Norseman to Balladonia Overland Telegraph Track

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesNorseman
FinishBalladonia Station
DifficultyDifficulty 3.5/5
Suitable For4WD Motorbike 
Distance245.28 km
Minimum Days2
Average Speed40.13 km/hr
Travel Time6 hrs 6 mins
Page Updated: 12 Dec 2023


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

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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.


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.

TrekID: 180


MUST READ: You are strongly encouraged to read the following articles prepared by the knowledge experts at ExplorOz for your safety and preparation before undertaking any published ExplorOz Trek - Outback Safety, Outback Driving Tips, Outback Communications, and Vehicle Setup for the Outback.


Please refer to Road Reports published by the local shire and/or main roads for the area you intend to visit. Road/Track conditions can change significantly after weather events. Travellers must be responsible for their own research on current conditions and track suitability.
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 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 Usage

4cyl 34 litres4cyl 40 litres4cyl 49 litres
6cyl 38 litres6cyl 44 litres6cyl 43 litres
8cyl 38 litres8cyl 41 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

Distance from Trek Mid Point 98.95km E
Mean Max. °C31.430.628.125.020.918.017.619.222.325.027.930.2
Mean Min. °C14.714.813.610.
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


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Norseman to Lake Kirk
Driving: 10.08 km
Heading: 188°
Avg Speed: 84.45 km/hr
EST Time: 07:09
Dundas Rd & Telegraph Line to Dundas
Driving: 4.07 km
Heading: 190°
Avg Speed: 49.88 km/hr
EST Time: 04:53
Dundas to Grave of Stanley Whitehead
Driving: 2.18 km
Heading: 100°
Avg Speed: 22.49 km/hr
EST Time: 05:48
Grave of Stanley Whitehead to Dundas Rd & Telegraph Line
Driving: 6.38 km
Heading: 355°
Avg Speed: 40.45 km/hr
EST Time: 09:27
Dundas Rd & Telegraph Line to Lake Dundas Causeway
Driving: 3.86 km
Heading: 84°
Avg Speed: 34.69 km/hr
EST Time: 06:40
Lake Dundas Causeway to Linesman's Hut Ruins
Driving: 15.31 km
Heading: 102°
Avg Speed: 61.1 km/hr
EST Time: 15:02
Linesman's Hut Ruins to Jyndabinbin Rock & Telegraph Track
Driving: 9.87 km
Heading: 96°
Avg Speed: 41.03 km/hr
EST Time: 14:26
Jyndabinbin Rock & Telegraph Track to Jyndabinbin Rock
Driving: 5.31 km
Heading: 173°
Avg Speed: 20.58 km/hr
EST Time: 15:28
Jyndabinbin Rock to Jyndabinbin Rock & Telegraph Track
Driving: 5.31 km
Heading: 353°
Avg Speed: 20.58 km/hr
EST Time: 15:28
Jyndabinbin Rock & Telegraph Track to Linesman Camp Ruins
Driving: 29.69 km
Heading: 95°
Avg Speed: 41.45 km/hr
EST Time: 42:58
Linesman Camp Ruins to Telegraph Track & Fraser Range Rd
Driving: 6.64 km
Heading: 96°
Avg Speed: 36.18 km/hr
EST Time: 11:00
Telegraph Track & Fraser Range Rd to Telegraph Track & Unknown Track
Driving: 30.69 km
Heading: 95°
Avg Speed: 38.82 km/hr
EST Time: 47:26
Telegraph Track & Unknown Track to Western Edge of Salt Lake
Driving: 8.03 km
Heading: 90°
Avg Speed: 45.7 km/hr
EST Time: 10:32
Western Edge of Salt Lake to Eastern Edge of Salt Lake
Driving: 10.86 km
Heading: 94°
Avg Speed: 42.74 km/hr
EST Time: 15:14
Eastern Edge of Salt Lake to Optus Repeater Station
Driving: 4.07 km
Heading: 103°
Avg Speed: 39.38 km/hr
EST Time: 06:12
Optus Repeater Station to Boingaring Rocks
Driving: 18.39 km
Heading: 94°
Avg Speed: 38.12 km/hr
EST Time: 28:56
Boingaring Rocks to Telegraph Track & Guralia Rock Access
Driving: 35.87 km
Heading: 91°
Avg Speed: 50.27 km/hr
EST Time: 42:48
Telegraph Track & Guralia Rock Access to Yadadinia Rock and Rockhole
Driving: 1.49 km
Heading: 330°
Avg Speed: 32.23 km/hr
EST Time: 02:46
Yadadinia Rock and Rockhole to Guralia Rock
Driving: 1.52 km
Heading: 357°
Avg Speed: 28.3 km/hr
EST Time: 03:13
Guralia Rock to Guralia Rockhole
Driving: 0.22 km
Heading: 69°
Avg Speed: 11.54 km/hr
EST Time: 01:08
Guralia Rockhole to Yadadinia Rock and Rockhole
Driving: 1.98 km
Heading: 187°
Avg Speed: 32.53 km/hr
EST Time: 03:39
Yadadinia Rock and Rockhole to Telegraph Track & Guralia Rock Access
Driving: 1.49 km
Heading: 150°
Avg Speed: 32.23 km/hr
EST Time: 02:46
Telegraph Track & Guralia Rock Access to Old Balladonia Telegraph Station
Driving: 31.18 km
Heading: 89°
Avg Speed: 45.43 km/hr
EST Time: 41:10
Old Balladonia Telegraph Station to Balladonia Station
Driving: 0.79 km
Heading: 30°
Avg Speed: 73.01 km/hr
EST Time: 00:38
Distance is based on the travel mode shown (Driving, Straight, Cycling, Walking etc), Direction is straight line from start to end, Avg Speed & EST Time is calculated from GPS data.

What to See


Where to Stay

Services & Supplies

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