is our answer the the Cape York Telegraph track. Having never driven
the QLD one, I can't compare them, other than to say they are both
pretty remote and require a fair bit of preparation.
track basically starts at Israelite Bay telegraph station and heads
east towards Eucla. These notes will apply to the original line from
Israelite Bay to Twilight Cove, then the new line (1896) from south
Cocklebiddy to Eyre Bird Observatory (once the Eyre Sandpatch
original telegraph line was commissioned around 1876 and started at
Albany and travelled east to Bremer Bay, Esperance Bay, Israelite
Eyre Sandpatch then to Eucla before crossing into South Australia.
line was a single wire and the poles were all wood.
was augmented/replace by a new line in 1896. A line was run from
Coolgardie to Esperance via Norseman, where it went east to
before heading towards Eyre. This line used steel poles and was
The old wooden telegraph station building were also replaced with
beautiful stone buildings that also provided housing for the staff.
was a fairly substantial town. The only ruin remaining is a house
was either the telegraph or post master's home. The actual telegraph
station was dismantled in the 1950s to become the Amber roadhouse
can win a bet with this). The main building housed both the post
and telegraph office (as did all station except Eyre which was too
isolated to need a post office. At Eucla there were two sides to the
telegraph room, one for WA and the other for SA. Many say that it
the time difference between the state for this, but reality is that
Eucla had its own time (minus 45 from western time). The reason for
two staffs was as simple as the two colonies having different morse
Both lines were decommissioned in 1926 with the opening of the trans
We undertook this trip in
April 2012 and it is the fourth in our expedition series.
section to Israelite Bay was pretty corrugated and a bit
March flies were out especially around Israelite Bay. We headed
Wattle Camp, but didn't find anything that we liked and headed
which was a mistake..it was worse. But at night any campsite
good. We did walk some miles searching for a better site but the
kept going and the scrub didn't allow anyway to pull off.
were some sections where a previous bushfire had devastated the
which had started to regrow and was very dense causing much
along the cars.
Toolina Cove was a bit scary standing at the top
looking down into the small beach, thinking about dragging
poles up from the ships!
Bilbunya Dunes were pretty spectacular.
The walk up was pretty hard on the legs, but the view was worth
side has a very steep slope and considering the height, a bit of
is required. The drive across the flats beforehand required us
search for the track as the windblown sand had covered the
marks. Fortunately the flats were not boggy, but had the
cause some havoc if water was present, and it is a long drive
We saw some miniature pinnacles on the way too!
was very beautiful in the sunset, but the wind was a tad
of our vehicles has trouble getting over the dunes with the
it didn't get in. WE lost radio comms with them too and when we
bit stuck, there was some concern for a while. The camp site at
Twilight was pretty good and we saw some marsupial jumping mice
scavenging our crumbs. The drive down the escarpment to Twilight
easy but you need to go slow as the track is rutted and bouncy.
We followed some miles and miles of wooden telegraph poles,
which was a real blast too.
never found the track from Twilight to Eyre, so we headed north
and eventually got onto a track which took us onto the more
line. We ended up in some pretty thick scrub here. But the
travelling on the old telegraph line with many hundreds of steel
still standing and often with wire running between them.
decent down to the sand for Eyre was easy as it is maintained,
the section of sand to Eyre was slow as the sand was churned up
possibly due to the traffic. The old station museum is well
On the way out we detoured easterly to Burnabbie
. and had a
look around there to.
came across a few big lizards and a couple of snakes, one looked
dugite and the other seemed to be a western brown, both of which
steered clear of.
Places to See
Israelite Bay telegraph station and graves
Eyre Bird Observatory
Baxter Cliffs (sheer 200 foot drop to the ocean)
Miles of old telegraph line
trip is not too difficult. I would probably class it as easy
the isolation. We took enough fuel and water to get us pretty
Esperance all the way to Cocklebiddy. There are absolutely no
available on the way.
varying track conditions from limestone, muddy claypans, sand
steep hills. There are many reports that some sections are no
trafficable. We did not find this the case, however, there are
section where your vehicle will be scratched and low overhanging
had to clear some trees from tracks. But other than scratches
vehicle damage. Our average speed was probably below 40km/h.
the track is very narrow and speeding will get you into trouble.
cars coming from the opposite direction.
here to send us