Day 1 Fremantle to Merredin - statues to Statuesque!
Our Great Escape with the Gold begins where much of the C.Y. O'Connor story began in Fremantle - the Port city called ("Freo") he made such a contribution to - see our special page in his honour.
If you have the time we recommend you spend the night before in Freo' at the Quest Fremantle Apartments where your Get out of Jail Free Card - your WA Pass will work to get you a privileged rate and for details of its location please see the maps page for day 1.
Then you will have the time to visit the excellent attractions in the area including the Fremantle Prison and the Fremantle Maritime Museum both of which are excellent and perhaps also the two C.Y. O'Connor statues both the one in the water and the other one near the Port, to give you plenty of time in the morning!
Why not have a look at the excellent Fremantle Walking Trails site which will give you details of where the Fremantle escape routes start and lead to.
Day 1 dawns and it is time to make your escape - we need you up reasonably early in the morning for a stroll past the C.Y. O'Connor statue on the land near the Harbour - see the Fremantle Walking Trails map for details and find your way to the Freo Market St cafe strip area for breakfast - or if it is a really nice day and you have taken a marina view apartment at Quest have your breakfast on the balcony overlooking the water.
But whatever you do for breakfast you need to be in the Getaway Car and ready to escape by 09.30am sharp.
So please have a quick look at the maps and plan your escape and check out in good time etc so you are not behind time before you begin your escape!
It is approx 54.4 km and will take about an hour and a half from Market Street to the #1 Pumping Station at Mundaring which is where the Golden Pipeline trail commences.
For more details including driving directions see our Maps file for this itinerary.
You should be at the #1 Pumping Station by about 11am and I have allowed for you to spend an hour there enjoying the exhibits and the views etc and so by noon we should be in the Getaway car again and following the trail.
Now you have a whole lot of choices as to how much you follow the Golden Pipeline Trail itself and how much you follow the Great Eastern Highway which is close to the Trail at most points.
I always have had a latish lunch at the cafe in the Northam Visitors Centre - as I have a big breakfast in Freo and am not hungry for a while after that but there are a number of other options available and to see them perhaps look at the Northam Visitors Centre site:
Please note that regional Western Australian cafes and restaurants do not run to the times you might be used to in the city you come from - they are not all open every day and the opening times vary widely and they shut early in the evenings. You are in the country now and time does not move as quickly here - so please check in the planning phase to avoid disappointment. You need to watch that you don't get yourself into a position where you cannot get an evening meal in some of the smaller towns because what is available is often not available pretty early in the evening by big city standards and I have known the kitchens to be closed by 8.30pm so keep your eye on that.
Day one we will stay in Merredin over night and there are a couple of good options here - we recommend the Merredin Bed and Breakfast in Bates Street Merredin WA which is a 1930's former bank residence decorated to the period which is opposite the best attraction in the area (for me) the Cummins Theatre. The Cummins Theatre is one of the most beautiful buildings in the region and is a statuesque old lady who has been shifted to Merredin from her original resting place!
So this days escape is from the statue of C.Y. O'Connor to the statuesque Cummins Theatre!
Alternatively the Merredin Caravan Park in Oats St have some cabins which are fine but please have a chat to Pam Masters at the Central Wheatbelt Visitors Centre in Merredin.
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