Gnarlbine Soak

Gnarlbine Soak was a very important water source for aboriginal people. The first European to discover the soak was explorer Henry Lefroy in 1863. C.C. Hunt visited it in August 1864 and developed the soak into a well in 1865:

19 July 1865 halt at Gnarlbine, … having a well to make here, the bullocks must suffer for a day or two as it is absolutely necessary to have a well sunk here, the distance from Camp 21 to Camp 23 being upwards of forty miles …

20 July 1865. Party engaged sinking well, ….

21 July 1865. Party engaged stoning up the well, … P.M. completed the well and removed the party about 18 miles to the westward …

Gnarlbine became an important stopping place for explorers and prospectors, including R.J. Holland when he put through what today is known as the Holland Track. In the early days of Coolgardie, before the pipeline was built it was a vital supply of water.

There are a number of plaques at Gnarlbine. The plaque on the well reads:


Discovered by H.M. LEFROY 1863
Improved by C.C. HUNT 1864
Water at this Soakage was of great assistance
to later Explorers and Prospectors
A.FORREST   1871        G. MacPHERSON ’88 ’89
G.WITHERS   ’90          BAYLEY and FORD ’92
Afterwards used by thousands living in district

Erected By
Public Subscription and E. Goldfields
Historical Society
Sept 1950