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Home > Travelogues > 2010-2017 Travelogues Index > Mid West > Kojarena to Ellendale Pool

Rural Mid West through Kojarena and Ellendale Pool

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A row of shining white wind turbines lined the hills as far as we could see, and as we drove, more and more came into view.  These were along the Kojarena Range. 

The Chapel of St. James was designed by Monsignor Hawes and built on land donated to the dioceses by local farmers James and Maggie O‘Brien. Maggie also raised funds in the local community towards the building of the chapel. For 35 years prior to that mass was held at the O'Brien's home whenever a parish priest visited.  The first mass was held at St James Chapel in 1935. 

Heading south from Nanson we followed rural roads as dark stormy clouds developed.  White domes beyond the hills came into view. These are at the Defence Satellite Communications Station which covers 400 hectares. 

 

The Australian Defence Satellite Communications Ground Station is operated by the ADF Australian Signals Division [ASD]. As of November 2005, the base was staffed by 79 personnel. In late 2013 it housed 16 satellite antennas, including five with protective radomes.

 

The Kojarena station is a major Australian DSD signals interception facility, and is part of a worldwide system of satellite communications keyword monitoring known as Echelon operating within the wider UKUSA signals intelligence system.

 

The Kojarena MUOS facility is one of four MUOS ground stations, with the others being located at Niscemi, Sicily (Naval Air Station Sigonella), Virginia (Northwest location) and Wahiawa, Hawaii (Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Pacific [NCTAMSPAC]).
 

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This motif represents Monsignor Hawes with his horse Babs and dog Dominie meeting James O'Brien at the site.

This tiny priest’s room attached to the chapel enabled a visiting priest to stay overnight. 

A few native shrubs had been planted around the chapel enclosure. This hill alongside had blackboys and made a nice background to the native garden.   

Kojarena - spies in the Mid West

Wind turbines lined the hills of the Kojarena Range as far as the eye could see.  Some were close to the road we were travelling on, but most were distant white poles against the darkening sky. 

Mid West Wind Farms

 

Walkaway Wind Farm

The Walkaway wind farm nine kilometres east of Walkaway is Western Australia's largest renewable energy project and provides 90 megawatts of power into the grid that supplies Perth and the south west. The wind farm has 54 wind turbines and currently has three more under construction.  Completed in August 2005 it consists of 54 turbines, each producing 1.8 megawatts, 80 metres high, and with 40-metre blade spans. Development consent has been given for an expansion of the project to up to 400MW.  Each year the wind farm generates energy that would normally produce 400,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases. From Aussie Renewables and Wikipedia.

  

Mumbida Wind Farm

The $200 million Mumbida Wind Farm approximately twenty kilometres south east of Walkaway is made up of 22 wind turbines.  All of the energy generated from the turbines has been purchased by the Water Corporation to offset the energy requirements of a desalination plant near Bunbury.  From the 2013 News of the opening.

Nearing the Greenough River, we followed the track into Ellendale Pool, where there is a large picnic and camping area at a quiet location in a bushland setting on a bend in the Greenough River. The upper level is for caravans and larger rigs, with the lower levels for small campers and tent camping.  The area is serviced with flushing toilets, and outdoor cold shower, dump points, barbecues, picnic tables and a small playground.  The river pool is backed by a cliff face.  More about camping at Ellendale Pool.

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The Chapel of St. James at Kojarena
Ellendale Pool
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Well inland from here there is a huge rock, and out of that Bimarra was born.  He made the Greenough River.  In the cliff face over there is a big cave, and that is where Bimarra lives.  He won't show himself to us, but he'll let us know he's there on a day when there is no wind or anything, you'll see a little ripple on the water, and you'll hear a splash, that is just him telling us "I'm still here". 

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