Yes I have done it a year ago, The road out is gravel for the last section but not corrugated all that much, but conditions could easily change since then. Stop at Menzies, very interesting little town, Main problem was lots of tiny bush flies. There are also large trucks on the road from the mines, I had no problems as we both were travelling the same speed.
Thanks very much for the replies and information - still trying to decide how much time its going to take us to go up to Exmouth and back to Perth. We have 6 weeks to do up there and then down south - which is beginning to feel like its not enough time!!
Hi Lesue. The drive from Kalgoorlie to Lake Ballard takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes. It's actually a really nice drive and there are places to stop along the way, like the Broad Arrow Tavern for lunch! Lake Ballard is really cool, worth the visit if you're in the Goldfields. There are also tours out to Lake Ballard if you don't fancy driving. Check out our website for full details, and please pop into the Visitor Centre for maps and information when you get to Kalgoorlie Boulder! Amy, General Manager, Kalgoorlie Boulder Visitor Centre. www.kalgoorlietourism.com
Thanks very much Amy - we will certainly visit the Information Centre - looking forward to checking out Lake Ballard and Kalgoorlie.
Its definitely worth a look. Make sure you climb the very obvious hill in the lake for a great top-down view.
Had loads of flies when we went. Also, wear something suitable on your feet! My boots ended up caked in the red clay that lies under the surface salt. Exactly how wet/clay-like it is depends on recent weather.
Also, whilst in the area Gwalia ghost town near Leonora is interesting. You can stay the night at President Hoover's house.
If you are going to Gwalia and Lake Ballard have you thought about doing one direction of your trip the Exmouth-Karijini-Newman-Mount Magnet-Sandstone-Leinster-Leonora (Gwalia)-Menzies (Lake Ballard)-Kalgoorlie-Esperance route?
We went through there in November and all the dirt roads we travelled were in outstanding condition. Of course that information is dated now as conditions vary often. As stated Lake Ballard is worth a look. We got lucky with very few flies but yes, the clay was sticky. A couple of nights in Hoover House then on toward the north. Whether it's worth it to you would really depend on your whole itinerary. Simply an out and back from Kalgoorlie, probably not.
Lake Ballard is a brilliant place to visit and we have driven there both from Leonora and from Menzies. The only thing you should do is check with the man roads department if there has been heavy rainfall as they will advise if the dirt road is safe in a non 4WD - it does happen occasionally. You are also supposed to sign the book in Menzies to say when you're going and when you intend to return and sign it on your return.
I agree that to visit Leonora and Gwalia is definitely also worth including and there is plenty of accommodation in the town as well as Hoover House.