Extending about 70 kilometres east-west, Lake Ballard
is one of a number of interconnected salt lakes that stretch across the north of the goldfields. Following major rain events (such as Cyclone Bobby in 1995) they fill and join up, cutting road links, but providing ideal breeding conditions for tens of thousands water birds, including the Banded Stilt.
Lake Ballard was chosen by Sir Antony Gormley
, the internationally-acclaimed British artist, as the site for a major environmental art installation which he titled “Inside Australia”. Gormley had been commissioned by Sean Doran, Artistic Director of Perth International Arts Festival, to produce the work in celebration of the Festival’s 50th anniversary in 2003.
'Inside Australia' comprises 51 metal figures, dotted across seven square kilometres of the salt-encrusted lake bed. Each of the sculptural figures, both male and female, are the result of 3D laser scans Gormley made of Menzies residents, and he refers to them as ‘insiders’.
A visit to Lake Ballard to view Gormley’s extraordinary work is, for many visitors, the highlight of their Goldfields experience.
The ‘Inside Australia’ site is at the western end of Lake Ballard, 50 kilometres to the east of Menzies, and offers camping and barbeque facilities (must bring own wood), as well as toilets. For full details, visit the Shire of Menzies