Traipsing Around the Goldfields of WA

I can’t post much about Goldfields SES Challenge yet, as we’re waiting for the Local Manager of our unit to be back from his holiday first. We want to show him the photos from challenge, so we’re holding back on public posts until we’ve had our training night (Wednesday) & put them up on the projector for him. But there’s a couple of things that I can show you.

Like where we were.

Prior to the Goldfields SES Challenge, we don’t disclose the location. This year was a bit different as we had 5 stands held where the public were welcome to watch them, however camp & the other stands were kept relatively hush-hush.

But now we’re all packed up & back home, it doesn’t matter – because every year it’s somewhere different (so we’re not giving away any State Secrets [winks]).

So here’s what I saw while away for Challenge that wasn’t about the assessment stands.

Lake Douglas at Dusk

Lake Douglas at Dusk


Home Sweet Tent Home

Home Sweet Tent!
The “Blackwolf Turbo 240+” has room for two swags, all our SES PPE & civi clothing too, table, chairs, computer & camera gear.  Coupled with a nice little Honda Generator to recharge batteries & run the PC, this is what Doug & I lived in & worked out of from Friday through Monday.



Camp Kitchen


The Team Tent

That brown tent housed 7 strapping young lads for 4 days.
The little green tent beside it was Sharon’s.  While she wasn’t on the team, like Doug & I weren’t, she was another part of our unit’s contingent – offering her services as a casualty at the Road Crash Rescue stand.

These only are a glance at camp.  There were over 100 people who made up Challenge – teams, catering, committee, assessors, photographers, ‘casualties’…. so you can imagine how full the camping area at Lake Douglas looked.

I should probably also mention that we dropped down to 1 degree celcius overnight on Friday.  Living out of tents.  The perpetual campfire was a godsend in the morning.  Actually… in all honesty, it was a necessity the entire weekend.  There’s some very good memories of sitting around that campfire at night over the weekend.  New friendships, old friendships, loud ‘drinking’ games set to pushups instead of drinks.  But I’ll save those stories for later.  Shhhhhh…. spoilers.


Kalgoorlie Superpit

Kalgoorlie Superpit

4 image panorama, stitched together in Photoshop.
Not my normal style, I know, but it’s huge.  There was no way of fitting it all in with the equipment I had with me (& Doug inherited use of my 10-17mm ultra wide angle lens because he still uses Pentax – but I haven’t seen his photos yet).

For those who don’t know, the “Superpit” is a gold mine.  In fact, it’s the largest open pit gold mine in Australia & produces up to 850,000 ounces of gold annually.  It is roughly 3.5 kilometres long, 1.5 kilometres wide and 570 metres deep…. which means it’s large enough to be seen from space.  It’s located on the South-East side of the Goldfields town of Kalgoorlie, in Western Australia.

We decided that as we were only 10 minutes outside of Kalgoorlie, we would head in & be tourists between packing up camp & heading home.


Photo by Luke

Stirling SES Represent!

Here’s the members of our SES unit who attended Challenge, posing in a detached loader bucket (minus two members who had needed to head directly home earlier).
This photo is thanks to the self timer option & tripod, as I managed to leave my wireless remote in Perth.  Oops!

If you look closely, you’ll note that Sharlene the Emu is in both of the above photos.  Not only did she come with us to Challenge, she got out & about.  Once the main photos go up, you should keep an eye out for her.  I might even run a competition for those who can find her in all the photos.  We’ll see what happens.


It’s amusing what you see when you’re not closed off to the things around you.
Especially when you’re willing to stop & look around, & just take things in.   In all directions.



Coolgardie RSL


Coolgardie War Memorial





Humpty Dumpty

I love how some things don’t change.
We were looking out for this farm on the way home.  It’s the highlight of that stretch of highway!  Sadly, my favourite hay sculpture is no longer there (“Haylp”), but Humpty & Foo were.

We left a lot later than we’d planned, so it was almost dark by the time we reached Southern Cross.  But the golden light out there in the late afternoon is rather pretty.

Sadly, it meant that I didn’t get to photograph the changes we noticed at the Lakes I stopped at last year.  I’m hoping to get an opportunity to get out that way again soon, but with the wedding & event seasons now upon me it may be a while away before I can.


Mud & Steel Blue

This was the state of my boots on Monday morning.

You’ve probably seen a preview version of this image before if you follow my Instagram.  It was the cleanest they’d been all weekend, & my love for my Steel Blues has only increased further because of how they performed.  Later, I’ll show you why they were in that state.

It was a huge weekend.

I brought home several thousand photographs & some good memories – including a couple of entirely amazing moments.

Better still, our SES unit’s team brought home Second Place!!  Well done, guys!