Norseman to Balladonia Overland Telegraph Track

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesNorseman
FinishBalladonia
DifficultyDifficulty 3.5/5
Suitable for4WD Camper Bike 
Distance255.33 km
Minimum Days2
Average Speed42.66 km/hr
Driving Time5 hrs 59 mins
Article By: Member - Phil Bianchi (Updated Aug 2013 ExplorOz Team)
Page Updated: 19 Oct 2015

Description

Old ghost towns, historic ruins, remnants of telegraph poles, a lonely grave; all in a pristine eastern goldfields woodlands, gives the traveller many opportunities to tune into days gone by, to marvel at the hardships endured by our early prospectors and telegraph line workers and enjoy the natural beauty of the bush.

This trek follows a section of the Overland Telegraph line between Dundas and the Balladonia telegraph station. Most of the telegraph poles and wire have disappeared, although some have been used on local stations for fencing etc. Here and there, the odd telegraph pole or at least the base of telegraph poles can still be seen. The service track is clearly visible and provides access to the sites of various linesmen camps, granite rocks and salt lakes.

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.

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  • 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.
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Environment

The Dundas Norseman end of this trek is in Salmon Gum and Gimlet country i.e. typical WA goldfields woodlands. Many scenic salt lakes and granite rocks are passed on this trek, providing interesting vistas and opportunities to get out of your vehicle and walk around.

History

This branch of the overland telegraph line was built in 1896 to provide additional telegraph services as a result of the WA’s gold rushes in the 1890's. This line ran off from the Coolgardie to Esperance telegraph line at Dundas and went across to Balladonia and then Eucla. The line was in use until 1927 when another line, with greater capacity, was built following the Trans Australian Railway.

Norseman was named by Lawrence S. Sinclair in July 1894 after his horse Norseman. Legend has it that a nugget became trapped in his horse’s shoe, resulting in the gold strike.

Dundas is an abandoned goldfields townsite some 21 km south of Norseman. It was gazetted in 24th May 1895. The name was taken from the nearby Dundas Hills named by Surveyor General J S Roe in 1848 after Captain Dundas of the Royal Navy ship HMS Tagus.

Balladonia is the name of a rock at the site. It was originally named Ballajuinya on 8th August 1879 by John & Stephen Ponton; this was corrupted to Balladungea and later Balladonia.

Preparation

Although it may seem you are close to civilisation, with the town of Norseman and Balladonia Road House not far away, you will in all - probability not see any other vehicle on this trek. So be thoroughly prepared and self-sufficient.

Ensure you have adequate recovery gear including at least a snatch strap, two rated shackles, a towrope and a long handled shovel. Have a HF Radio or Satellite Phone for emergencies. The use of either 27MHz or UHF radios is only suitable for vehicle convoy work. They will not transmit to emergency services if you strike any problems.

Ensure you have enough fuel to travel a minimum of 250 kms. Then allow a sufficient margin of at least 20% on top of that for potential detours and if you happen to be bogged.

Permits

Permits are not required. Although as a courtesy you should phone Balladonia Station on: (08) 9039 3278 to ensure travel on the section of track from the Balladonia Mt. Ragged Road to the old Balladonia Telegraph Station is ok and isn’t going to interfere with stock, etc.

Fuel Supplies & Usage

Fuel Symbol
DieselULPLPG
4cyl 36 litres4cyl 41 litres4cyl 51 litres
6cyl 39 litres6cyl 46 litres6cyl 45 litres
8cyl 39 litres8cyl 42 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

All year round, although the months of December to February can be extremely hot, making travelling and sight seeing unpleasant.

Closest Climatic Station

Balladonia
Distance from Trek Mid Point 98.95km E
 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Mean Max. °C31.430.628.125.020.918.017.619.222.325.027.930.2
Mean Min. °C14.714.813.610.98.05.94.85.36.88.811.313.3
Mean Rain mm18.719.228.219.626.826.020.421.220.022.922.418.4
    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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Save time and download all digital map data for this trek (all places are included in the trek download).
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 12 Places

Where to Stay

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Save time and download all digital map data for this trek (all places are included in the trek download).
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 3 Places

Directions

LocationsDistanceDirection Time
Norseman to Lake Kirk10.08 kmS188° 7 min
Lake Kirk to Coolgardie Esperance Hwy & Telegraph Line Access7.81 kmS184° 4 min
Coolgardie Esperance Hwy & Telegraph Line Access to Dundas Rd & Telegraph Line2.23 kmE77° 2 min
Dundas Rd & Telegraph Line to Dundas4.07 kmS190° 4 min
Dundas to Grave of Stanley Whitehead2.18 kmE100° 5 min
Grave of Stanley Whitehead to Dundas Rd & Telegraph Line6.38 kmN352° 9 min
Dundas Rd & Telegraph Line to Causeway3.86 kmE84° 6 min
Causeway to Linesman's Hut Ruins15.31 kmE103° 15 min
Linesman's Hut Ruins to Jyndabinbin Rock & Telegraph Track9.87 kmE95° 14 min
Jyndabinbin Rock & Telegraph Track to Jyndabinbin Rock5.31 kmS173° 15 min
Jyndabinbin Rock to Jyndabinbin Rock & Telegraph Track5.31 kmN353° 15 min
Jyndabinbin Rock & Telegraph Track to Linesman Camp Ruins29.69 kmE95° 42 min
Linesman Camp Ruins to Telegraph Track & Fraser Range Rd6.64 kmE94° 11 min
Telegraph Track & Fraser Range Rd to Telegraph Track & Unknown Track30.69 kmE95° 47 min
Telegraph Track & Unknown Track to Western Edge of Salt Lake8.03 kmE90° 10 min
Western Edge of Salt Lake to Eastern Edge of Salt Lake10.86 kmE94° 15 min
Eastern Edge of Salt Lake to Optus Repeater Station4.07 kmE103° 6 min
Optus Repeater Station to Boingaring Rocks18.39 kmE94° 28 min
Boingaring Rocks to Telegraph Track & Guralia Rock Access35.87 kmE91° 42 min
Telegraph Track & Guralia Rock Access to Yadadinia Rock and Rockhole1.49 kmNW330° 2 min
Yadadinia Rock and Rockhole to Guralia Rock and Rockhole1.52 kmN357° 3 min
Guralia Rock and Rockhole to Old Grader Wreck0.22 kmE69° 1 min
Old Grader Wreck to Yadadinia Rock and Rockhole1.98 kmS187° 3 min
Yadadinia Rock and Rockhole to Telegraph Track & Guralia Rock Access1.49 kmSE150° 2 min
Telegraph Track & Guralia Rock Access to Old Balladonia Telegraph Station31.18 kmE89° 41 min
Old Balladonia Telegraph Station to Balladonia0.79 kmNE30°
Norseman to Balladonia255.33 km  5 hr 59 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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