Redcliffe Pier

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

FLY FLAT GOLD


After lunch at Southern Cross we boarded the tour bus and continued travelling inland for many kilometres until we arrived at Coolgardie, an old gold mining town in WA.
In 1892 Arthur Bayley rode into Southern Cross and deposited  554 ounces of gold that he had found at Fly Flat, which became part of Coolgardie. Within hours the frenzied rush to Coolgardie began with the greatest movement of people in Australia's history.

Wardens Court Building, now a museum.
 The living conditions back then were brutal, with inadequate housing, food, medical supplies and water became more precious than gold. despite this it became a large town. The mine closed in 1963.

 Today Coolgardie is a historical tourist town. We enjoyed a visit to the museum, where I was fascinated with the huge collection of old bottles. This is only a small section, there were three long walls full of them.

The living conditions of the early miners.
The lovely sandstone building of the old gaol.

Warden Finnerty's Residence
A beautiful old house built in 1895 of local stone by the Bunning brothers who's hardware company is today one of Australia's largest retailers. The house was for the Mining Warden and Magistrate, John Finnerty. We didn't get chance to walk through, unfortunately.

Then we were on our way again towards Kalgoorlie, but first we stopped at a lookout to see over the town of Coolgardie and the miles of flat desert in the distance.

 There were many more wild flowers to see on the way.

28 comments:

  1. Oh, I have so enjoyed this part of your trip. Old towns always hold so much appeal for me. The bottle collection makes a wonderful display! The conditions under which the miners lived in Australia probably equalled those of the miners in South Africa. One of our historical mining towns that is entirely dedicated to the tourist industry these days is Pilgrim's Rest. It is much smaller in comparison to Coolgardie. The scenery in the surrounding bush is captivating. The colour of the red earth contrasted with the blue-blue sky is awesome and I LOVE that cluster of brilliant blue wild flowers! How lovely!

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  2. I have a small collection of bottles, only 11, so i would love to see the long walls of bottles. and all the utensils they used, not that i want to USE them, just see them would do.

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  3. My fascination is with old buildings. And your photos were great. How did they ever build so well with only mediocre tools. But then I say that about the Indians of the southwest here 2000 years ago. Humans are amazing.

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  4. What lovely photos. I love the way they have the bottle collection organized. The colors are cool!

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  5. Very interesting post ! my godness when you see how people lived at that time and now they complain when the heating doesn't work !

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  6. Severe bottle envy happening here....

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  7. Although the landscape around Coolgardie is beautiful, and the buildings built with local stone are marvelous, I can hardly imagine what it must have been like to live and search for gold in that country.

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  8. What an interesting post, Diane. And what basic conditions the miners lived under. Much like our gold mines of yesteryear in South Africa. Love the solid buildings and houses. Jo

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  9. What an interesting post, Diane. And what basic conditions the miners lived under. Much like our gold mines of yesteryear in South Africa. Love the solid buildings and houses. Jo

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  10. Always love reading about these wonderful places you visit. You and Bill have so many great adventures! Brilliant pictures as always and as always I can't wait to see more.

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  11. Fascinating, I love those old buildings, and especially your photos of them.

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  12. I like to visit those historic places and have a look at how people used to live in the past. It is so interesting to watch the changes with the present. I admire the people who did a lot with so minimal materials.

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  13. lovely photos and i just love the bottle display. a restaurant here had a wall of bottles displayed with lights behind them. lovely. wildflowers are gorgeous

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  14. Diane, what a nice report. The museum is interesting and I like the bottle collection. The view of the town is gorgeous. Lovely photos from your trip, thanks for sharing!

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  15. Incredible buildings when you think about them. Built in virtually a desert region!!!
    Can hardly wait for the Kalgoorlie report, I think you might have an inkling why??? ha ha.
    Well done Diane once again.
    Cheers
    Colin (HB)

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  16. I'm sure the living conditions for the miners were atrocious back then. My Mom would love to see this bottle collection. The old sandstone buildings are really wonderful. I wonder what people will say about our modern buildings 150 years from now. (If they are still standing.)

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  17. What were the bottles for? Such beautiful colours.


    With the price of gold so high, may be there are more prospectors.

    I was watching that Mentalist show, with the hndsome Aussie actor, they showed new prospectors.

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  18. Love that sky shot - what a lovely day you had for sightseeing!
    The mine was open for a long time. I think if I'd have been Mr. Bayley I'd have gotten all I could before I let anyone know. :)
    I love the bottles. I have two or three I treasure that my Dad gave me. The lighted shelves make a beautiful display of color.

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  19. I enjoyed reading htrough your posts, Diane, and seeing your photos from this wonderful trip! I've heard that Perth was a very expensive place to visit due to their present high standard of living. It sure contrasts with the sparese living of the early mining days. The water pipeline was amazing to see!

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  20. Interesting to see how the early miners lived - In the mid to late 1800'a one of my distant rellies went searching for his fortune somewhere very near to Coolgardie - I don't know what happened but he died at the early age of 34years.
    I'm trying to think what they would have used all those bottles for!!

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  21. I think a lot of the bottles were for medicines and drinks, sauces and oils.

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  22. QUITE right, Diane. We live in gold mining country as Bendigo rates as the 6th most productive gold mining centre ever in the world.
    Kalgoorlie plus some South African sites rate above our home city.

    Anyway, we've visited a cordial and early mineral water bottling pant in another gold mining town of central Victoria: Clunes. Not all that far from Ballarat.

    Because of the then plentiful supply of pristine spring water two brothers set up a bottling plant in Clunes in the 1860s/70s. All sorts and shapes of bottles were used for their products. The plant is now a museum with rooms and rooms full of the old 19th century bottles on display.
    Sad to say, the Clunes underground spring seemed to have dried up as the 20th century unfolded and the business collapsed.

    In Bendigo, Cohn's was a soft drink and beer manufacturer here. People might have heard of Olga Cohn who was a renowned artist of her time.

    RICHARD

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  23. The bottles are just great ... the light on them makes for a good shot. And I love that blue flowering bush at the bottom. Would not mind one of them in my garden. And isn't that dessert shot just lovely ... look at the red soil and blue sky ... can't wait to get back to the dessert but I guess it will be well into next year before I make it.

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  24. All lovely once again.
    Those bottle are interesting and I have seen a collection like that somewhere in my travels....pity I can't remember, something seems to ring a bell as in Silverton.

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  25. Love those sandstone buildings. I always enjoy historical museums that show the way people lived.

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  26. The collection of old bottle is fascinating to me, they are beautifully displayed. I love places like this which filled with history and stories. The photo taken from the lookout is just gorgeous.

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  27. Poor miners!
    But now it is a nice place to be, and to visit,
    Than you for sharing. I undrestood all the wors and ...the pictues...amazing!


    greetings

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  28. Fly Flat, huh? Our pioneers were really into literal names, weren't they??!! LOVE your shot of Coolgardie from the lookout - such wonderful outback colours!!

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