Norseman Camels

Norseman Camels

Norseman Corrugated Iron Camel

Norseman Corrugated Iron Camel

Memorial Park

Memorial Park

Norseman Streetscape

Norseman Streetscape

Norseman Town Clock

Norseman Town Clock

Norseman Statue information

Norseman Statue information

Norseman Statue

Norseman Statue

Norseman Golden Horse Hole

Norseman Golden Horse Hole

Norseman Ngadju Hole

Norseman Ngadju Hole

The Phoenix Tailings Dump

The Phoenix Tailings Dump

Beacon Hill Lookout View

Beacon Hill Lookout View

Norseman's Founding Fathers

Norseman’s Founding Fathers

Bullen Decline

Bullen Decline

35 tonne truck at mine

35 tonne truck at mine

Tailings From Beacon Hill Walk

Tailings From Beacon Hill Walk

Woodlands Walk Information

Woodlands Walk Information

Quandong Information

Quandong Information

Quandong Tree

Quandong Tree

Water Bush Information

Water Bush Information

Water Bush

Water Bush

Woodlands

Woodlands

Lake Cowan from Campsite

Lake Cowan from Campsite

Leaving the campsite this morning for the short drive into Norseman, past Mt Jimberlana – a massive outcrop of granite only 5 kilometres from town, I decided that today would be spent exploring Norseman, its history and natural attractions. My first stop, as always, was the Information Centre where there are lots of examples of the gemstones and rocks found in this area. Then, armed with the map and the valuable information from the centre, I headed off on the town walk.  The streets are wide and tree lined, with gardens at each corner, very well presented and cared for.

On one roundabout are the tin camels. Unique corrugated iron camels – a tribute to the early camels which carried freight.  One interesting fact is the reason the street is so wide is so that the camel trains could turn. Just down the street from here is a quaint little memorial park, complete with rotunda – gorgeous gardens as well. I round the corner and head back to the main street where the Town Clock sits proudly in the middle of the roundabout.  It was built to depict the contribution mining has made to the district for its centenary year 1994. The hotel is massive and great architecture and the main street is wide and divided. The statue of the horse from which Norseman got its name is on the corner of the main intersection.  The story goes that a miner, Laurie Sinclair , on his way back to Esperance, tethered his horse “Norseman”, and the horse, pawing the ground, got a piece of gold bearing quartz caught in his  hoof.  The rest is history. Laurie worked the mine for a while, but sold it to a large mining company – it ended up being one of the richest reefs ever mined in Australia.  Norseman was established in 1894.

I’m heading to Beacon Hill Lookout as there is a nature walk around the hill which has been recommended.  I pass a tailings dump – The Phoenix Tailings Facility covers 12 hectares of land, it 40 metres high and holds 4 million tonnes – massive!! The lookout has information on everything from the Founding Fathers, Gold mining in the district, Early Living Conditions, pioneering shops and commerce ventures, and covers the social side of life too – very comprehensive and interesting.  All of this information in a fantastic setting – 360 degree views of the town, the lakes, the mines and the woodlands – as well as a nature walk, with plants that I don’t know, shrubs with gorgeous flowers on them, and a view to die for out over the woodlands – Heaven!!

On my way back down the hill I detour into the Bullen Decline for a look – the tunnel is 5.5 metres x 5.5 metres so that a 35 tonne dump truck can access the 1:9 gradient which goes 1.5 kilometres (but is expected to reach 3 kilometres) underground.  I was lucky enough to see one of the dump trucks in the mine site, but the decline was closed off today.

I’ve been advised that the Woodland walk, which loops onto the scenic drive is worth a look, so I set out for it.  The walk is only about 700 metres long but has many interpretive boards which I find fascinating – information about species of eucalypts I didn’t know existed.  The Dundas Mahogany for one – found only around Norseman has white flowers which attract birds and bees and the honey is said to be tasty. I saw my first Quandong tree and a water bush – all new to me.  The Great Western Woodlands is the largest untouched temperate woodland in the world.

After the woodland walk, I fuel up and have lunch at the truck stop as well as a shower ($3.50 for as long as I like!!) Old habits die hard though and I still conserve water, but fast running hot water is great!!  I head out of Norseman for a campsite not far out on the edge of a dry salt lake system for the night.

Advertisements