Top Trail: Kingsford Smith Mail Run, Carnarvon to Meekatharra
About the Trail
The 834 kilometre long Kingsford Smith Mail Run can be a lonely road, but the highlights are worth the trip. Buy the Outback Pathways CD and listen to stories about the region while you’re on the road. The CD features a riotous line up of tales, told by the colourful characters who call the Gascoyne Murchison home.
The trail is well marked with thirteen interpretive sites. Some about Kingsford Smith (or Smithy, as he was known), who commenced his mail run along this very route in 1924, and others Aboriginal dreamtime stories and early European history.
Start in Carnarvon, the vegetable growing area of the Gascoyne which provides bananas, mangoes and vegetables, and indulge in a banana smoothie from one of the plantations. From there, travel to Gascoyne Junction where the pub is the centre of town (especially in the blistering summer heat) before heading to Bangemall Inn, established in 1896 for gold prospectors and today a place to unhitch the caravan or stay in one of the station rooms.
The world’s biggest monolith, Mount Augustus is worth a stay of a few days. The Summit Trail is one of the Top Trails, and there are other walks in the area. Then head to old Mount Gould lockup. Manned from 1888, a few policemen were stationed here to imprison the sheep rustlers - the pastoralists scared away native animals so the Aborigines had to eat the occasional sheep.
This is one of three Gascoyne Murchison Outback Pathways. The others are the Miners Pathway & the Wool Wagon Pathway. The Gascoyne Murchison Outback Pathways website is very informative and brochures and a guidebook are available from visitor information centres. The 178 page Gascoyne Murchison Outback Pathways Guidebook (including CD) takes readers on a journey along these trails and delves deep in the history of the area. It examines the rich indigenous history, the arrival of European explorers and the establishment of the pastoral and mining industries and includes fascinating historical photographs. The guidebook also looks at the region’s rich flora and fauna, showcasing some of the more common and the odder animal species and features photos of the carpets of wildflowers that blanket the region in colour.
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