Sandstone and Surrounds

Trip Leader : Peter Macgill

Co Trip Leader: Whoever volunteered on the day

Tail End Charlie: Whoever slept in ?

Convoy:  Joe & son Andrew Metcalf, Gary Arcus,  Dave and Tina Moore, Bob and Bridget Macpherson, Peter Cole,  Peter Mann  & son Brendon , Bruce and Judith Brinkley, Malcolm Fulwood & daughter Monique, Richard King, George Shevstov & Linda

Day One Good Friday 

All but 2 cars met Bakers Hill Bakery (as we do). Left quickly ahead of advancing black skies.  Malcolm and Monique joined in at Cunderdin. Peter C at Southern Cross.  Peter’s exciting Thursday night bush camping waiting for us to arrive,  had him weathering a big storm… wild, wet, and windy… that had come through from Perth.

First night’s camp was 60km east of Coolgardie where we ‘filtered’ in to the bush, away from the highway.  Promises to be a comfortable camp group as we already site ourselves spread out so as not to encroach on each other’s space.

Big open space with a small campfire, chairs circled, conversation flowing.  Trip has started well.



We didn’t want to tell P.  he looked like an aged care resident.





Day Two Saturday April 20

24hr stop – Credo Station (140km)

-0.7 degrees on awaking at 6:30am (and 1.7 degrees in the fridge so we put our hands in the fridge to warm up😉 -left camp at 8.30 am and stopped at Coolgardie to fuel up our vehicles  and a short way further fuelled our bodies on morning tea –

Kunanalling for a look at the old hotel but sadly no beer in sight😉

-arrived at Credo campsite in time for lunch –  group walk to explore the no longer in use Credo shearing shed and some historic agricultural machinery

Pick the historic agricultural machinery..!?

The Credo Station Boys…and Tina

-then onto the dam for some yabbying.

Initially with little luck,  however upon returning after two nets had been in for an hour or so the boys’ efforts were rewarded -wood fired hot showers were much enjoyed by all  -last but not least dinner including a yabby tasting plate around Peter and Brendon Mann’s campfire. / Malcolm

Day 3 Sunday April 21st

 Left Credo station and headed to Rowles Lagoon,  where Joe and Andrew played with their drone                                                                                                                                                       

George setup his camera for us all to view across the Lagoon – great magnification!

George and Linda took every opportunity to pursue their passion… Birdwatching.




On to the Ora Banda Pub, not officially a lunch stop, but quickly became one!


   Andrew,  accepting the Ora Banda pub challenge – eating a hamburger, salad and chips in 10 mins – he failed!     It was the chips that finished him off. !!        Second prize?        A can of Coke…To help him burp??This is the infamous site of the shooting of Gypsy Joker Billy Grierson in 2000.

Next we visited Siberia – a bougainvillea planted on an infant’s grave in 1902 still thriving, further down the road was the main graveyard, with several new plaques from “Outback Graves” .


On to Davyhurst – abandoned townsite with another graveyard, then Ularring Soak and Rock which we climbed.

Original plan to camp at Ularring was abandoned for a 2 night camp at Lake Ballard.


Found an area more or less to ourselves at Lake Ballard and built a fire for the evening, settling in for a relaxing 2 nights and camp cooking.  / Bridget

Day 4  Easter Monday 22 April

A Lay Day!

A day at Lake Ballard.  As it was Easter Monday almost all of the other campers who filled the site left in the morning so it ended up very quiet. Some of our group took advantage and revived the fire for a cooked breakfast, others went for a walk or run. Lots of walking to the statues on the lake – some going a long way out and others climbing the hill.

Back at camp the boys did a Show and Tell on solar power systems while other read or relaxed.

After lunch the much hyped Campfire Scone-Off had Round 3 between Andrew Metcalf and Richard King – Andrew having won the previous two Rounds. Richard opted for a classic scone while Andrew threw the lolly bag at his: cut up snakes and chocolate bits.


After much debate on a scoring system a (sort of) secret poll of the audience gave the win to Andrew again by a small margin.  Seems that the sweet tooth option is just too strong.  Motivated by the cooking Bridget rustled up a damper which might have been a winner if it was in the comp.

Treasurer Tina keeping the scoring ‘honest’

Then it was camp showers and George and Linda eventually returned from their bird-spotting.  Brought to a great end with another night by the fire under a trillion stars.           /  Gary

Day 5/  Tuesday, April 23

We  moved along the Menzies – Sandstone road to lunch at the Sandstone Pub and a walk round the town. Joe gave the Black Range Tearoom a heads up to prepare them that we’d be back for tomorrow’s morning tea.


The Moores headed off to Perth and we continued to overnight at Lake Mason Homestead.  Great place to camp.


Day 6  Wednesday, April 24

Lake Mason to Camel Camp  / Station,

Lake Mason Homestead, got up early to utilise the toilets and showers.

Shower was awesome, thanks Joe for stoking the Donkey up real early

Breakfast was taken and then packed up.

We all went over to checkout the Old Homestead, which is in reasonable condition, not vandalised.  The outdoor air conditioned  “gazebo” is rigged so water will spray down on the brushing. The air circulates through the wet brush to cool the area inside.  Large “Coolgardie Safe”  in excellent condition to see coping mechanisms for living back then. Would also have been used for keeping food cool.


We left to get to Sandstone  via the Heritage Trail, Brewery, London Bridge and State battery sites.

Back to Sandstone for morning tea (about Noon now) at Black Range Tea rooms, nice coffee.!

Off to Mosquito Lake to collect firewood for night campfire at Camel Station.

We eventually arrived at the Camel Station and the ruins of Rabbit Proof Fence Outpost and set up camp


Flies were friendly, so we are waiting for the Sun to go down at 1730 hrs, maybe they will disappear then.     Meals were made and our nightly campfire sitting and conversations began.           /Tom


Day 7   25th April Anzac Day

Very early start.   Camel Camp to Beacon for the 11:30  Memorial Ceremony. Macphersons turned right to Perth.   The rest of us turned left to Beacon where we were made very welcome by the townsfolk and after the ceremony  were invited to their morning tea  spread set out in the Men’s Shed.


Brinkleys left the group heading home to Perth. 15 mins along the highway …stone chip on their 3 week old windscreen!  Should have stayed for  Mount Marshall.


The remaining group camped the last night at Mount Marshall where they had the laziest start and the best breakfast.  Most unfair..!!

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