To the Queens Spring and Back

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 06, 2006 at 20:10
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I just got back last night from a long weekender, visiting Kurnalpi, Queen Victoria Spring and Mount Burgess. Here is a quick summary whilst it is fresh in my mind.

I travelled lightly, with my father.

We left Perth after work Friday and camped in the bush about 20kms after Southern Cross. It was bloody cold.

At 6:30am Saturday we headed off, visited Giles' grave at Coolgardie then went to Kalgoorlie, refuelled and headed out to Kurnalpi. I thought there would have been more ruins there but not so.

We tried to take a short cut to Yindi Rock but the maps and tracks didn't agree and after wasting an hour and a half trying to get through we gave up and headed north and cut the main track. I was interested in Yindi Rock as David Carnegie went there on his way to Queen Victoria Spring.

Headed to Pinjin Station and grabbed the Nippon Highway to the eastward. We then arrived at Argus Corner. We turned south to the spring. I was using Natmaps to navigate. The turn-off came to soon, several minutes of latitude. Natmaps is wrong - Hema is right (This time anyway).

Arrived at spring about 5:00pm. Had a quick look but mainly concentrated on setting up camp.

Next morning, Sunday, we had a good look around.

I have this to say about the spring:

The difference in the amount of vegetation between the spring in Elliots photographs of it from the Elder Scientific Exploration Expedition and the place which is currently called the spring is very great.

Elliots photographs can be found in Elder Scientific Exploration Expedition 1891-2. Photographs. published in 1893 by The Royal Geographical Society of Australasia; or the 2002 reprint published by Corkwood Press (of which I have a copy).

They are also available here.

The current spring is the lowest point of a claypan, the claypan being about 1/2 Acre in area with vegetation surrounding it. Elliots photographs show a different picture. There is many acres of clear land surrounding the spring. David Carnegie along with Gus Luck visited the spring navigating using only a prismatic and pocket compass and dead reckoning. I admire both these men but even as skilled as they were, I really doubt they would have found this spring in this current condition. Carnegie said the spring was 50 acres in extent.

I discount Giles' picture as, though I am not sure, it is a very general picture drawn by an artist, who was guided by the Poetic words contained within Giles' writings.

If the spring is the real spring, why is there so much more vegetation in the area? Perhaps the Anthropologists amongst us can answer that one.

Moving right along now -

I found a stainless steel spoon made in Japan 800 metres north north east of the spring. If it's yours, I have it here in Perth.

Peter Vernon's dog, Jessie, has a grave 330 metres to the east of the spring. The spring hasn't got too many things to offer, so it is worth a look.

We left the spring at about noon and headed off to the railway line via Cundeelee.

Once in the reserve the track got noticeabley more overgrown and the cruiser now looks like it is supposed to look.

Let me say here that Cundeelee is not abandoned. I repeat - "CUNDEELEE IS NOT ABANDONED". There are about 30 people who live there. Hema maps is wrong this time.

Had a late lunch at the railway line and then fuelled up again at Kal before I totally wimped out and checked into a chalet at Coolgardie.

In the morning, Monday, we headed off to Mount Burgess for a look.

Now I've been around in the bush and I've seen some interesting things in my time but what I saw at the mount took me a bit by surprise.

Halfway up a track on the mount I saw something out of the corner of my eye. Upon closer inspection I saw two cardboard boxes with a school bell resting on top of one of the boxes. Hanging in an adjacent tree was one of those surgical masks that mould into the shape of your face. There was printed on the boxes "Kalgoorlie Cemetary Board" or something like that.

Would you open the boxes?

I did open one. Sure enough there was a plastic container inside. Yes it contained ashes of a human being. I didn't open the plastic container but it was pretty obvious. The details, date of death etc. were written on the container. The deceased had the same surname and presumeably they were a couple. How morbid!! The person who put them there could have at least put them out of sight. I told one of the locals. The couple were well known in the area. She immediately phoned the police and the matter is now in their hands.

After checking a few historical things in town we then headed to Perth arriving about 8:00pm last night.

