Derelict knob

I've not done this before, an urban exploration, post and I'm not altogether certain how it's all supposed to be, what exactly I'm supposed to do...So, I'll just do what it is I always do and see what happens I guess. I may earn blockchain derision and if so I'll wear it...But maybe there's something interesting to see here and my effort will be vindicated.


Iron Knob

This old mining town lies three hundred and eighty kilometers north of the capital city of Adelaide, pretty much in the middle of nowhere. It has been around since the mid 1800's and was built up around mining...Iron ore mining in fact...As if the town's name wasn't clear enough. Since 1900 it's been an active mine although was closed in 1998 and remained so until it was re-opened in 2015. It is still in operation today.

The town was a thriving little place a hundred years ago with a lot of investment pouring into the mining operations and, of course, the mine workers needed housing, facilities and other infrastructure. But like so many small towns its fortune was directly linked to the mine and with its closure people left and the town fell into disrepair. It's quite sad.


I was there yesterday, my first time in the little town and...Well I guess ghost town is an apt way to describe it. The whole thing feels very old and forgotten with nothing in good repair. Houses are held together with sheets of iron, stacked bricks and old car parts and everywhere one looks is the detritus of many years of human occupation left laying where it fell.

It is derelict and decayed but still a few live there. Some 100 people call this place home but there's no shops, no facilities and, it felt to me, no hope. It felt like a very sad place.

Mine tours operate out of the town and if you've never been into a mine it's worth a look but you can't book in the town, that has to be done eighty eight kilometres away in Whyalla...I know right? I've been into mines many mines so I didn't do the tour, but I found this place which was also cool.

Iron Knob Roadhouse and Motel

I'm not sure what the word roadhouse means to you but here it means a petrol station that offers other things like food, mechanical services and sometimes accommodation - They're a dying thing these days and in line with that this one is too...Well and truly dead.


Wandering around was a little eerie as I was the only one there and Iron Knob is ghostly quiet these days. As I poked around I tried to imagine it in its heyday, cars pulling in for fuel, kids taking the opportunity to whinge for an ice cream or treat, parents washing windows, looking for cups of coffee, maybe a spot of lunch around the picnic tables...But it was easier imaging flesh-eating zombies ambling around looking for a feed, or a group of post-apocalyptic survivors scavenging over the wreckage looking for something useful to take away to help sustain their meagre existence.


As I wandered around I kept an eye out for a way in that didn't involve breaking in and, despite the police tape over the entrance, I managed to gain access to the inside of the building keeping an eye out for structural issues that could mean something falling on my head. Above you can see the way in and the sheer destruction time has wrought.

Here's some of the interior below. Some of the items left struck me as really odd...Caved in ceilings sure, but also pots, pans and crockery and a pizza oven!

This area would have been the main shop where people paid for their fuel and other goods plus ordered and ate food - I assume some tables and chairs would have been set up and the regulars would have come in for their usual, and out-of-towners for supplies.


It was hard to imagine it clean, set up with items to purchase, souvenirs, snacks, lollies and sweets on the counter to tempt the children, racks of cigarettes on the back wall of the counter...Staff wandering about with aprons on serving food and coffee but that's how it would have been back then...A hive of activity.

Through another door was the workshop area where again items were left seemingly randomly - Almost as if the mechanic knocked off for a coffee break.

I poked around in here, not to see what I could take, that's not my style. I was looking to see if there was signs of recent use as it defied logic that a place like this wouldn't attract people to it for...There were usable items of course, but no signs of any recent activity...It seemed people simply walked away and never came back which, I suppose, is exactly what happened; They took what they could, needed or valued and the rest was left to the ravages of time whilst they moved on to life elsewhere.



I couldn't shake the feeling of waste but then I guess it wasn't the people's fault; The mining company closed up the mine and the town did the same by default. With most people having moved away and no one coming to the town anymore why have a roadhouse and motel accommodation? Speaking of which, I went to find it but was not able to do so which leads me to believe it's been demolished. Again, all those memories of those that stayed in those motel rooms gone forever.

