Grey Gypsies of Australia
Western Australia - 2010
Our destination that evening was the very much alive mining town of Leonora. The rich 'Sons of Gwalia' mine is huge and employs most people in the town.  The original goldmine 'Gwalia' and its precincts are preserved and fascinating to wander around. If you have time book in for a bed & breakfast at the original mine managers house, a sumptuously and authentically furnished Federation house- originally designed by (later President) Herbert Hoover when he was mine manager there in 1899. Three bedrooms are available and the cost when we were there was less than $200 per night. We stayed in the very comfortable caravan park for several days getting tips from  many amateur gold prospectors about how to still find gold using metal detectors. Apparently lots of surface gold is still around - but they are cagey about exactly where their favorite spots are. There are several side trips you can drive from Leonora. All are round 200-300km and are related to old mine sites. The scenery is arid-country red-dirt scrub with flowers in season. We drove to the Eastern Terraces, a dramatic break-a-way range of aged Yalgarn-block fractured sandstone.  You could camp at this deserted and dramatic site, but pay respect to the local Aboriginal Australians’ beliefs about this site and leave it as you found it.
Leonora State Hotel at Gwalia Gwalia Mine
Enlarge this photo and look for the truck winding its way up out of the mine. It is in very low gear and takes about an hour to climb out.
The State Hotel at Gwalia is one of many built around 1900 in the goldfields. Newly built railways carried the people to the goldfields.
The Eastern Terraces
Copyright Grey Gypsies Australia 2009
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