Prospecting Trip Australia 2012 – Week 1

We arrived at Perth International Airport on Friday at 23.10 pm. Although we  were a bit afraid for the baggage control with all our equipment packed, we were outside the airport in no time. We spend the first night at the Billabong Backpackers Resort, a half hour driving with the taxi. Not a best choice, but  it didn’t cost us any money.

Perth is very expensive when it comes to food and beverage. Alcoholic drinks are hard to find. We were not able to buy a fresh pint of beer, not even a canned beer.  

Perth International Airport.


Billabong Backpackers Resort Perth.

The next morning we picked up our car, a 4.0 l Ford Falcon Station Wagon that we had purchased prior to this trip from Travellers Auto Barn in Northbridge, just a mile away from our hostel. After that we arranged a Telstra Mobile Pack for our laptop in and then we moved on to Kalgoorlie, Australians’ largest outback city. Kalgoorlie is about 650 km driving  to the North-East, following the Great  Eastern Highway.

Our vehicle for this trip, a 4.0 l Ford Falcon Station Wagon.

The skyline of the city quickly changed for a desolated landscape with millions  of eucalyptus trees. Every now and then we passed an Australian Road Train and an occasionally dead kangaroo who probable had met one of these  trucks. Most heavy vehicles have a bulbar to reduce damage.

A Road Train, typical transportation vehicle here in Australia.

We decided to look for a parking lot to spend the night, rather than driving all night long.
At first light we drove on to Kalgoorlie.

Our next stop was Coolgardie, once the biggest city at the time of the gold rush  (see pictures). Here we filled our car with petrol and did some shopping at Woolworths. Coolgardie is still a big mining center with lots of mining activity going on (see pictures).

Coolgardie, Visitor Center.

Historic machinery park in Coolgardie.


Coolgardie, Hotel.

I must mention a remarkable achievement that every car driver will notice while driving to Kalgoorlie.
It’s the enormous water pipeline that goes all the way from Perth City to Kalgoorlie-Boulder  without any interruption. Most of the time it’s visible at all along the road but sometimes it disappears under the ground, but  it’s always there. We stopped a few minutes to check out this piece of art.


The famous water pipeline, about 650 km long.

When we passed South Crossing we knew we had almost reached Kalgoorlie-Boulder  (see pictures).
In Hannan Street there’s a stature of Paddy Hannan, founder of the city. We decided to stay here one day and then move on. Following the book of Jeroen van Bergeijk “Goudkoorts”, we booked a room at the Golddust Backpackers Resort in 192, Hay Street.

Kalgoorlie, Exchange Hotel.

A typical car with bulbar and antenna.


Kalgoorlie Pharmacy, 140 Hannan St. On the corner of Maritana St.


Patrick (Paddy) Hannan, founder of Kalgoorlie.



In the morning we found out that we had a flat tire and that also the spare one was no good. Lucky that a tire repair service was just around the corner to help us first hand. After a quick checkup we were back on our way.
Our next visit was the regional office of the Department of Mines and Petroleum. A friendly woman assisted us with our forms and gave us some good advice that we should always seek permission to enter live mining leases. The penalty for unauthorized trespassing  is now AU $100000. With our Permit Section 20A for tenements regarding Coolgardie,we drove on to Ora Banda, a legendary historic gold town (see pictures and videos).


Ora Banda, Historic Inn.


Explanation of the old site.


Historical Cemetry.


Old historic grave.

Here we had a cold beer, Australian’s famous XXXX  Gold beer and charged our laptop. The children assisted us with the video shooting telling the story of the gunfight and the bombing of the inn.
We quickly set up our tent and camped for the night. Early in the morning we drove back to Broad Arrow. I was keen to visit the office of Paddington Gold, a large mining company.



Again we were served in a friendly way and we left with a fine list of attractive tenements we were now able to search on.
After checking with Tengraph Online, we marked some of the tenements with GPS coordinates and moved on. (see pictures). We found a nice spot the had already produced good gold and we probably will stay here for the next days.


JP setting up a camping spot.


Calling over the internet with the Telstra Network.


Prospecting in the field, bloody hot out here!


Old mine shaft, dangerous hole, can be very deep!

On the second day, just a few minutes after sunset, JP found gold. A small piece of quartz showing clear traces of gold. This looked very promising!
Unfortunately, we did not find more pieces here.  The spot was littered with iron cans, nails and bullets  Many prospectors must have walked this ground before.












We found this piece of quartz on a goldfield near Broad Arrow.

We decided to pack our things and go back to town and purchase an optional antenna for our laptop, buy food and beverage and then the go to Menzies, a goldfield further to the North.
We report about this next week!


Map overview.

Warm regards,  

JP .