Menzies – ‘Inside Australia’ exhibit at Lake Ballard
A short drive from Menzies in the Goldfields-Esperance region, the ‘Inside Australia’ exhibit by world-renowned artist Antony Gormley features 51 black steel sculptures spread across 10 square kilometres of white salt plain – the largest outdoor art gallery in the world.
Created as part of the Perth International Arts Festival’s 50th anniversary, the individually cast sculptures were developed from laser scans of local Menzies residents, and form a stunning counterpart to the rugged open landscape.
Ensure that you allow a few hours for this exhibition (as the sculptures are set 500 metres apart!), and that you’re equipped with sunscreen, adequate water, and appropriate footwear and clothing. For the best experience, arrive early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when the light throws the scuptures’ long shadows across the salt lake.
If you’re up for more adventure in the south-west, cruise along the highway for a day towards Yalgoo, 660 kilometres to the west of Menzies. Originally used as grazing land by European settlers, and founded in the 1890s when alluvial gold was discovered in the region, Yalgoo is replete with goldmining paraphernalia and preserved turn-of-the-century buildings.
Visitors can explore the picturesque Monsignor Hawes Chapel of St Hyacinth, built by John Hawes in 1919; venture through the Jokers Tunnel, created by early gold prospectors; or soak up some local history at the Court House Museum, which contains fully furnished 19thcentury style rooms, preserved photographs and household items, and an old courthouse building.