Lakewood Woodlines

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesNorseman
DifficultyDifficulty 4/5
Suitable For4WD 
Distance146.68 km
Minimum Days2
Average Speed38.96 km/hr
Travel Time3 hrs 45 mins
Page Updated: 10 Feb 2024


Almost as soon as you turn off the Eyre Highway you travel on a picturesque well formed track. You are transported to another world, no noise, no cars, no people, yet Norseman is less than 60 kilometres away.

On this trek you will see old rail formations, old mine shafts, remains of spur lines, old woodcutter's camps and much more. These remains have severely weathered since the days when the area was used to cut sandalwood to be exported and used for perfume, incense sticks and such like. Timber harvested was used to provide fuel for steam boilers, engines and other mining equipment. The wood lines concentrated on timber for the mines and up until the early 1940s were cutting some 300.000 to 400.000 tons per year in various areas around Kalgoorlie. In the early years 500,000 tons per year was exceeded on occasion. These woodline operations were huge, one employed around 500 people. Most of the operations shut down in the 1950s and 1960s as oil and coal took the place of wood. The use of timber mine props also diminished as steel and other methods of mining came on stream.

These old artefacts will take you back in time to what was once a unique and thriving industry. Despite almost clear felling of the bush 45 years ago, vigorous regrowth has amazingly almost fully regenerated the forest.

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There are three main tracks leading off Eyre Highway that can be accessed in the area at the 42 kilometre mark east of Norseman. Turning off the highway there are scattered items such as groups of bottles, rusting tins and the remains of woodcutter’s camps.

The general terrain is reasonably flat and sandy, with belts of salmon and other gum trees, tea tree and scrub. Track speeds vary between 5 km to 35 km per hour with the average being around 10 km per hour. Sinclair Soak is a nice place to stop. It is set in an area of wet ground near flat rocks. The soak is a 300 metre walk from the track.

When heading towards the Buldania mining site, the landscape consists of hundreds of mine shafts; costeans, tunnels and trenches and there are also remnants of head frames, sluices, conveyers and loading facilities.


Without the woodlines only the richest Eastern Goldfields gold mines would have been viable. The woodlines were an industry that provided fire wood to fuel steam boilers and gas producers for engines, lighting, pumping and ore treatment.

By 1919, in the Eastern Goldfields alone, a total of 45,000,000 tons of fuel wood had been used and a staggering $278,709,820 of gold had been produced.

In 1938 the W.A. Goldfields Firewood Supply Ltd found it was uneconomic to cut firewood any further south of Cave Hill, so it moved all of its operations from Kurrawang, west of Kalgoorlie to Lakewood, south east of Boulder. The move consisted of shifting 80 houses, the company’s offices, sawmill, loco-workshops, a hall, store, bakehouse, butcher shop, school and 300 people by rail to Lakewood.

The Lakewood woodline ceased to be productive the further it was cutting from Kalgoorlie. The mines had over time moved to electricity and diesel fuel rather than firewood resulting in the Lakewood woodline ceasing operation in December 1964. At this stage it was cutting firewood south of the Eyre Highway, over 100 miles from Kalgoorlie.

TrekID: 131


MUST READ: You are strongly encouraged to read the following articles prepared by the knowledge experts at ExplorOz for your safety and preparation before undertaking any published ExplorOz Trek - Outback Safety, Outback Driving Tips, Outback Communications, and Vehicle Setup for the Outback.


Please refer to Road Reports published by the local shire and/or main roads for the area you intend to visit. Road/Track conditions can change significantly after weather events. Travellers must be responsible for their own research on current conditions and track suitability.
Best times for travel are the cooler autumn to spring months; however take care if heavy rain has fallen because of bogging risks. If you are unsure contact the Shire of Dundas on: (08) 9039 1205 or contact the Norseman tourist centre on: (08) 9039 1071 for information.

There are numerous tracks and rail formations in the area, they are unnamed and a lot of these are not shown on maps. A wise precaution is to get hold of some updated and detailed mud maps of the area or get hold of some digital maps of the region to use on a laptop. If you decide to get some digital maps of the region, you could load these into OziExplorer (which should be installed and running on your laptop) and load the plot file for this trek from ExplorOz. . Another precaution against getting lost is to use a GPS with the track back feature so you can reverse the track and follow it back out again if you do get lost.

