Woodlines, Rocks and Soaks.

Submitted: Monday, Jun 01, 2009 at 23:09
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Hi all,

Just got back from a long weekender visiting the area east of Lake Cowan.

I left from Widgiemooltha and visited Yardina Rock, Sinclair Soak, Moochabinna Rock and Walogerina Rock before coming out on the Eyre Highway.

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After letting the Station owner know our (myself and nephew) intentions, we rounded the top of the lake and swung down to Yardina Rock. This was found to be a rather flat, and seemingly boring rock.

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Peter Kitchin and Ian Elliot found a soak at Yardina Rock in 1991. I had a look for it at the co-ordinates and eighty metres away found a small soakage, which seemed to be enhanced by a man-made series of two dams. Amazing!!

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This could be the soak that they found as I could find no soaks nearby, though there was a few small minor pools with some water.

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I had plotted my route on the areas not covered by maps, using Google Earth and imprting the waypoint into the GPS. there are a number of tracks in the area, some better than others.

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Now we headed towards Sinclair Soak, the tracks not too bad, though I wouldn't take a caravan. I tried to get as close as I could on tracks to the soak but decided to leave the ute a couple of hundred metres from the soak as it wouldn't be worth the damage to the ute.

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There was a small low rocky outcrop so we headed towards it. I marked the way back with my boots, drawing lines in the sand, just in case the batteries of the GPS went flat, and the noise of the diesel in the distance went quiet. We found this rockpool (above) and once again it seemed to have a bit of manual intervention aimed at increasing its capture rate.

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After a bit of a look around we found what we think was the soak, pictured above and below. There was no visible water but the frogs were makng a noise.

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Now we headed to Moochabinna Rock, and we saw the remains of some of the Woodlines, with only the rotting sleepers marking the way of the old line.

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Explorer S.G. Hubbe, on his Stock Route Expedition in 1896 described it thus: "Here three small excavations were found in the alluvium on north side of the granite outcrop. Two of these contain a small quantity of good soakage water, and if sunk deeper a fair supply would probably be obtained, which would, if not too heavily stocked, last for some months after rain. But this water cannot by any means be regarded as permanent, the supply in the alluvium consisting solely of surface waters collected and deposited by the sloping rocks forming the outcrop; there is also a small rockhole, 5ft. X 3ft. X 2ft., which contained a few inches of stagnant water.

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This rock, like the last one, was not outstanding in its beauty or size. We camped here.

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This small rockhole / soak at the base of the rock may have been the rockhole that was mentioned.

cont.



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Reply By: get outmore - Monday, Jun 01, 2009 at 23:52

Monday, Jun 01, 2009 at 23:52
Great stuff and a real thumb to the nose to those that think you need to do the canning to get to remote spots in WA


Havnt been to those spots but been in the area while working for the GSWA

dont forget when looking for spots or access these guys at the Joe Lord Core Library should be your first POC as they have traverssed everysignificant spot along that way in particular charlote Hall and sarah jones (I dont know if they still work there) in 02-04
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Follow Up By: equinox - Tuesday, Jun 02, 2009 at 19:54

Tuesday, Jun 02, 2009 at 19:54
Thanks for the tip GOM..

Have had a look at some websites on the library, looks interesting..

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Reply By: equinox - Monday, Jun 01, 2009 at 23:55

Monday, Jun 01, 2009 at 23:55
I only found 1 excavation, which lay near the small rockhole. Here it is here:


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Whilst we were there, there were two Wedge Tail Eagles flying around. I managed to get a Sillouette of one of them.

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Again this trip, we found another small rockhole, with rocks placed on its downstream lip. I am not sure whether this was done by the workers on the lines or by the local indigenous.

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We tried now to reach the next point of interest, Walogerina Rock and Soak. As I siad, I plotted most of the route using Google Earth, as the normal maps did not show any tracks. Some of these tracks were hard to find on the ground though.

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We tried to head south east along old tracks but could not find a way south. I found a track heading towards Fraser Range but that was the wrong way.

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I then had to backtrack to Moochabinna Rock which resulted in the loss of over an hour.

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We headed onto Walogerina Rock. This was visited also by S.G. Hubbe; "A large rock forming the eastern side of a hill with Walogerina Soak at its base."

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There were some people camped at a distance from the base of the rock. They were camped also, away for the long weekend.

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The soak was easy enough to find; right where Hubbe said, at the base of the rock. See how much more the water level can get too!!!!

