A canola crop near Calingiri which has shed most of its rich gold flowers. A patchwork of colours in the distance, with golden wheat almost ready for harvest, and the green of the slower maturing crops.
Carnamah is the headquarters of a shire reaching all the way to the coast and includes the rural town of Eneabba. Twelve kilometres east of Eneabba, Lake Indoon offers free camping, complete with toilets and showers provided.
See Free and Low Cost for more about these and other fee and low cost camping opportunities.
Originally taken up with pastoral leases for sheep grazing, the principal industry is now wheat framing.
Some of the variety of flowers and shrubs at the Marchagee Nature Reserve.
Above Banksia prionotes.
Top right a shrub no longer flowering, but the red, green and yellow leaves make a colourful display.
At right Petrophile chrysantha.
Below seedpods of the Woody Pear, Xylomelum angustifolium.
Below right Lambs tails, Lachnostachys eriobotrya.
The Midlands Road through the Wheatbelt - heading home through wheatbelt towns
We join the Midlands Road at Mingenew to follow this route southwards through wheatbelt rural areas and towns. The Midlands Road commences 45 kilometres to the west of Mingenew at the Brand Highway near Dongara. This section aside, we will follow the full extent of the road south.
Three Springs was originally named Kadathinni but was renamed to reflect the common name for the area. The main industry is wheat farming. Ten kilometres east of Three Springs lies Western Australia's first Talc Mine. Talc is mined by open cut method and exported for use in the paper, paint and ceramic industries. Three Springs Talc is also processed in Western Australia for cosmetics, agriculture use and carving blocks. This is largest Talc Mine in the Southern Hemisphere and second largest in the World, the annual production exceeds 240,000 tonnes.
Coorow shire reaches to the coast and includes the coastal towns of Leeman and Green Head. Principally a wheat farming area, rock lobster fishing boats operate from Leeman.
Coorow shire includes the Stockyard Gully Reserve, which includes an interesting cave system which you can walk through on a sand creek bed. Drovers found the area provided good feed and water for the animals, and the creek bed or gully near the entrance of the cave formed a narrow holding yard for stock while camping overnight.
Free camping is permitted at Billy Goat Bay (Point Louise), three kilometres north of Green Head. The parking area at Billy Goat Bay is the only nature-based free camping site within the Shire of Coorow and there is a 48 our limit. See Free and Low Cost for more about these and other fee and low cost camping opportunities.
At Marchagee, eleven kilometres south of the Marchagee Nature Reserve there is now no more than a grain receival bin.
Anigozanthos humilis, Cats Paws, seen along the road verge near Marchagee.
Watheroo now has a very large grain bin, but otherwise the town looked very sad. Smaller towns around the country are dying as modern transport makes shopping and doing business in the larger centres easy.
There was a blue metal quarry at the locality of Coomberdale fourteen kilometres north of Moora. Quartz is also mined for Silicon on the Coomberdale area.
At Moora, a 24 hour RV Rest Stop is at the north end of the car park by the swimming pool and opposite the shops, and adjacent to the Shire run Moora Caravan and Chalet Park, giving more choices to travellers. The RV parking area has a dump point, tap and rubbish bin.
The Moora Showground was packed with caravans, with the Western Australian Association of Caravan Clubs bi-annual conference being held there that weekend. Towns that put out the welcome mat for caravanners are rewarded.
A few kilometres north of Moora there is a sign “Military Camp”. Moora hosted a large number of soldiers during World War II in training camps. While the exact number of troops in the area at any one time is unknown, some put the number as high as 30 000 camped in and around Moora in 1942. Their presence was a boost to the primary producers and businesses in the Shire. See Moora Military History.
Moora, on the Moore River, is a large wheatbelt centre and the largest town between Perth and Geraldton. The shire encompasses a number of localities and small towns including Bindi Bindi, Miling, Walebing and Watheroo.
The Midlands Road terminates when it joins the Great Northern Highway at Walebing. There is only a roadhouse at this locality, in an areas settled for farming in the 1840s. We did not plan to travel far on this major north south highway, turning east after twelve kilometres onto the Waddington Wongan Hills Road. A little further south on the Great Northern Highway New Norcia is worth visiting, but we had been there on an earlier trip so were choosing different roads. Read about New Norcia and our earlier visit.
This section of the Great Northern Highway was undergoing a major upgrade, with a new road being built. With traffic heading north, particularly to mining areas, the Great Northern Highway is being upgraded in a number of places.