Victoria, caused near hysteria. From 1858, new North American finds in Nevada, Utah, Colorado and British Columbia simply added temperature to the raging global fever. And soon rich strikes in New Zealand were also attracting adventurers. The world's focus switched back to Australia in the early 1870s - this time to new discoveries in Queensland. In the 1880s, the enduring wonders of South Africa's Witwatersrand were first unearthed. Western Australia was still waiting and praying for gold.

In the final decade of the 19th century, economic storm clouds were congregating on every horizon. It had been a most remarkable century, but the money markets from London to New York to Melbourne were nervous. The boom times had been very good indeed. Unprecedented migration from Europe's "Old World" to the many "New Worlds" had created a global melting pot of nationalities. Fortunes on a scale previously unimaginable had been amassed from resource-rich frontiers, but it all came crashing down as decades of investments and speculations started to run dry. What the world needed was another good tonic in the form of yet another mighty rush for gold.

Where was the next El Dorado to be found in these gloomy times? Fortuitously, it was Western Australia.

The Golden Quest Discovery Trail was launched in March 2003. It is a social and economic development initiative with a tourism focus, providing ongoing benefits to the communities and the Goldfields and Western Australia.

There are 25 official sites (or stopping points) along the 965-kilometre trail route. These are arranged in sequence from Coolgardie (Site 1) through to Kalgoorlie-Boulder's Super Pit (Site 25).

In the decade that followed Bayley and Ford's discovery at Coolgardie in 1892, Western Australia was transformed by the wealth wrought from gold. Located almost 600 kilometres east of Perth, the colony's coastal capital, the wondrous new region was soon being officially referred to by Sir John Forrest's government as the Eastern Goldfields.

During the "Roaring Nineties", the Eastern Goldfields were a magnet for thousands of prospectors and other adventurers. Most descended upon the region believing it to be an uninhabited, almost waterless wilderness. But, like the rest of the Australian continent, it had been inhabited for thousands of years by Aboriginal peoples who had developed an all-encompassing physical, social and spiritual connection with their land. The sudden influx of some 50,000 foreigners displaced and dispersed these people, changing their lives and their land irreversibly.

An eerie sight in the WA Goldfields near Site 20 of the Golden Quest Discovery Trail are the 51 life-sized statues that form the "Inside Australia" exhibition by internationally renowned artist Antony Gormley through an initiative of the Perth International Arts Festival. The Statues are situated on part of the major salt Lake system for the Northern Goldfields - Lake Ballard near the town of Menzies.

The Golden Quest Discovery Trail GUIDE BOOK.

The Guide Book is your key to the 25 sites and surrounding areas. The eye witness accounts, tragic and quirky stories and interesting facts provide you with a rich and complete Trail experience.

Along with the book come two audio CD's. 

All tracks on both CD’s are narrated by ABS Radio National’’s Bill Bunbury. The CD’s were recorded and mixed at the ABC’s Perth Studios by recording engineer David Le May. Barry Strickland prepared the scripts and was the studio producer. Cassie Grant of the ABC in Kalgoorlie-Boulder recorded the interview material featured on both CD’s.

You can listen here to all the tracks recorded on these CD's:

CD 2

Track 01 - May Vivienne and the Laverton Willy Willy  (with Monica Main as May Vivienne)  6’17”

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Track 02 - Ernest Giles in the Great Victoria Desert  (with Igor Sas as Ernest Giles)  6’36”

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Track 03 - The Legend of the Seven Sisters  (as told by May O’Brien)  8’24”

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Track 04 - The Golden Years of Herbert Hoover  (with Igor Sas as Herbert Hoover)  9’27”

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Track 05 - Sequestering ‘Kyoto’ carbon at Sturt Meadows  (with John Law)  4’15”

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Track 06 - More Tales of Goldfields Life  (with Barry Strickland)  4’53”

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Track 07 - Auntie Bill  (with Monica Main as Auntie Bill)  5’00”

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Track 08 - The Great Mulline Beer Strike  (with Jon Doust as Drinker 1 and Marty Gittins as Drinker 2)  7’19”

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Track 09 - The Woodlines  (with Ian Kealley)  4’10”

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Track 10 - The Dimers  (with Dorothy and Ollan Dimer)  6’17”

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Track 11 - “The Smiths”  (with Marty Gittins as ‘Dryblower’ Murphy)  4’24”

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Track 12 - Western Australia’s Eureka – the Alluvial Diggers Dispute  (witj Jon Doust as John Kirwan)  6’48”

Part 1 of the complete Audio Files can be found here:


Thank you for reading & listening!