Karalundi to Cue
A short travel day today of only 172 kms. The nights are getting cooler as we move further south, so it was nice to be able to lay in bed a bit longer. It was around 9am when we hitched up to leave.
We were held up behind a two of the massive sized mining loads. With our two way on we could talk to the escort vehicles, and listen to them as they controlled the traffic in both directions on the road – fascinating. Approaching vehicles were told long in advance to move off the road as two 5.5 metre wide loads were approaching. The escort to the rear of the loaded trucks, who we were directly behind, instructed us to come closer. We listened as he liaised with the lead vehicle in the convoy, who eventually told him there was a flood lane coming up so we would be good to go. He signalled for us to pass. Yikes! There wasn’t much room, and not a lot of length to the available road. I swore a bit, Paul kept calm. The guy in the support vehicle complimented Paul on his driving skills – yikes again! What if he wasn’t such a skilled driver, what if I’d been driving. Note to oneself, never offer to drive on the mining roads.
As we neared Cue there were more and more wildflowers lining the roads. In the next few days these are clearly going to be showing themselves in prolific abundance, so these were just a bit of an appetiser.
We arrived at the Cue caravan park at 11am. This has to be the best value caravan park around. Individual ablution cubicles, a good laundry, campers kitchen and TV room. Plus an outdoor fire pit with wood supplied, all for $20 a night (seniors rates).
Cue, once know as the Queen of the Murchison, now has to be one the saddest towns around. In the late 1800s Cue, a town built on gold, was booming, with a population of around 10,000. Such was the wealth of the area that some of the most grandiose buildings seen in rural Western Australia were built there. Many are still standing to be admired today. During its hey day the town boasted 11 hotels, but as the fortunes of the town began to fade in the early 1900s, so did the town. By the 1940s the population was less than 1000, and has continued to fall since. In the 2016 census only 194 people called Cue home.
Today there are rows of shops boarded up and falling into disrepair. If any town is deserving of being made into an historical, tourist town then Cue is. It makes me think of the book, A Town Like Alice. It’s a town I’d love for some wealthy entrepreneur to take a fancy too. Perhaps the old vacant hotel could be turned into luxury accommodation. A good restaurant with a good chef, and a couple of classy, countrified cafes. A country life emporium selling soaps, candles, dried flowers, and all manner of home wares, and an old fashioned, type of Draper shop but one that caters to today’s market. Put a museum in for some added interest, and add a few tours to some of the local places of interest. Ah, I’m dreaming again, I know. But it’s such a shame to see a town once so great that it was given the Royal title of, The Queen of the Murchison, and now it’s almost derelict. There’s potential here I’m sure….
Soon I’ll tell you about two of those possible destinations for tours – fascinating places.