Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Lake Ballard

Lake Ballard, Menzies, WA
We nearly didn't go. We arrived in Kalgoorlie yesterday with the showers and chilly wind so the idea of driving to a lake where you are encouraged to walk out onto the surface didn't appeal. But today the sun was shining so we packed our picnic lunch and went.

Lake Ballard is a two hour drive north from Kalgoorlie. There is a lot of mining activity so the roads are great but I hate to think of the effect on the environment. It's a very modified landscape. - it appears like bush from the road but there are open cut mines everywhere.

Paddington Mine north of Kalgoorlie
At Menzies we turned west expecting a dirt track for the 50 km to Lake Ballard but the road was bitumen for some way and then graded dirt for the rest. So the trip was no hardship at all. We could have brought the van and camped at the lake. It's a spectacular spot.

Lake Ballard is attracting attention because of a public art installation. Antony Gormley has created 51 cast sculptures and placed them on the lake's surface, spread out over quite a distance. Apparently it takes about three hours to walk around the whole lot but we only walked to about six of them. The surface of the lake was damp but firm. It looked spectacular in the sunshine with a mirage trying to convince us that there was water 'just over there'. And there were lots of plants flowering as well.

The lake is also well known in the birding community because when there is a rain event and the lake fills (it's a very rare) the Banded Stilts appear in their thousands and start nesting on the low islands in the lake, feeding on the brine shrimp that have been lying dormant in the lake bed. That must be a spectacular sight.

Gormley sculpture, Lake Ballard

Mirage, Lake Ballard
Gormley sculptures, Lake Ballard

Road from Lake Ballard to Menzies
View of  Lake Ballard from Snake Hill

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wow those sculpture look amazing fading into the distance. nice red road, looks like you're getting plenty of flowers. xx your fave daughter