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There was another rockhole nearby to the soak which had attacted the attention of local bees.

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There were two excavations near the soak, which may have been dug by workers looking to extend the supply of the soak.

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I then headed south to cut the Eyre Highway before heading into Norseman...

A great weekend, though busy, but was great to see another area of the Goldfields....

Cheers
Alan













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Reply By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Jun 02, 2009 at 00:20

Tuesday, Jun 02, 2009 at 00:20
A great report and photos Equinox. Are you going to put it into the Blog section?

Motherhen
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Follow Up By: equinox - Tuesday, Jun 02, 2009 at 19:55

Tuesday, Jun 02, 2009 at 19:55
Thanks MH.

I know it probably should have gone to the blog section, but probably wont bother now.

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Reply By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 02, 2009 at 00:39

Tuesday, Jun 02, 2009 at 00:39
What a great contribution.

I hope to get out to that general area later this year, so, thanks.

Cheers. Jb.
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Follow Up By: equinox - Tuesday, Jun 02, 2009 at 19:59

Tuesday, Jun 02, 2009 at 19:59
Thanks JB, enjoy your trip...
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Reply By: tonbon - Tuesday, Jun 02, 2009 at 05:12

Tuesday, Jun 02, 2009 at 05:12
Great stuff equinox, a real inspiration to those of us ready willing and able to get off the beaten track. Well done. One question, I too use Google Earth to find far out of the way places we wouldn't necessarily find on a map. You said you uploaded them to GPS, was that an automated feature you used or did you manually punch them in from Google. Would be interested to know as I am plotting a route at the moment through the forestry's of the NSW mid north coast using Google Earth as the 250,000 maps I have don't show a lot of the trails. Sorry if I have hijacked the thread guys.

Tony.
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Follow Up By: equinox - Tuesday, Jun 02, 2009 at 20:09

Tuesday, Jun 02, 2009 at 20:09
Tony,

I run Oziexplorer CE on my HP PDA.

This is how I do it:

Add placemark in Google Earth. Also, once you have add it and the detail screen comes up, you can fine tune the location simply by dragging it.

Keep adding placemarks. Put them all in a file in the places menu eg. NSW_forestry.

Select single placemark or the file (NSW_forestry)

Control S or FILE / SAVE / SAVE PLACE AS

Name the file, probably NSW_forestry.
Please ensure you save the file as type KML. Select drop down menu and select. Then SAVE.

Open Oziexplorer. Select correct map. Select FILE / LOAD FROM FILE / Import Google Eath (KML) file.

I then transfer from the file normally from Oziexplorer on my laptop to te PDA.

I hope this helps you.

Cheers
Alan
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Follow Up By: tonbon - Wednesday, Jun 03, 2009 at 05:32

Wednesday, Jun 03, 2009 at 05:32
Thats fantastic Alan, thankyou very much, will save me a lot of time doing it that way. Got to love Google Earth. Happy traveling.

Tony
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Jun 02, 2009 at 08:29

Tuesday, Jun 02, 2009 at 08:29
Hi Alan
Another great read and photos. Sound like you had a great time out there.

Cheers

Stephen
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Follow Up By: equinox - Tuesday, Jun 02, 2009 at 20:10

Tuesday, Jun 02, 2009 at 20:10
Cheers mate, a great time was had - just need more time....

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Reply By: Member - Bentaxle - Tuesday, Jun 02, 2009 at 16:19

Tuesday, Jun 02, 2009 at 16:19
Looks like a great trip, after reading your notes wouldn't mind doing it. What was name of station and the owners name?
Cheers

Mike
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Follow Up By: equinox - Tuesday, Jun 02, 2009 at 20:13

Tuesday, Jun 02, 2009 at 20:13
Mike,

Madoonia Downs - blokes name is Ned.

Regards
Alan
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Follow Up By: Member - Bentaxle - Tuesday, Jun 02, 2009 at 21:06

Tuesday, Jun 02, 2009 at 21:06
Thanks Alan Have noted the details

Cheers
Mike
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Reply By: equinox - Wednesday, Jun 03, 2009 at 21:12

Wednesday, Jun 03, 2009 at 21:12
Damien of Exploroz has now uploaded the trip plotfile to Plotswap.

Available from here.



This plot has been edited, with all my wrong turns and deviations not pertaining to the main route having been deleted.



Looking for adventure.
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