There always seems to be something tempting us a bit further off our planned route. We didn’t regret a trip out to Lake Ballard, a salt lake 51km West of the town of Menzies though. The Perth International Art Festival commissioned sculptor Antony Gormley to create the ‘Inside Australia’ art installation for their 50th anniversary in 2003.
He set up a 3D body scanner in Menzies Town Hall and managed to persuade 51 locals to strip naked in order to have their bodies ‘mapped’ by the scanner. It was one used by the film industry to create animation and special effects. He then used the images to create 51 metal figures which he set out across the huge salt lake. The names of all the residents are listed on the website at www.lakeballard.com
There is a free camping area beside the lake in a beautiful bushland setting with lots of wildflowers and there’s also plenty of shade. It was the most peaceful, relaxing campsite we’ve stayed at so far and we were the only ones there for most of the time. The only amenities are picnic benches, fire pits, rubbish bins, a long drop and a dump point. There’s no phone reception at the Lake.
Due to recent rains, the surface of the lake was slippery red mud and quite difficult to walk on. Some visitors had brought some $3 shoes with them specifically to wear out on the lake and leave behind for others. Luckily a pair fitted me which saved my shoes.
Jonathan was keeping his fingers crossed for clear night skies so he could take an astro photo. While the skies weren’t as good as they could be, he still took some impressive photos.
The council are in the process of sealing the road to the lake but the 30km of unsealed road was well graded and not an issue for the campervan. The only downside to the experience were the huge march flies which didn’t seem to be put off by insect repellent.