Fuelled up at Norseman before heading the last couple of hundred kilometres to Kalgoorlie. Not much to recommend about Norseman except it is the western entrance to the Nullarbor and fuel is once again a “reasonable” price. The overriding impression of the town is that they must have a crime problem as everything is barred or meshed.
Fuel consumption and fuel price have both risen this trip compared to last year. This year we have averaged $1.74 per litre fuel price with consumption averaging 16 litres per hundred kilometres. Last year fuel averaged $1.44 per litre for fuel with consumption being 13.5 litres per hundred kilometres. To put that into perspective last year it cost us $19.56 in fuel to drive one hundred kilometres, this year it is costing us $27.96 to drive the same distance. Whilst the rise in fuel price is understandable I am at a lose to explain why consumption has increased.
Arrived in Kalgoorlie Monday night. We made for the Lake Douglas Recreation Reserve a camping area 12 kilometres south of town, apart from three other campers we had the area to ourselves. This was probably because of the 4 kilometre dirt road to access it as there are plenty of caravan parks in town and most seem busy. Not a pretty camp, red sand with sparse vegetation but it has a toilet and picnic tables. Apparently on the weekend it is used by locals for family picnics. Anyway it is free and we can have a camp fire. Unfortunately just as we arrived on Monday night it started to rain so it was all hands to get Bob and Heathers camper up. No campfire that night as it was cold and wet so we cooked in our vehicles and had an early night.
Tuesday morning was cold but at least the rain had stopped although showers were expected during the day. No mud either as the red sand is a good base and drains away any rain. Decided to fit new tyres here as whilst the existing tyres still had a couple of thousand kilometres on them we would not have the opportunity to easily fit tyres before we attempt the Gunbarrel Highway and I wasn’t going to risk anything but good tyres in such a remote area even if we do carry two spares and a repair outfit. They must sell more 4×4 tyres in Kalgoorlie than sedan tyres so it didn’t turn out to be much of an issue. Have ended up with a set of Coopers in light truck construction. Am also having the car serviced.
From Kalgoorlie we head NW taking mainly dirt roads and we have just heard on the radio that all dirt roads in the Goldfields Shire have been closed because of rain. This is not a surprise as a lot of shires close their dirt roads during rain to stop them being damaged, they are also fairly quickly opened once rain stops. Anyway we will check road conditions via the Internet before we leave.
Kalgoorlie is of course a gold mining town and the mines never stop. There is a mine near our camp site and you can see and hear it 24 hours a day. An easy town to find your way around as it is not to large, yet has most required services including a large Woolworths supermarket.
Lake Douglas Recreation Reserve, Kalgoorlie – Wednesday 13 July 2011