Wheatbelt Ramblings

Tue 6/12  In Wongan Hills we walked up to Mt O’Brien Lookout with 360 deg views around the district including Lake Ninan and Lake Hinds.






Wed 7/12 10 km west of Wongan Hills we walked the track at Gathercole Rock Reserve.This granite outcrop is typical of so many throughout the wheat belt and we saw a few shingle back lizards and a glimpse of a dragon lizard. The track was very vague in places but we found our way along the 3.1 km walk in just over 1 hr which was a good work out. Some of the rock formations are very interesting. A low rock wall was constructed along parts of the rock to direct water to a reservoir and then to the old water tower beside the railway line. It was used to provide water for the steam engines and is now used to water the town’s parks and gardens

Finished back in town at the bakery for a coffee and lemon tart.

Thursday 8/12. Spent the day in camp.

Friday 9/12 Drove out to Lake Ninan which is 6 times more salty than the sea and there is not much life there.

We have been fascinated by a council street sweeper who seems to spend all day going around the Wongan Hills town streets. We have called him Harry:


Something’s happened to Harry, he can’t get off his seat.

He drives around throughout the town keeping it all neat.

You see him coming and going every single day.

It couldn’t happen as it does without his council pay.

The main street gets some extra sweeps as up and down he goes

In his motorised street sweeper he keeps them on their toes.

Wongan Hills has such clean streets with not a speck of dust,

A testament to Harry who could well send them bust.

Now stop your smarty comments you bunch of narky clowns,

Don’t you know we’re entered in the quest for tidy towns?

Dec 2016 © TCD

We are under the daily flight path of some regular local flyers:


They camp tonight at Christmas Rock, performing crazy aerobatics.

Shrieking with glee as they tumble and fall to rise again as one,

With bellies full of wheat they come, after a day in the burning sun.

The leader’s call is echoed as in the Salmon Gums they land,

Midst incessant squawks and chatter it can’t possibly be planned.

Early twilight glows reflecting on their feathers pink and grey,

As in changing light they settle after another hectic day.

At the crack of dawn 500 shrieks create a rowdy rabble,

They all rise as one together and flap off amongst wheat stubble.

 Galahs dine today in Wongan Hills, with more kamikaze antics,

Abandoning the rule book, for they don’t need to be pedantic.

Wongan Hills Dec 2016 © TCD

From Wongan Hills we moved on to Calingiri, to spend the week before our farm sit which is over Christmas and New Year.



We took a day trip over to Northam to see the silos and for some shopping, and dropped into Toodyay to pick up mail.

We have also been across to New Norcia for a look around and a walk across the Monk’s farmland by the river, and walked around Calingiri township.

new-norcia-church apiary-and-well

A visit to Bindoon scored some fresh apricots and rhubarb from the farmer’s markets.

The activity here with the coming and going of wheat trucks into the rail siding is amazing and gives some insight into the quantity of grain harvested in the wheat belt. An estimated 70 million tonnes is this year’s crop, and the trucks are passing over the weighbridge from daylight until well after dark.



Unloading truck containing barley grains into a grid at CHB Esperance


Here we are at Coondle ( arriving 19th Dec ). The farm is lovely and very peaceful and we are looking after 14 alpaca, 13 chooks and 2 Burmese cats plus 2 pet kangaroos. More on all of that in the next post.

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