Be well prepared with a GPS, HF radio or Satellite phone as you may not see another vehicle for days. We advise that you refer to the latest information and advice about outback communications in the

Puncture risk is fairly high so make sure you have adequate recovery gear and puncture repair kits. Ensure you have sufficient tyre plugs for tubeless tyres and spare tubes or if you have tubed tyres have patches. Note plugs are only a temporary fix - it is recommended that you have permanent repairs carried out by a tyre dealer. It is also strongly recommended to have two spares with tyres on rims and at least one spare tube to get you out of trouble, should you get more than your share of punctures. Travellers should read the for related articles and checklists for vehicle setup and driver awareness.

Towing of caravans into this area is not recommended at all. Camper trailers may get through in some areas, however tight and overgrown tracks will make life difficult and increase the risk of punctures.


Access permits are not required for the Lakewood Woodlines treknote.

Fuel Usage

4cyl 21 litres4cyl 24 litres4cyl 29 litres
6cyl 22 litres6cyl 27 litres6cyl 26 litres
8cyl 22 litres8cyl 24 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

Autumn and Spring are the best time to visit. Winter could be boggy and summer extremely hot.

Closest Climatic Station

Distance from Trek Mid Point 0.08km SE
Mean Max. °C32.631.328.824.620.417.516.818.521.625.028.130.7
Mean Min. °C15.815.914.511.
Mean Rain mm19.924.924.423.430.530.126.824.821.420.320.421.4
    Best time to travel      Ok time to travel      Travel NOT recommended


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Norseman to Coolgardie Esperance Hwy & Eyre Hwy
Driving: 0.05 km
Avg Speed: 12.17 km/hr
EST Time: N/A
Coolgardie Esperance Hwy & Eyre Hwy to Eyre Hwy & Minor Track
Driving: 27.8 km
Heading: 64°
Avg Speed: 88.07 km/hr
EST Time: 18:56
Eyre Hwy & Minor Track to Buldania Rock
Driving: 0.57 km
Heading: 51°
Avg Speed: 103.38 km/hr
EST Time: 00:19
Buldania Rock to Eyre Hwy & Minor Track
Driving: 16.02 km
Heading: 84°
Avg Speed: 80.09 km/hr
EST Time: 12:00
Eyre Hwy & Minor Track to Old Rusted International Truck
Driving: 33.77 km
Avg Speed: 15.8 km/hr
EST Time: 02:08:14
Old Rusted International Truck to Sinclair Soak
Driving: 0.81 km
Heading: 224°
Avg Speed: 33.7 km/hr
EST Time: 01:26
Sinclair Soak to Old International Truck
Driving: 3.94 km
Heading: 226°
Avg Speed: 16.23 km/hr
EST Time: 14:33
Old International Truck to WS and 65 Painted on Rock
Driving: 8.22 km
Heading: 201°
Avg Speed: 15.01 km/hr
EST Time: 32:51
WS and 65 Painted on Rock to Old Drays
Driving: 1.95 km
Heading: 219°
Avg Speed: 13.44 km/hr
EST Time: 08:42
Old Drays to Creek Crossing (Lake Cowan)
Driving: 13.88 km
Heading: 205°
Avg Speed: 21.09 km/hr
EST Time: 39:29
Creek Crossing (Lake Cowan) to Buldania Mine Site
Driving: 7.57 km
Heading: 210°
Avg Speed: 20.75 km/hr
EST Time: 21:53
Buldania Mine Site to Eyre Hwy & Minor Track
Driving: 4.25 km
Heading: 194°
Avg Speed: 25.41 km/hr
EST Time: 10:02
Eyre Hwy & Minor Track to Coolgardie Esperance Hwy & Eyre Hwy
Driving: 27.8 km
Heading: 244°
Avg Speed: 88.07 km/hr
EST Time: 18:56
Coolgardie Esperance Hwy & Eyre Hwy to Norseman
Driving: 0.05 km
Heading: 182°
Avg Speed: 12.17 km/hr
EST Time: N/A
Distance is based on the travel mode shown (Driving, Straight, Cycling, Walking etc), Direction is straight line from start to end, Avg Speed & EST Time is calculated from GPS data.

What to See


Where to Stay

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Services & Supplies


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