Thats it - Can't wait to get out again.

PS - All exploration in the vicinity of the spring was done on foot

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Reply By: Member - Davoe (Nullagine) - Tuesday, Jun 06, 2006 at 20:29

Tuesday, Jun 06, 2006 at 20:29
cundalee certainly was abandoned last year with all buildings being flattened or destroyed in some way or other.
AnswerID: 177092

Follow Up By: equinox - Wednesday, Jun 07, 2006 at 09:35

Wednesday, Jun 07, 2006 at 09:35
Fair call Davoe.
It look now like they're starting to rebuild anyway.

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Reply By: Willem - Tuesday, Jun 06, 2006 at 21:15

Tuesday, Jun 06, 2006 at 21:15
Thanks for your report, Equinox.

I might go and have a look at it as well on my way back from the north in August.

Peter Vernon is another intrepid modern day explorer and he was the one who made a track in to Helena Spring(although others had been there at an earlier time). I found a back pack out there near the spring in 1994 and rang Peter at a later date. He could not explain its presence but thought that it might have fallen off his truck when he went in there in 1990?

Cheers
AnswerID: 177102

Follow Up By: equinox - Wednesday, Jun 07, 2006 at 09:37

Wednesday, Jun 07, 2006 at 09:37
Cheers Willem,

Wasn't Peter Vernon also the first man to "run" the CSR?

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Reply By: Rick (S.A.) - Tuesday, Jun 06, 2006 at 22:00

Tuesday, Jun 06, 2006 at 22:00
Congrats on having the initiative to research & visit such a spot in a sensitive way, and importantly, to record your observations of the changes.

................And for taking your Old Man - I trust he enjoyed both seeing those places & being with you for a few days.

Right up my alley, indeed!

I imagine you have accessed many of the images on the State Library of SA's via their website? They have many good records like that image relatively accessable.

The Royal Geographical Society of S.A. has many fine records like the Elder Expedn. (which they organised & sponsored). Here's their addy: www.rgssa.org.au/

Yours in celebration of those intrepid venturers.

Rick
AnswerID: 177112

Follow Up By: equinox - Wednesday, Jun 07, 2006 at 12:28

Wednesday, Jun 07, 2006 at 12:28
Hi Rick,

Yes I'm right into this sort of stuff - pretty exiciting stuff I reckon.

I have seen the librarys website. That RGSSA site looks pretty good. Thanks for that. I'll have a decent look tonight.

And the old man did enjoy himself - He's a walking, talking history book so it's always good to have him along.

Cheers

Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.
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Follow Up By: Rick (S.A.) - Wednesday, Jun 07, 2006 at 13:43

Wednesday, Jun 07, 2006 at 13:43
BTW, your website link on your members page is not working
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Follow Up By: equinox - Wednesday, Jun 07, 2006 at 13:51

Wednesday, Jun 07, 2006 at 13:51
Fixed now I think

Looking for adventure.
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Follow Up By: Rick (S.A.) - Wednesday, Jun 07, 2006 at 18:10

Wednesday, Jun 07, 2006 at 18:10
Ahhrr, yes, gotcha.
Have read your site/Carnegie trip report before, but had not connected all these things to get YOU.

Thanks.

Here's but one of my interests: www.johnmcdouallstuart.org.au/

I have researched (i.e. extensive field trips + library trips) quite an amount of Stuart's SA travels/route. I was fortunate enough to present the annual Brock Memorial Lecture to the RGS last year, titled "Cones of Stones".

In some aspects not a dissimmilar undertaking to yours of tracing some of Carnegies expeditions.

I can send you a word.doc copy if you wish

Cheers

Rick M.
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Follow Up By: equinox - Wednesday, Jun 07, 2006 at 20:33

Wednesday, Jun 07, 2006 at 20:33
Rick - I'd love a copy, can you please send it to:
equinox at aijv dot com dot au

Unfortuantely we don't have a geographical society here in WA, though I am a member of the historical society, and the Battye Library in Perth is just a marvellous place to research.

Regards


Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.
"Outback Yonder"


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