Lake Ballard is located 180km from Kalgoorlie, via Menzies. The massive salt lake is dotted with sculptures based on the traditional owners of the area. Renowned British sculpture artist Antony Gormley created the 51 pieces in 2003 by reducing body scans of people living in Menzies by two thirds and casting them in steel. The result is a collection of slightly eerie characters who kind of appear suddenly in your peripheral vision.
I had been meaning to go and check out Lake Ballard for ages and finally made it there over the weekend. We set off after a measly 3 hour sleep (wedged in between getting home at 3am on Saturday morning and getting up for one of Australia’s dismal World Cup soccer appearances at 6am). First things first; lunch at the Menzies pub.
According to Wikipedia, Menzies has a total of 56 residents.
Obviously the Main Street was pumping.
We continued on to Lake Ballard, stopping at the delightfully named ‘Snake Hill’ along the way.
The whole area is pretty much a geologist’s delight, apparently.
There is an entire system of salt lakes in the Goldfields (where i live) but unfortunately it seems the red dirt is so overpowering that I’ve never seen a completely white one. Like in Bolivia. Ours look like this:
According to geology, that big hill in the above photo is called an ‘outcrop’. Because it crops out of the ground. Fancy.
We climbed the
hill outcrop and had excellent views across the lake from the top.
The mud has a crispy layer of salt that makes the most delightful crunching noise as you walk along. The salt also pools in the footprints of people long gone.
After some exploring we went back to the car to set up camp before the sun set. It was at this point that I realised I had left the oh-so-important plug for the air mattress on my desk at home. I was completely deflated.
We made a makeshift bed with the airless mattress, a picnic rug and a bunch of towels. Talk about comfort! We grabbed some drinks and headed back out onto the lake to watch the sunset.
The sunset was kind of obstructed by the faraway hills, but still pretty. The sculptures appeared extra creepy as the light faded.
The temperature also began to drop significantly. Time to light a fire.
We had fire sizzled sausages and burgers, followed by Smores. Smores are a roasted marshmallow sandwiched between two biscuits with a piece of chocolate. The chocolate is meant to melt, but ours was too thick.
Despite a slightly lumpy ‘bed’ and temperatures of less than 5 degrees overnight, it wasn’t the worst night’s sleep I’ve ever experienced. That said, I was relieved when it was time to get up and check out the sunrise:
The moon still hung around for a while.
Time for breakfast.
And because I truly believe breakfast is the best time for dessert:
Then it was time to pack up our tiny camp and head back home.
Not before stopping in Menzies for delicious cake.
Stellar weekend. I’m never eating again.