When I was younger my sister used to talk about how all of her gang would go down to Gunyidi Pool for something to do now and then. Gunyidi Pool is east of the Gunyidi railway whistle stop along—but not actually on—the Midlands Road between Watheroo and Coorow (in Western Australia).
In her day, based on what I have gleaned here and there, this was a fresh water pool with a white sandy beach. So it was like a mini-beach in the middle of the bush about six kilometres east of the Gunyidi whistle stop. Also, back then, there was some kind of jumping-off platform built in the middle of the pool.
By all reports Gunyidi Pool was not that big and not that deep.
About seven years ago (June, 2007) on a trip back to my home town with my brother-in-law, his wife, my wife, and our son we decided to try and find this Gunyidi Pool from earlier days. Sort of just to prove its existence really, and to see what it looked like now.
From checking into it on the Web I already knew that some 50 years on from when my sister used to go there it now rarely, if ever, has water in it. But even so I thought it would be interesting to see.
Well, back then in 2007, we found Gunyidi Pool; or at least where the pool used to be.
As you make the right hand turn off into Gunyidi Pool you are driving through low typical WA sand plain scrub. Then as you approach where the pool is/was you suddenly, unexpectedly, encounter tall trees. There are large eucalypts that I know as River Gums and there are also some kind of conifers as well, although many of the conifers are looking like they are not doing very well and a number of them have died and fallen over.
[Clicking any picture will open hi-res version from Abalook’s SmugMug]
In the picture above you can see the white ‘beach sand’ in the centre where the pool was. There are two people in that picture as well. Can you spot them?
The following shot shows one of the dead conifers laying on the ground to the right of the car.
On the horizon you can see what the normal bushy scrub in the area looks like. So these large trees here are an anomaly. Whether they are self seeded and grew because of the fresh water or whether someone planted them around the pool 50 or 60 years ago I cannot be sure. Possibly the same person/people who built the diving platform in the middle of the lake.
The next picture gives a better idea of the size of the fallen tree.
The tip of the fallen tree extends to the right of the picture, but someone has used a chain saw to cut through the tree to allow vehicles to get past it. Again, off to the right you can see the normal bush scrub for this area. Scrub little more than double car height.
You can also see dead and dying trees that are up the side of the ‘beach’ and are too far away from whatever subterranean fresh water is still available here.
This last picture is from the east side of the pool and shows a couple things.
The first thing I noticed here is that the sand starts off as a creamy kind of colour and then turns white the closer you get to where the pool was (to the right hand side of the picture). The conifers on this side of where the pool was are healthier and there are even younger lush green conifers growing in the white sand on this side.
Sadly I don’t have any pictures of it but in the middle of the pool we did find evidence of the platform that my sister told me about. There are rotted stumps of posts and some rotted planks with a piece of corrugated custom orb nailed to them.
I suspect that this pool was fresh water and that it was feed by a spring rather than run off but I can’t find anything on the Web to confirm this.
Well I hope someone finds this interesting. One day, gods willing, I might get back there and see what toll nature has taken over the last seven or so years.
Note that all pictures link to a full resolution 1,600 pixel wide version in SmugMug.