Lakewood Woodlines

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesNorseman
FinishNorseman
DifficultyDifficulty 4/5
Suitable for4WD 
Distance146.67 km
Minimum Days2
Average Speed38.96 km/hr
Driving Time3 hrs 45 mins
Article By: Member - Phil Bianchi
Page Updated: 30 Apr 2009

Description

Almost as soon as you turn off the Eyre Highway you travel on a picturesque well formed track. You are transported to another world, no noise, no cars, no people, yet Norseman is less than 60 kilometres away.

On this trek you will see old rail formations, old mine shafts, remains of spur lines, old woodcutter's camps and much more. These remains have severely weathered since the days when the area was used to cut sandalwood to be exported and used for perfume, incense sticks and such like. Timber harvested was used to provide fuel for steam boilers, engines and other mining equipment. The wood lines concentrated on timber for the mines and up until the early 1940s were cutting some 300.000 to 400.000 tons per year in various areas around Kalgoorlie. In the early years 500,000 tons per year was exceeded on occasion. These woodline operations were huge, one employed around 500 people. Most of the operations shut down in the 1950s and 1960s as oil and coal took the place of wood. The use of timber mine props also diminished as steel and other methods of mining came on stream.

These old artefacts will take you back in time to what was once a unique and thriving industry. Despite almost clear felling of the bush 45 years ago, vigorous regrowth has amazingly almost fully regenerated the forest.

How to Use this Trek Note

Click the "Map" tab below to see the route we've provided. Icons on the map are the POIs you'll need for navigation purposes. Be sure to check the list of Nearby Places on each POI page.

If you'd like to save this information there are a couple of ways to go about it, depending on what you're actually after:-
  • Ideal solution - download the ExplorOz Traveller App from Google Play or the App Store. The app enables you to carry the ExplorOz Places, Treks, & Maps data offline in your mobile device ready for your adventures. It is a complete mapping, navigation and tracking app. For more details, read our ExplorOz Traveller page.
  • You can print a paper copy of the text using the print icon button shown above, near the social media buttons. For the best output it is advised to open each tab/section to load all images and artwork. You will still need to click open each Place page (listed in Where to Stay, What to See) to print off all available information.
  • If you have a Hema Navigator or use Mapping Software such as OziExplorer, or TrackRanger AND you are an ExplorOz Member, then you can click the Download Trek button at the top of this page to obtain the raw data files (eg. GPX) for this Trek.
  • If you're not a Member, or you'd like to batch download the entire Treks database you can obtain this by buying a product called EOTreks Route Files from our online shop.

Environment

There are three main tracks leading off Eyre Highway that can be accessed in the area at the 42 kilometre mark east of Norseman. Turning off the highway there are scattered items such as groups of bottles, rusting tins and the remains of woodcutter’s camps.

The general terrain is reasonably flat and sandy, with belts of salmon and other gum trees, tea tree and scrub. Track speeds vary between 5 km to 35 km per hour with the average being around 10 km per hour. Sinclair Soak is a nice place to stop. It is set in an area of wet ground near flat rocks. The soak is a 300 metre walk from the track.

When heading towards the Buldania mining site, the landscape consists of hundreds of mine shafts; costeans, tunnels and trenches and there are also remnants of head frames, sluices, conveyers and loading facilities.

History

Without the woodlines only the richest Eastern Goldfields gold mines would have been viable. The woodlines were an industry that provided fire wood to fuel steam boilers and gas producers for engines, lighting, pumping and ore treatment.

By 1919, in the Eastern Goldfields alone, a total of 45,000,000 tons of fuel wood had been used and a staggering $278,709,820 of gold had been produced.

In 1938 the W.A. Goldfields Firewood Supply Ltd found it was uneconomic to cut firewood any further south of Cave Hill, so it moved all of its operations from Kurrawang, west of Kalgoorlie to Lakewood, south east of Boulder. The move consisted of shifting 80 houses, the company’s offices, sawmill, loco-workshops, a hall, store, bakehouse, butcher shop, school and 300 people by rail to Lakewood.

The Lakewood woodline ceased to be productive the further it was cutting from Kalgoorlie. The mines had over time moved to electricity and diesel fuel rather than firewood resulting in the Lakewood woodline ceasing operation in December 1964. At this stage it was cutting firewood south of the Eyre Highway, over 100 miles from Kalgoorlie.

