OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABaxter Rest Area – Balladonia – Fraser Range Station –Norseman East Campsite

Old Telegraph Station

Old Telegraph Station

I left Baxter’s Rest Area this morning after walking around the campsite trying to shake off the lethargy which is encompassing me. The chronic fatigue is really attacking me the last couple of days. On my way to Balladonia I stop to check out the Old Telegraph Station on the right side of the highway.  It is on private property so I can’t enter, but I get a good look – quite a large place and the stone fence is in reasonable repair after all these years. On my way back to the bus I take a look at the vegetation up close – so many plants, some familiar, some not.

I headed to Balladonia Roadhouse and Hotel complex – this was a hive of activity – tourists everywhere. The bowser is free so I decided to fuel up first then play the Skylab hole.  This is a par 3 but of course not as simple as that – It took me 6 shots and much searching in the shrubbery for my ball.  There is no clearly defined fairway (as with all of the other holes!!!) and trees tend to be a hazard – especially beautiful specimens of salmon gum. Back at the Hotel I read with interest the history of how the hotel was originally 28 kilometres east at the site of the Old Telegraph Station and was only moved in 1962 to cope with the ever growing flow of traffic. The original boiler is in the carpark and has the story printed on the exterior. The construction of the Eyre Highway began in 1941 – imagine crossing the Nullabor without a highway – No WAY!! Balladonia made world headlines in 1979 when space debris from Skylab landed 40 kilometres to the east on Wooriba Sheep Station.

I am still on the 90 Mile Straight so no bends since yesterday – amazing!! The country is changing though – there are trees belonging to the Arid Desert Woodland bordering the road – I leave the highway for a look at Newman Rocks – an outcrop of smooth granite rocks – seemingly out of nowhere, with a view out over the hardwood forest.  It was worth the byway, as I left the bus halfway and walked through the bushland, enjoying the serenity.

I’m entering into the Fraser Range area – a scenic granite range which is surrounded by the world’s largest eucalypt hardwood forest. There’s more than 20 species located within this area. The Fraser Range Sheep Station is where the next golf hole is located – this historic sheep station offers accommodation in the shearer’s quarters, caravan park or camping, as well as guided tours and walks.  The Sheep’s Back hole is about 800 metres from the station store and towards the range.  It’s a Par 3 – 141 metres through the thickest burr country imaginable!! Trying to pick Goat Head Burr out of joggers – impossible!!

I’m struggling today with exhaustion so decide that I’ll just get to the Norseman East Rest Area today, but nature had another surprise for me in the shape of a claypan in Dundas nature reserve – Stunning colours and the water at the end made my day. The best was yet to come though, the Salmon Gums lining the road for the rest of my drive are nothing short of spectacular – I’m lucky enough that I’ve some right outside my door tonight.

Old Telegraph Station Stone Fence

Old Telegraph Station Stone Fence

Balladonia

Balladonia

Balladonia Skylab Hole

Balladonia Skylab Hole

Balladonia Fairway

Balladonia Fairway

Balladonia Bluebush

Balladonia Bluebush

Balladonia Boiler Information

Balladonia Boiler Information

Balladonia Boiler

Balladonia Boiler

90 Mile Straight

90 Mile Straight

Balladonia Arid Hardwood Forest

Balladonia Arid Hardwood Forest

Fraser Range Station Turnoff

Fraser Range Station Turnoff

Fraser Range Station Road

Fraser Range Station Road

Fraser Range

Fraser Range

Fraser Range Sheep's Back Hole

Fraser Range Sheep’s Back Hole

Fraser Range Fairway

Fraser Range Fairway

Dundas Claypan

Dundas Claypan

Salmon Gum in Camps
Salmon Gum in Campsite

Advertisements