Back outside I found the original toilet block facilities. There wasn't much to it really...A side for the men [blokes] and one for the women [sheila's]. Sheila is Australian slang from a long time ago for woman but it is very rarely used these days.


This image was taken in the bloke's side - One toilet and a hand basin. I hope they cleaned it up better when it was an operational roadhouse. I can only assume they did.


Here's the front entrance to the workshop and a sign showing what the roadhouse offered. That's a fairly extensive list of services and I'd imagine that back in the day it was a hub of activity for the town with visitors and locals coming and going - I guess it provided some local jobs too - Now, it could be the set for a zombie movie.



All up I wandered around for a half hour and then it was time to leave, not unlike most of those who lived here, and I may never return. Iron Knob is off the Eyre Highway, a 1,660 kilometre road that links South Australia and Western Australia across the remote Nullarbor Plain. One doesn't need to call into Iron Knob, rather, people fly past at 110kp/h and probably give it no thought at all other than a giggle at the word knob perhaps. I'm glad I dropped in though and added a little bit of me to a town that will probably cease to exist in the not too distant future, like many other Australian towns that time forgot.

Design and create your ideal life, don't live it by default - Tomorrow isn't promised so be humble and kind

Discord: galenkp#9209


Cool looking place. I need to stowaway in your truck someday. :D

Yeah man, it's cool and loads of good photo opportunities for one such as you...That is, with skill. Me? point and shoot...And hope!

Love the last picture, a technique I employ occasionally. Lots of gear left in there.., if its the middle of nowhere then I guess it won't attract the dickheads.

'Sheila's' was interesting.., not heard that before.. my mum is called Sheila... its an old lady name over here.

I went out with a Sheila once but her name was spelled Sheilagh. It gave me no end of laughs to continually go SheilAAAARRGRGGH when saying her name. Simple minds!

Hehe.., was it short-lived? I was the same.. dated Barbara and called her Barbarella.., she was not impressed 😀

Yeah it was shortlived, some ladies just don't have the sense of humour! :OD

It gave me no end of laughs to continually go SheilAAAARRGRGGH when saying her name. Simple minds!

This sounds like a legit thing to do...But were there specific moments when you said it like that? Or just in general.

Thanks mate, I hope the post is in keeping with the community. That last shot is a good one I reckon too. In fact, I was going to make them all black and white for a more dramatic effect but added the washed out filter instead, seems to work.

It's a pretty old slang term that's probably considered inappropriate now...Unless it's one's name I suppose. Yep, an old lady name here...I'm not sure where the origin of the slang term came from though.

Super interesting post. There are so many rural Australian towns like this, though this is in worse shape than others I have seen.

Its funny that given the mine re-openned in 2015 the town hasn't come back to life.

I bought very cheap property in the remote NSW town of Collarenebri which has around 650 people about 15 years ago. It had some abandoned properties but still had shops, a school and a hospital and the Barwon river. It wasn't a mining town but was an agricultural hub that had lost its status to larger towns like Moree 150km away.

While I bought them to put solar panels on to get a feed in tariff, one property had a house (amoungst other buildings), which I spent about $30k doing up and now rents for $250 a week, much more than I expected.

It turns out that Federal government rent subsidy pays half the rent at that price so it pushed rents up.

The entire town was for sale actually, the mining company bought it. Houses were $35,000 and land $15,000. Very cheap. Most of the houses are not in livable condition really, but a few opportunists went there and snapped up a house and now live very cheaply, if very basically.

Actually those prices are a bit high for a town with no shops or facilities and only 100 people.

I paid $35,000 for a large main street plot with a house and a 360 sqm former supermarket and a 60sqm shop and two big sheds.

I paid around $15,000 for 1000 sqm land on a quiet street of Collarenbri, which has much more facilities (incl a public olympic swimming pool and a school which the Feds spent $5M renovating.

