Coolgardie - Ora Banda.
Trip Start Feb 22, 2004
65Trip End Dec 17, 2004
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From here it was a short drive to the resilient Ora Banda Hotel. While Ora Banda has been a virtual ghost town, the survival of the Hotel has prevented total decline. Gold was discovered in 1893 and the hotel built in 1911 and the town also bragged having the state owned gold battery. The hotel has had a exciting history during its nearly 100 years in existence as a gold mining pub, but nothing to compare to the events of October 2000. Following a dispute in the pub a group of Gypsie Joker biker members set up camp in the bush near the pub. As the bikie gang members sat around their campfire one of them was fatally shot by a sniper. While it is believed the sniper was the Hotels publican (a former Perth detective) no one was charged. Revenge was vowed and over the next weeks the hotel and residence were bombed on several occasions, causing the publican to flee to Perth. Things quietened down until in September 2001 the publican and an acquaintance were returning from Belmont Racetrack when a bomb which had been placed under their car seat exploded killing both.
The Ora Banda (Spanish for 'band of gold') Hotel, under new owners, has been fully restored following the bikie bombing and back to its hey day glory. We had a beer or two, then moved on and bush camped to the west of town at the aptly named Mt Carnage.