Preparation

Best times for travel are the cooler autumn to spring months; however take care if heavy rain has fallen because of bogging risks. If you are unsure contact the Shire of Dundas on: (08) 9039 1205 or contact the Norseman tourist centre on: (08) 9039 1071 for information.

There are numerous tracks and rail formations in the area, they are unnamed and a lot of these are not shown on maps. A wise precaution is to get hold of some updated and detailed mud maps of the area or get hold of some digital maps of the region to use on a laptop. If you decide to get some digital maps of the region, you could load these into OziExplorer (which should be installed and running on your laptop) and load the plot file for this trek from ExplorOz. . Another precaution against getting lost is to use a GPS with the track back feature so you can reverse the track and follow it back out again if you do get lost.

Be well prepared with a GPS, HF radio or Satellite phone as you may not see another vehicle for days. We advise that you refer to the latest information and advice about outback communications in the

Puncture risk is fairly high so make sure you have adequate recovery gear and puncture repair kits. Ensure you have sufficient tyre plugs for tubeless tyres and spare tubes or if you have tubed tyres have patches. Note plugs are only a temporary fix - it is recommended that you have permanent repairs carried out by a tyre dealer. It is also strongly recommended to have two spares with tyres on rims and at least one spare tube to get you out of trouble, should you get more than your share of punctures. Travellers should read the for related articles and checklists for vehicle setup and driver awareness.

Towing of caravans into this area is not recommended at all. Camper trailers may get through in some areas, however tight and overgrown tracks will make life difficult and increase the risk of punctures.

Permits

Access permits are not required for the Lakewood Woodlines treknote.

Fuel Supplies & Usage

Fuel Symbol
DieselULPLPG
4cyl 21 litres4cyl 24 litres4cyl 29 litres
6cyl 22 litres6cyl 27 litres6cyl 26 litres
8cyl 22 litres8cyl 24 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

Autumn and Spring are the best time to visit. Winter could be boggy and summer extremely hot.

Closest Climatic Station

Norseman
Distance from Trek Mid Point 0.08km SE
 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Mean Max. °C32.631.328.824.620.417.516.818.521.625.028.130.7
Mean Min. °C15.815.914.511.68.56.35.15.47.39.712.314.1
Mean Rain mm19.924.924.423.430.530.126.824.821.420.320.421.4
    Best time to travel      Ok time to travel      Travel NOT recommended

Services & Supplies

Map

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What to See

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This list may not be complete for the entire region. Places listed here are directly located along the plot file associated with this Trek Note. You can locate other nearby Places by browsing the map or searching Places.

Showing 5 Places

Where to Stay

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This list may not be complete for the entire region. Places listed here are directly located along the plot file associated with this Trek Note. You can locate other nearby Places by browsing the map or searching Places.
No Places To Stay available for this trek

Directions

LocationsDistanceDirection Time
Norseman to Coolgardie Esperance Hwy & Eyre Hwy0.05 kmNN/A
Coolgardie Esperance Hwy & Eyre Hwy to Eyre Hwy & Minor Track27.8 kmNE64° 18 min
Eyre Hwy & Minor Track to Water Supply Reserve0.57 kmNE51°
Water Supply Reserve to Eyre Hwy & Minor Track16.02 kmE84° 12 min
Eyre Hwy & Minor Track to Old Rusted International Truck33.77 kmN2 hr 8 min
Old Rusted International Truck to Sinclair Soak0.81 kmSW224° 1 min
Sinclair Soak to Old International Truck3.94 kmSW226° 14 min
Old International Truck to WS and 65 Painted on Rock8.22 kmS201° 32 min
WS and 65 Painted on Rock to Old Drays1.95 kmSW219° 8 min
Old Drays to Creek Crossing (Lake Cowan)13.88 kmSW205° 39 min
Creek Crossing (Lake Cowan) to Buldania Mine Site7.57 kmSW210° 21 min
Buldania Mine Site to Eyre Hwy & Minor Track4.25 kmS194° 10 min
Eyre Hwy & Minor Track to Coolgardie Esperance Hwy & Eyre Hwy27.8 kmSW244° 18 min
Coolgardie Esperance Hwy & Eyre Hwy to Norseman0.05 kmS182° N/A
Norseman to Norseman146.67 km  3 hr 45 min
Distance is GPS recorded driving distance (not straight line), Direction is straight line from start to end, Time is calculated from actual GPS driving data.

Related

Nearby ExplorOz Treks

Travel Journals

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