The 800 kilometre Kingsford Smith Mail Run drive trail gives the traveller a real feel for Western Australia’s outback with a smattering of history to make things even more interesting. The moderate Top Trail takes you from Carnarvon on the west coast, inland to Meekatharra.
Commencing in 1924, Charles Kingsford Smith (Smithy, as he was known), once trundled along this very route on his mail run. It can be a lonely road, but the highlights are worth the trip.
Start in Carnarvon, the vegetable growing area of the Gascoyne providing bananas, mangoes and vegetables (indulge in one of the banana smoothies from the plantations). From there, travel to Gascoyne Junction where the pub is the centre of town (especially in the blistering summer heat) before heading to Bangemall Inn, established in 1896 for gold prospectors and today a place to unhitch the caravan or stay in one of the station rooms.
The world’s biggest monolith, Mount Augustus is worth a stay of a few days before heading to old Mount Gould lockup. Manned from 1888, a few policemen were stationed here to imprison the sheep rustlers (pastoralist’s scared away native animals so the Aborigines had to eat the occasional sheep).