Wiluna

Once a thriving goldmining town of 7,000 people, today it is a ghost town with only a few of its buildings left standing.

The Shire of Wiluna covers an area of 184,000 square kilometres and is predominantly mining and pastoral land.

Statues of Warri and Yatungka: the town’s statue ‘Last of the Nomads’ and recalls the beautiful love story behind their culturally frowned-upon relationship. Their deaths marked the end of a tribal lifestyle that stretched back more than 40,000 years.


Canning Stock Route

ne of the toughest and most remote tracks in the world, it runs from Halls Creek in the Kimberley region to Wiluna in the mid-west. With a total distance of around 1,850 km it is the longest historic stock route in the world. The stock route was created as a way of breaking a monopoly that west Kimberley cattlemen had on the beef trade at the beginning of the 20th century.

Well numbers 1 and 2 close to the town, as are the original cattle loading yards. Trekking to various parts of the track between Wiluna and Hall’s Creek is popular in the cooler months of the year.

Located on the Canning Stock Route, both North Pool and Lake Violet are pleasant spots for a picnic and are fantastic for bird watching.


Gunbarrel Highway

Wiluna marks the start of this popular four wheel drive track which crosses the ranges and central desert to Warburton and then on to Alice Springs, runs west to Meekatharra and north to Newman.


Lorna Glen Reserve

(90 km east) An historic cattle station where fauna and flora are being allowed to return to the natural state.


Wanjarri Nature Reserve

The first nature reserve to be created through the purchase of a pastoral lease back in 1971, Wanjarri is ntoted for its variety of flora and fauna, over 100 different species of bird have been documented in the Reserve. The turn is approximately 100km south of Wiluna, and a further 14km to the old homestead.  Follow the directional signage.


Carnegie Station

Set in 'Len Beadell country' approximately 353 km east of Wiluna, Carnegie Station provides an important fuel and supply point for travellers on the Gunbarrel Highway. Although an operating pastoral lease, Carnegie Station provides accommodation for travellers in self-catering dongas. Ph. (08) 9981 2991.


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Where is it?

947 km north east of Perth and 182 km east of Meekatharra.


Carnarvon Range

(180 km north) This little known range is nestled between the Canning Stock Route and Kumarina Road House. It rises majestically out of the spinifex plain; and has gorges, rockholes, waterfalls and aboriginal art. Occasional steep cliffs, gullies with semi-permanent pools, plains and sand ridges complete the landscape. Few people visit the range and its environs; it’s an untouched 4Wdriving paradise and a magical place to visit. Access is by permit only from the Birriliburu Aboriginal people or by organised tour.


Gold prospecting

Though the gold rush days are well and truly over,there is still plenty of gold in the ground throughout the Goldfields region, which is renowned for prospecting and fossicking. To prospect in WA each person requires a Miners Right. Kalgoorlie Tours and Charters has a tour that will show the visitor how to prospect for Gold. For up to date information and assistance on gold prospecting contact: The Department of Mines and Petroleum Kalgoorlie Office Ph. (08)  9021 9499.


Gibson Desert

The Gibson Desert covers a large dry area in the state of Western Australia and is still largely in an almost "pristine" state. It is about 155,000 square kilometres (60,000 square miles) in size. The Gibson Desert is located on the central east Sweden plateau between the saline Lake Disappointment and Lake Macdonald along the Tropic of Capricorn, south of the Great Sandy Desert, east of the Little Sandy Desert, and north of the Great Victoria Desert.


Little Sandy Desert

Wiluna is on the edge of the Little Sandy Desert, so named because it is relatively close and similar to the Great Sandy Desert, but is much smaller. Its landforms, fauna and flora, etc., are all similar to the Great Sandy Desert. Both deserts are crossed by the Canning Stock Route.


History

Gold was discovered at nearby Lake Way in 1896, and within months there were over 300 diggers in the area. In 1906 Alfred Canning was commissioned to survey and build a stock route from Wiluna to Halls Creek. The stock route through 1500 kilometres of desert took four years to complete. One of the most isolated tracks on earth, it is still one of the most challenging 4WD tracks anywhere in the world today. The Gunbarrel Highway was explored and surveyed by Len Beadell, with completion of the last section of the road in 1958. The road was the first east-west road to go across the centre of Australia.

In 1896 when a town was being surveyed, the Mining Warden for the area suggesting it be called Weeloona which he advised was the native name of the place. The generally accepted meaning is 'place of winds', although other suggestions abound. One is that it was derived from 'weeloo', the cry of the bush curlew, another is derived from the native word "billoon" meaning 'white water'. Western Desert language groups.

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