Goldfields Woodlands National Park
The Goldfields Woodlands National Park straddles the Great Eastern Highway 60 km west of Coolgardie, running for another 40 km beside the road.
It is part of a 152,500 ha conservation reserve network that includes Boorabbin NationalPark to the west, Victoria Rock Nature Reserveand a special management area to the southand east.
These reserves add to a linear network of other conservation reserves 400 km long from Jilbadgi Nature Reserve in the south through the Jaurdi Conservation Reserve to theCALM-managed Mt Elvire reserve and Mt Manning Range Nature Reserve in the north.They form an important part of the conservation estate east of the Wheatbelt.
An additional area of 142,140 ha to the south is proposed to be added to the national parkand a further 10,000 ha to the other conservation reserves. This will create a conservation reserve network of more than 311,000 ha.
The reserves are within the Coolgardie biogeographic region. They complete the comprehensive adequate and representative (CAR) network of conservation reserves for the Boorabbin vegetation system within the Coolgardie bio region.
The area has significant conservation values. It includes a diversity of landforms and vegetation types such as sandplains, freshwater swamps, salt lakes with saltbushand samphire surrounds, uncut and regrowth eucalypt woodlands and granite complexes. The area contains a wide variety of original stands and regrowth areas of eucalypts including salmon gum, gimlet, ribbon-barkedgum, mallees, red morrel, redwood and woodline mallee. There also is a range ofother native flora including wattles, banksia, bottlebrush, hakeas, melaleucas, sheoaks, sandalwood and grasstrees. Many of these were the source of bush tucker for Aboriginal people who used the area.
The park and associated conservation reserves provide visitors travelling by road from theeast with their first views of the State's spectacular spring and summer wildflower displays of the kwongan sandplain heaths.
Fauna surveys for the area, including the neighbouring 26,000 ha Boorabbin National Park, have found 17 native mammal species, four frogs species, 52 reptile species and more than 100 bird species. Mammals include the southern ningaui, pygmy possum and several species of dunnart (small nocturnal marsupials) as well as bats and native rodents.
Recreation and Camping
There are recreation and camping sites within the park along the highway at Boondi Rockand south of Coolgardie at Victoria Rock. Passing through the park, with a site at Woolgangie Rock, is the Golden Pipeline Heritage Trail. It provides a tourist route incorporating different biological and historical features including distinctive rock catchments along the historic Goldfields railway and pipeline running parallel to theGreat Eastern Highway.
The famous and historic Holland Track from Broome hill to Coolgardie crosses the park from Diamond Rock through to Thursday Rock and Victoria Rock to Coolgardie. This route is now a popular outback four-wheel-drive track and will continue to be managed for this use.
Remnants of the historic Kalgoorlie woodlines, in the eastern part of the reserves, generate much interest. These woodlines were narrow gauge railway lines used to haul timber into Kalgoorlie-Boulder for the mines and fuel for industry. They were developed around 1900 following the discovery of gold in Coolgardie in 1892 and in Kalgoorlie the following year and operated until the 1960s.
Timber cut from the arid inland forests and woodlands was also used as fuel in the pumping stations along the Goldfields water pipeline between Mundaring and Kalgoorlie, completed in 1903. The last of the wood-fired boilers and pumping stations converted to diesel in 1960. By 1965 the Goldfields woodlines and timber-fuelled pump stations had been consigned to history.
Many visitors have a strong interest in the history of the pipeline, woodlines and historic aspects of the access tracks that serviced the Goldfields. The national park incorporates several sites interpreting these features and the Aboriginal culture, history and ecology of the area.
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
Goldfields Woodlands National Parkand Conservation Park
Where is it?:
60 km west of Coolgardie along the Great Eastern Highway and south of Coolgardie on the Victoria Rock Rd. It runs for another 40 km beside the road.
One hour from Coolgardie.
Visitor and camping areas at Victoria Rock and Boondi Rock. Information shelter, tables, toilets, camping sites, freshwater dam at Boondi, heritage trail, Holland Track, picnic sites.
What to do:
Sightseeing, walking, photography, nature observation, bird watching, swimming, yabbies, picnics, camping, 4WD trips.
Nearest CALM office:
CALM's Goldfields Regional Office
Information for this National Park has been supplied courtesy of The Western Australia Department of Conservation and Land Management