It was a Sunday morning and we were leaving Kalgoorlie to spend a couple of days in Esperance. The weather was not looking good so we changed our direction and headed towards the goldfields.
A special kind of place
We left the bitumen and headed down a gravel road. 38 degrees and windows down to breathe in the fresh air; we headed towards Lake Ballard.
The road is very well cared for and easily accessible for 2WD and caravans.
I had heard of Lake Ballard and the sculptures that are spread across the lake; but I was not prepared for the awe inspiring feeling when we arrived.
Sir Anthony Gormley constructed the 51 sculptures in 2003. Each statue represents the exact height and body-scan of local volunteers from the town of Menzies. You can follow a network of footprints to each statue covering approximately 10km.
The sculptures are magnificent up close and when you climb the island and look out over the vast landscape you feel this strong sense of remoteness, like you could be the last people on earth.
From the ground there are stones scattered everywhere surrounding the island but from the top you quickly realise they are not scattered at all but the names of people who have visited. I wonder how many years these names would go back?
I later found out the large island in front of the campsite was part of the Wongi/Wangkatha people’s story of the seven sisters. This island is the eldest sister and is a sacred and cultural place.
The sites are large and most have fire pits. There is a bush toilet available but no water. If you do not want to stay out there, accommodation including a caravan park and motel is available in Menzies.
The town of Menzies is only a short drive from Lake Ballard and we would highly recommend stopping in for a beer at the pub. Everyone and I mean everyone will stop to talk to you.
On another night we stopped in for a beer and ended up staying till closing. When we were contemplating where to sleep we were invited to the house of a guy we had been sitting with and he offered us his spare room to crash in for the night. Got to love the generosity of strangers.
A storm was brewing
In this part of the country you see some magnificent storms. They are often the tail end of a cyclone or storm surge from the north. As we were standing on island the darkest clouds began to engulf the sky and lightening could be seen on the horizon. The wind picked up and we decided it was time to find a more sheltered camp spot.
We continued along the goldfields trail and found what was left of Mt Ida town site. Thankfully it was quite sheltered and we set up camp for the night.
To finish this wonderful day we lay in our tent and watched THE MOST incredible sunset with the storm brewing in the distance.
It is hard to describe the feeling I get sleeping in places like this. There is no other soul in sight and if not for the rumbling thunder it was completely silent. I can only say that it is was absolute bliss.