Widgiemooltha Telegraph Track

The Widgiemooltha Telegraph Track starts across the Coolgardie-Esperance Highway from the Widgiemooltha Roadhouse. It was the access track for the Norseman-Widgiemooltha section of the Esperance to Coolgardie telegraph line that was put through in 1896. Read more about the telegraph line and how important it was to Western Australia.

Within 100 metres of the start there is an insight as to what the Track has to offer.

About three kilometres south of Widgie is an open cut mine just off the track to the west.

The Cardiff Castle gold mine (31 31 10S 121 35 14E) was operated in the late 1890s with limited success, then again from around 1920 to 1950. Preston Resources mined it as an open cut circa late 1980s. It produced about 8,500 ounces, worth some $22,000,000 in 2020 dollars. The rehabilitation and containment of the open cut is somewhat lacking.

Dordie Rocks (31 35 23S 121 35 58E) is the next feature.

Like many of the exposed granite outcrops in the goldfields, Dordie Rocks was an important stopping place for the natural collection of water between the various goldfield settlements. It was no accident that the telegraph track went right through here.

For the next several kilometres south the Telegraph Track is rough, overgrown and characterised by tight corners, steep, loose slopes, rocky creeks, slippery descents, washaways, ditches, and the occasional 30 kph open patch.

The Track leads down to a salt lake (part of the Eaton Lakes) where tektites/australites are sometimes found. Salt lakes are good places to search for australites as the small, dark coloured, flight-ablated, impact ejecta stand out well against the white of the salt.

Over the next hill the line of the telegraph track is clearly delineated across the end of much larger part of the Eaton Lakes. The formed track across the treacherous salt/mud lake is about 300 metres in length. Do not go off line.

Galvanised crossarms with intact insulators will be seen along the length of the Track. They are of a later vintage than when the telegraph line was put through in 1896.

The Widgiemooltha Telegraph Track joins the Coolgardie-Esperance Highway just north of Norseman.

Many factors will determined how long it takes to drive the 42 kilometre length of the Track but allow 10-11 hours.

For details of other tracks, go here.

© Kim Epton 2018-2020
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