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Home > Travelogues > 2007 Travelogues Index > The Woodlines

The Cave Hill Woodlines

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Wood was the only source of fuel for the mines and dwellings of the gold rush, and a network of small rail lines were used to bring the timber back to Kalgoorlie and Coolgardie, pushing further and further out as the stands of salmon gums and gimlet were depleted. Temporary towns were used to house the timber cutters and their families.  Some of these woodlines can be used as tracks to explore the forests and sand plains to the south of Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie. 

To obtain water for these wood cutting communities, at rocks such as Burra Rock and Cave Hill small dams were built on the rocks, with diversion walls from slabs of granite to direct the water into the dams. These small walls are still standing. 

This, the largest of the dams, is on Burra Rock.  Note the low stone wall on the rock at behind and to the left of the dam.

 

Remnants of cropping machinery has been discovered in the vicinity of Burra Rock, which indicates there were attempts at farming to feed the settlements. 

This old harvester is a testament to the fact that crops were once grown in this dry region. 

Cave Hill has many small dams, as well as a face with a wave formation and colourful caverns.  There is much to explore while camping at Cave Hill. 

This is a small and shallow collection pond which flows to the main dam along a stone wall. 

Further to the east of the Esperance to Kalgoorlie Highway and entering from the Eyre Highway, the less often visited Lakewood Woodlines can be explored by four wheel drive.  Beyond this distances became too great for carting wood back to the goldfields. 

 

A low stone wall can be seen on the ridge beyond this collection pond on Burra Rock

Fences were erected around many of the dams and collection ponds to stop native and domestic animals from drinking and fouling the water. 

 

The remnants of an old fence can be seen on the top of the rock. 

 

Building a fence on solid granite required ingenuity, with fence posts held upright by rocks and support wires which in turn were held by rocks.  Many of these posts are still standing.   

 

The tracks through the sand plains and woodlands follow what were once small railway lines. 

2007 We investigate the history of the Coolgardie Kalgoorlie Goldfields including the Holland Track, the John Holland Way, the historic Woodlines and the Golden Quest Discovery Trail. This section takes us through the Woodlines, an area where wood was cut and carted by rail to the settlements for domestic and industry fuel. 
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The are pleasant free campsites and Burra Rock and Cave Hill Rock.  See Goldfields Camping