As Director of the Art Gallery of WA, Colin Walker is bound to frame his itineraries around great works of art. Here, he tells Explore about his favourite sights in Western Australia.
“One of the great pleasures in Australia is experiencing its vast expanses,” he said. “I try to fit in one major road trip per year to escape and explore, rarely returning to the same place. My last trip snaked around a circuit from Perth taking in Northam, Merredin, Coolgardie … Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Menzies, Lake Ballard, Leonora, Laverton, Wiluna, Meekatharra, Cue, Walga Rock, Yalgoo, Carnamah and Geraldton. Each place has its own rich and unexpected history, from staying in the home of Herbert Hoover the 31st President of the USA – yes he lived in WA on the precipice of a mine – to having an imaginary pint in the gold rush ghost town of Kookynie.
“Two of the real must-see wonders of Australia are ‘Inside Australia’, a remarkable art installation by Antony Gormley at Lake Ballard in the middle of the Yilgarn Craton … and 10,000-year-old rock art at Walga Rock, a giant monolith with WA’s largest accessible Aboriginal rock art gallery including the unexplained image of a rigged sailing ship four-and-a-half hours’ drive inland from the coast. Each is utterly isolated and standing amongst the art there makes you feel an integral part of the landscape and culture yet also inconsequential to it.”