First post COVID trip (Aurora, Helena and surrounds weekender)

Submitted: Saturday, Jun 20, 2020 at 09:42
ThreadID: 140168 Views:7564 Replies:5 FollowUps:8
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Got out for the first time after COVID. Here is a video for anyone who need inspiration to get out in the winter for some crisp fresh air.


The Yilgarn region, and more specifically the Helena and Aurora ranges and surrounding region have some of the best camping and exploring in Western Australia. This wasn't my first trip to this region, previously having been in the 4x4 and the Adventure Bike, but it was the first in winter. Adding winter to the equation made it one of my favourite visits. The crisp mornings, the sunrises and the camp fires made it that bit better.

For those who haven't dine their first post COVID trip, here is some inspiration.

This episode takes me from Lake Baladjie campsite to the Aurora range.
Part 2 will take you from Aurora Range to Mt Manning, and Mt Elvire station, then to the Diemals Station.

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Reply By: Rod W6 - Saturday, Jun 20, 2020 at 21:09

Saturday, Jun 20, 2020 at 21:09
Yer not bad. Like the drone work.Marda dam was a stopping point for the stage coach era. Be interesting to view what else you come up with... there is just so much off the beaten tracks to see in that neck of the jungle.
AnswerID: 632225

Follow Up By: JJAdv - Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 11:48

Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 11:48
There is a lot. I use to live out that way, have a farm in the Yigarn, so use to explore all over on motorbikes back in the day. I didnt know the stage coach connection with Marda dam.. thats interesting.

I didnt get to far off the beaten track, just didnt have the time.
FollowupID: 908761

Follow Up By: Rod W6 - Monday, Jun 22, 2020 at 20:38

Monday, Jun 22, 2020 at 20:38
So JJAdv whereabouts / what was the name of the farm? Thanks Rod
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Reply By: Member - rocco2010 - Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 12:28

Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 12:28
Nice work.

Been to Helena and Aurora twice, including this time last year. Like most of that region it is no place to be after rain! As it was for us!

Otherwise fairly easily accessible.

Worth pointing out to eastern states viewers that this beautiful place was under serious threat from iron ore miners for many years.

But sanity prevailed and it will become a nature reserve.


AnswerID: 632237

Follow Up By: qldcamper - Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 12:46

Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 12:46
Still a couple of mines in there, Carina was operated by mineral services but was not given permission to expand to a third pit, the two they had were 80 km apart and joined by a bitumen haul road for side tipper quads ,so I believe they bought the neighbouring koolyanobbing (if thats how it is spelled) mine seeing MS already had a railway and pretty big facility there.
One of the original pits (J4) consumed a bit of the track to the range so they put a diversion around it. I think this showed up in one of JJ's earlier clips.
Is it really safe from the mines? What do you think the drillers are doing there?
Storing away data that might not be acted on for a hundred years.
FollowupID: 908762

Follow Up By: Member - rocco2010 - Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 13:09

Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 13:09
True, there are mines around but the bit JJ is camped on and where I have visited is now shown on maps as a conservation park.
Is it safe? Well I guess nothing ever is safe in WA where iron ore is concerned.
We look at what's happening in the Pilbara with Rio blowing up important indigenous sites.
The conservation movement fought a long fight to have what's left protected and the miner's plans were rejected three times by the Environment Protection Authority.
The former Liberal Government kept sending the proposal back for "another look" and it was only after they lost the election in 2017 that the final rejection came.
Many people doubted the labor government would have the guts to stand up to the miner involved who had a few ex-labor MPs on his staff to do his lobbying. but they did.
Had the joy of being bogged on a track only metres away from a haul road we couldn't use!
FollowupID: 908764

Follow Up By: qldcamper - Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 14:10

Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 14:10
It is a very good haul rd but trust me, without a mine radio you would not want to be on it. I have driven it many times in a hilux and it is just plain dangerous to try to overtake without comms.
The kooly track crosses it which is a public road and people do accidently turn onto it and somehow miss the dirty big warning signs, I assisted an elderly couple with a tandum van to safely turn around and get back off the road once.
Was happy to hear the govt. Marked the apeal never to be reopened.
FollowupID: 908767

Reply By: nickb - Monday, Jun 22, 2020 at 02:07

Monday, Jun 22, 2020 at 02:07
Nice video, great area around there.
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Reply By: JJAdv - Saturday, Jun 27, 2020 at 09:46

Saturday, Jun 27, 2020 at 09:46
2nd part of the trip out to the Yilgarn region. This part takes us from the Aurora range, the back way to the Mt Manning, finding a few points of interest along the way, then onto Mt Elvirie station where we camped at the break-aways. The next day we took a quick look at the Diemals station homestead, or whats left of it.

Its a great spot. We only scratched the surface in this series.

AnswerID: 632298

Reply By: Rod W6 - Saturday, Jun 27, 2020 at 22:07

Saturday, Jun 27, 2020 at 22:07
What a difference a drone does to viewing from on high... love it. I've recently brought one and in my infancy in using it.

What farm did you live on?

The depression (there is two of them in close proximity to each other) you came across on the east side of Mt Manning, I thought the same as you in being meteorite craters given that the Mt Manning on is a bit further north from these, I emailed photos of these depressions to Department of Mines for clarification to which several Geologists replied saying they ain't, can't remember what described them as.

There is no crater at the Mt Manning meteorite site only a cairn (I built it) to mark its impact proximity. There is however a small (very small) depression underneath a bush and when one studies the photo in the letter box in the cairn of the geologists who discovered it partly buried digging it out in 1979 it seem to fall into place.

When I first seen Diemals homestead I thought what a fabulous place to set up as a wilderness camp. And meeting old Tony the station owner, what a fabulous bloke he was... one could easily lose 3 hours having a cuppa and a chat with him and he was always abreast of world affairs. I was camped on top of Mt Geraldine when I heard he had passed away.

I have been exploring this area for the last 20 plus years, in your two videos whilst you've done a fair distance in the short time you have driven past some, I think, spectacular natural features.

Enjoyed your videos and makes me want to get out there again and again.
AnswerID: 632304

Follow Up By: JJAdv - Sunday, Jun 28, 2020 at 17:47

Sunday, Jun 28, 2020 at 17:47
Hi Rod, I think I have communicated with a travel buddy of yours, George.. I have read his trip reports on his webpage

He did say to give you a call, if I have it right..

We have a farm near holleton, I grew up out there, then returned from boarding* school and worked out there for a while.

There is a heap that drove past, some as I didn’t have a heap of time, nd some as I didn’t know they were there, I have a list of POI as long as my arm for my next trip out that way.

FollowupID: 908917

Follow Up By: Rod W6 - Sunday, Jun 28, 2020 at 20:34

Sunday, Jun 28, 2020 at 20:34
G'day JJAdv, yep you have the right one. First time I've heard of Holleton. Had to google it.
FollowupID: 908919

Follow Up By: JJAdv - Sunday, Jun 28, 2020 at 22:43

Sunday, Jun 28, 2020 at 22:43
Old mining area.. worth a visit if you are in the area.. I wouldn’t mind catching up and swapping some POI from round Aurora if you have a minute some time.. George suggested I give you a call, but I never followed through.
FollowupID: 908920

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