We had dinner in the pub at Menzies on our last night and besides its almost untouched charm and interesting people we met the publican who shared with us a book on the statues and also some very useful information on the road ahead.
He suggested to us that we should go and have a look at Kookynie and Niagara Dam which we had looked at on the map and assumed the road surface would be unsuitable for us. However the road has been sealed and so off we went. Kookynie is in some ways similar to Menzies except that there are fewer inhabitants and more building which are now derelict. We were able to read about how this town had developed rapidly with the discovery of gold and then when the gold became too hard to mine. Now all that remains are the plaques which tell their stories. At its height there were eleven hotels, a Town Hall which housed the regular Saturday night dances as well as plays and official ceremonies. There were also the first public baths on the goldfields, seven brass bands to entertain the population, the Kookynie Turf Club which held 3 annual meetings, its own brewery and two soft drink manufacturers. At the Red Light area the plaque relates that this establishment was conducted by the Japanese ladies and that as there was no contraception, some wives were using their meagre coins to send their men to see the ladies. One poor woman had three sets of twins, and ten children in all, bet she sent her husband to the Japanese ladies!
We then drove on to Niagara Dam and found it to be a beautiful place where we decided to stay for one night and then as we are often found to do, two! Our first night was spent at the edge of the dam which has magnificent views all round. We walked around the dam and marvelled that it could have been built in 1897. It was built to provide water for the nearby town and the steam engines working the line that was rapidly extending north from Menzies. As we walked around the area we chose to camp in we noticed this beautiful rock painting which we know nothing about but was quite beautiful.