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The northern wheatbelt town of Koorda has a small Drive In Theatre, one of the few remaining in current use in Australia.  Commencing in 1965 the Koorda Drive In regularly showed movies until 1983, at a time when television broadcasts becoming available across rural areas caused the demise of most Drive In theatres. 

 

However in 1987 the Koorda theatre re-opened for selected movies at irregular times.  The projectors still operating were made in 1924 and the original speakers are still used, although digital FM sound is available.  The theatre is currently open during the summer months. 

 

Mollerin Lake and Mollerin Rocks

 

Our group pulled into the salt pans at Mollerin Lake for a lakeside lunch stop on a hot day. There is very little water in the shallow saltpan.  The nearby Mollerin Rocks are within a nature reserve, but our trip timing was a little too late for the wildflowers the reserve is known for. 

 

Beacon

  

This small north eastern wheatbelt town of Beacon has a population of around 100 and a total of 300 including the rural surrounds.  

Heading north from Beacon we set out to yet another granite rock, taking us to the fringe of the agricultural area.   Billiburning Rock is within Billiburning Reserve where a pit toilet is provided for picnickers.  There is plenty of flat land suitable for camping.  It was an easy climb over the textured surface with vistas across paddocks where harvesters were working in the flat wheat paddocks.    

 

Granite rocks, rural towns and salt lakes

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Once predominantly a wheat and sheep farming area, with the harsh seasons experienced in Western Australia in recent years there are now few sheep to be seen and this year the crops we saw were very poor, bordering on not being viable to harvest.   The Shire of Mount Marshall provides a modern small caravan park at a low fee.  Although we were not going to stay in the town, as our small group of caravans drove in that morning a lady waved at us enthusiastically, obviously pleased to see visitors. 
 
Looking for a café for morning tea, we found only the general store, where we all purchased a few items.  The lady who had waved came to talk to us, and as the only customers in the small store, we gained lot of local knowledge from both this lady and the cashier. Stopping in small country towns and talking to the locals adds a new dimension to travelling and the understanding of the places we travel through.

We drove a little further north to investigate the four wheel drive track in to Beagley's Breakaway.  This is known as a spectacular example in the region showing the crumbling remnants of the hard capping on a landscape millions of year old.  Camping is not permitted at the Breakaway. The track to this Breakaway is on private property and it is not suitable for caravans.  The track itself appeared narrow and overgrown so we chose not to take it.  Nearby Tampu Well is an old Government timber lined well that was used by shepherds, sandalwood cutters and prospectors.  These were places we did not get to see.

After a few enjoyable days following the Granite Loop Trail in the northern wheatbelt, our travelling companions headed home while we headed south to investigate more large granite rocks as we made our way to our south west home.

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