On this camping trip to Queenstown, nothing really seemed to go in our favour but we still managed to find what we were looking for along with a few other things.
I had been thinking about whether or not to come down the West Coast all week as the weather forecast was changing every day, in the end, we thought bugger it, they usually get it wrong anyway so we will head down. To start with it was looking good as Friday afternoon on the way down it was beautiful (although they forecast showers). All through the night seemed fine too but as soon as there was the faintest light of morning it started to rain, after having breakfast and checking the radar it didn’t seem like it was going to last long and by the time we got to our first destination the radar was relatively clear… But it was raining heavier than what it had been all morning. (nothing about weather forecasting is correct or works correctly) so instead of getting soaking wet, we decided to head towards Zeehan for a look instead.
On the way, we decided to sneak into Dundas for a quick look and suss it out for another trip for the Zook. In doing this I think we might have ended up on somebodies Game Trail Camera. As we were heading back out for Zeehan the car lit up with a sharp flash, at first I thought it was lightning but there was no thunder and then I thought it might have been the camera but that was in the bag and then I thought maybe we’re not meant to be in here and quickly zoomed off.
After getting caught on candid camera we decided to go check out an old mine site near Zeehan called Oceana which is a Lead, Zinc, and Silvermine which was in operation back in the 1950’s and 60’s and by the look of it is still explored today. Up till 2013, it has produced 260000 tons of resource 7.7% lead, 2.5% Zinc and 55g per ton of silver. (More Info).
The poor old grate covering the shaft is a bit past its used by date even the slightest bit of weight on it sends big chunks of rust tumbling down the shaft.
Guessing the above might have been part of the crushing plant. There are also meant to be a few adits in the area but we came across an area where somebody was still currently mining so didn’t want to sticky beak to much so head back to the cruiser to go to the next spot which was basically on the other side of the road.
Across the Road is Austral which I think was the sight for the Zeehan Smelter I don’t have any or much info about it other than it was built a year apart from the Queenstown Smelter. (I have read all about these but I am hopeless with remembering dates and specifics which drives me insane.) What I think are the old furnaces for the smelter. As you can see from the photo it was still bloody raining even though the radar was clear. It looked like it was quite a major operation back in the day by the size of the area.
By this time the rain had finally decided to ease so we thought we would go and check out a waterfall, we were going to check out at the start of the day. When we arrived at the location we had noticed that the River it was on had been rising and the only way to the falls without spending hours crawling through the very dense West Coast Bush was to walk downstream the river so we donned the gumboots and set off. It wasn’t long before we reached the fall (sooner than anticipated as I thought it was further downstream) and boy was it a good one even from the top it was spectacular.
From here we tried to fight through the bush and get down to the bottom of the waterfall but this idea, unfortunately, was soon abandoned as I stepped on what I thought was solid ground covered in some kinda grass and nearly disappeared down a cliff so we will return some sunny day to find another way to the bottom.
From here we ventured back to the caravan park we stayed in for a bite to eat and decided it was still too early to put the feet up for the day so we decided to head out the Lake Burbury road and got to Newall Creek and had a look around.
What a spectacular little creek it is too.
I couldn’t capture this how I wanted but it was spectacular, the big rock on the right was covered in Pandani some quite tall it nearly made the spot look tropical.
To go with some of our luck we were having this trip as we were driving off I turned around and looked up and caught a glimpse of a massive waterfall on the same creek only just 200m upstream and hill so we will be back to conquer this on another trip. For now, though it was Beer o’clock.
The next morning was freezing but beautiful and having to want to check out another waterfall on our way home we packed up early and got moving. As we where heading to it right in the middle of the road was a massive wedge-tailed eagle feasting on some road kill and he wasn’t too keen on moving (this is where my bad luck continued) so I thought great Ill be able to get a great shot with my camera/lens setup as it was nice and close but as I got it out and changed lens he started to fly off but luckily it was only to the branches above so I sneaked forward and started clicking only to find the Icy cold air fogged my bloody lens up and no amount of wiping with the jumper was stopping it so I just kept clicking in hope id get one good shot… but they where all shit.
All both under and overexposed and out of focus. After getting over the little camera mishap we continued on to Whitham Falls of Anthony Rd. You occasionally get glimpses of this along Anthony Road and have been eyeing it off for a while now so decided it was time to go and check it out. There is a track to the falls that last about 20m then disappears so it was a hard scramble up button grass and through some very thick West Coast Bush but there were some nice areas on the way.
The effort to get to the falls was well worth it as they are pretty spectacular. After taking in the scenery we head back to the cruiser and head for home always thinking of where the next trip will be.