There’s exploring or we could buy it, perfect for vehicles, zombie bit and bats but more than that we could reenact Stephen Kings Maximum Overdrive just need a artic cab with a green face and an Emilio Estevez looking chap,.

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Haha! 😁

You know how my mind works :) keep on truckin'

That toilet!! YEEK.

I am not sure you did it right. I think you are meant to break in, smash things up, make a small fire and graffiti the place? :OD

Lol...Yeah so would do that...In fact I was surprised to see very little of that sort of thing there. It was cool to wander about there though, I could get used to this #urbex stuff.

I can see you slobbering at the chops very soon!! You will be a new man!

Lol. Still old, but new.

New is the you old. Wait, I mean... New is the new old!

That's doesn't sound right either. Something is the new something that makes everything groovy! Yeah!

You doing Dr. Good Success poetry now?

We win. tOgether.

I have put on weight for the role and everything!

Lol...Even all this time later that phrase still makes me cringe We win together. What a tool bag.

A bit of weight won't do it mate, you need to rearrange that dashingly handsome face of yours too mate.

I don't read all of what you tell me here, about this mine.
but why is all this falling apart and falling apart?

I don't read all of what you tell me here, about this mine. but why is all this falling apart and falling apart?

Take a read, the text explains it.

Ok buddy ...
I've read everything, it's very sad for the people living there.

Love checking out old places like this. Fuel wasn't cheap when that pump was last used.

Yeah, old stuff can be interesting...As someone who is getting older I hope the same can be said about me.

Lol mate🤣👍

I love old abandoned places like this. There must be so many stories behind them bit like you said, with so many ppl just driving buy, no one ever gets to see it.. Perhaps that the beauty.

Hmm yeah that's a good point about the appeal, or beauty of it, being it's very dereliction and isolated location.

Uhhhhhh what a cool thing. I love exploring stuff like that. Unfortunately you barely find these things here anymore. Germany is way overcrowded and cleaned up lol.

Yep it was a cool thing. I would have liked to explore the town a little more as I think there'll be more places, but I just didn't have time. I can go back though.

Cool explore.. amazing it wasn't more vandalized .. in fact like you said looked like people just walked away.. @slobberchops well be proud of you ... he he

I was really surprised it wasn't more vandalised but maybe the remoteness of the town has helped in that regard?

Interesting trip. I keep wanting to travel to some of the old Gold and Silver Ghost Towns we have here in Colorado, but haven't made it to any yet.

Over here "Roadhouse" typically refers to a Bar or Tavern as in the movie "Road House", with Patrick Swayze, Kelly Lynch, Sam Elliott, and Ben Gazzara. One of my all time favorite movies, if you haven't seen it definitely worth the watch, (and purchase, cause you'll want to watch it again!)

"Be nice, until it's time to not be nice" -- Dalton


Yeah I'd say you have some great spots there and what a cool thing to wander about for a while - A ghost town.

I remember that Roadhouse movie...Pretty good. I remember thinking that Mercedes he drove was pretty cool. Good Dalton quote too. He could fight good for a ballet dancer huh?

Yes he could, but "I thought he'd be bigger". lol

This is great,though I was slightly worried when I saw the headline”derelict knob” didn’t know what to expect.

A little title-misdirection keeps things interesting. 🙂

😂 👍

Man, @slobberchops usual make this kind of posts and he's usually featuring just one building/compound and it makes me shake my head at the waste how much more a post about a whole town of waste! Damn.

Yes, it's a pretty cool place to wander about and I'll go back and maybe feature a different section.

@slobberchops, do you see this, man? A whole town. Fancy finding a whole town of waste instead of just one building after another?

Sorry I missed the voting window. I still enjoyed it. My mothers name was Sheila.

That toilet, oh damn!

Not all toilets in Australia look like this.

I'll avoid the line and piss outside.

Lol. It's completely legit to piss in the streets in the big cities...Sydney, Melbourne...They aren't much better than toilets anyway.