Perenjori Wildflower Weekend

Trip Leader:  Bob & Bridget

Tail End Charlie: Reg & Dot

When:  15th September,  2006

Location:   Perenjori

Participants:  Five vehicles  12 participants – Bob & Bridget (trip leaders), Diana, Duncan & Frith, Warren & Maxine, Mike, Judy & Daccian, Reg and Dorothy (tail end Charlie).
Friday 15th September
Four vehicles met at Gingers Roadhouse at 12.30, with Kitsons to follow on later. At Bindoon we branched off the Gt Northern and headed up to Moora where we stopped for a cuppa. The petrol station at Moora thought the Perth branch of Al Qaeda had arrived and the attendant was very relieved when Diana explained her son was just writing his name in water on the concrete forecourt, not splashing fuel around to ignite. (I hear there’s to be a few well-dressed pooches around Perth too after the Moora stopover.) 
We travelled on up the Midlands Road through Coorow and Carnamah. On the Carnamah-Perenjori road we saw several of the beautiful Wreath Leschenaultia and stopped to take photos. We arrived at the Perenjori Caravan Park about 5pm and three vehicles set up their vans and tent – Reg and Dot were having a ‘luxury’ weekend and booked out the only chalet which turned out to be very nice. The Kitsons arrived about 8pm and took off to the pub for a meal. Diana and children chose an early night over the footie, and the McPhersons joined the Gosneys and Hills in the chalet to watch the Dockers terrific victory over Melbourne. Bob tried a bit of his electrical skills on the TV to keep the picture in one spot – his thumps did seem to be more effective than the others!

Saturday 16th September
The Veitch’s did their best on Saturday morning to protect a baby bird that had landed beside their van, but as anyone who’s had a cat knows it was a lost cause, cats being so quick and agile. But it was very interesting to see the flock of adult birds trying to protect the young by creating a racket and swooping the cat.

After buying Saturday newspapers and topping up on fuel (just as well, Bob thought we would only do about 100kms for the day, but it was over 250kms – think he may have been thinking in miles still), we left Perenjori about 9.30am heading up North Road towards The Salmons, this was the original site planned for the town of Perenjori, and would make an excellent camping spot for future reference. 
We had high hopes of some wildflowers around this area, but unfortunately we were either too early or this year with the lack of rain just wasn’t going to happen. From here we set out on Lochada Road, Mungada Road for Boiada Hill which has old sheep shearing sheds, flush toilets and cold showers, the area has been adopted by the Subaru 4WD Club and it has certainly been cleared and cleaned up excellently by them. Also a great camping spot, though CALM does ask anyone wanting to camp here to make a courtesy phone call to the caretakers at Karara (new) Homestead. We had our morning tea and a good look around.

Back onto the Mungada Road and after about 12kms we met the vermin proof fence, this does have a ‘No Unauthorised Entry’ sign on it, but the gate is not locked and we were told in the past that it was OK to pass through if only going to the Old Karara turnoff about 2 kms from the fence. Any further may be intruding into private mining operations. CALM looks after Old Karara as well, and confirmed that it was OK to visit provided everyone considers their own safety when accessing the old buildings. Unfortunately the old homestead collapsed some time ago and was removed, also a lot of the old vehicles. But the shearing sheds are still in tact and the workshops with rusting old machinery. There were two old Lister engines and a generator there just a few months ago, they have now been removed and we hope CALM removed them, not souvenir hunters. One old house is still in tact complete with several dozen plates in the kitchen and an old hat on the very dusty double bed.

From Old Karara we headed south past the new Karara Homestead down to the Perenjori-Rothsay Road. This area was the best we found around Perenjori for wildflowers and they were very pretty alongside the sandy track, we stopped to admire them.
We headed to the John Forrest Lookout for a late lunch, which we tried to burn off by walking up to the top of the hill. We excused Reg and Dot, but everyone else made it to the top, added a stone to the cairn and admired the 360 degree view. Coming down was a lot easier and Maxine just stopped short of getting a piggy-back ride from Warren.

From here it was onto the Rothsay Gold Mine, which dates back to 1894 and in its heyday had a population of 500. It is a true gold mining ghost town and over 90,000 ounces of gold were extracted from the region before its first closure in 1902. Ruins of the mine managers house and strong room sit at the top of the mine. We walked down through the open cut sides which were very ‘green’ showing evidence of the high copper content in the gold. There has been two attempts since to mine this area the most recent being 1987.

By this time we decided to head back to Perenjori in time for a happy hour. We had beautiful weather all day and can definitely see the benefits of being trip leaders after doing 250kms on red gravel roads – what dust??? 

Daccs was appointed ‘fire’man and did an excellent job as the park provided no wood. We did collect some on our trip but Daccs kept it topped up and found a log that lasted most of the evening. Most of the gathering resisted the lure of the Eagles match until at least half time when we all dispersed to make tea anyway, meeting back around the fire after the Eagles fine win.

Sunday 17th September 
We had a longer lie in this morning – well most of us, the Kitsons were up and off by about 8.30am to meet commitments in Perth. All packed and ready to roll by 10.30am, we took the road home through Wubin, Dalwallinu and Gt Northern. At Dalwallinu we stopped for a cuppa and Warren did his bit for club promotion with a Pajero owner. Reg and Dot then took us to an area set aside for wildflowers but again we were either too early or this year isn’t going to happen much. However there were quite a few species out which we could admire. Frith and Duncan at last got their ice-creams, promised since yesterday. The road home along the Gt Northern was possibly the best sightings, very colourful along the road sides and the fields of Canola were an absolute picture.

We all stopped at Bindoon Bakery for a Cappuccino and cake before farewelling Maxine and Warren who were off to Moore River for a couple of nights.
Diana spotted a dead kangaroo on the road home and stopped to check for a joey but it was a young male. Although the wildflowers were not in abundance we saw quite a few and a lot of other interesting areas. It was an enjoyable weekend in great company, many thanks to everyone who joined us on our first attempt at a trip.
Bob n  Bridget

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