Newman Waterholes

Submitted: Sunday, Jul 03, 2022 at 20:53
ThreadID: 143977 Views:3622 Replies:4 FollowUps:9
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Has anyone got details (coordinates) of Hidden Tree Pool please?
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Reply By: Joe Fury - Sunday, Jul 03, 2022 at 22:21

Sunday, Jul 03, 2022 at 22:21
G'day Michelle

I'm not about to say that I know everything about the region that I call home, but I do know a thing or two about what was once the 'Newman Waterhole Circuit' ~ this waterhole circuit was dismembered by the relentless advance of mining across the inland Pilbara, many waterholes have totally disappeared and many more are no longer accessible because of future mining in the area.

Hidden Tree Pool ? is a total unknown to me.

There is a magnificent 'Gorge' and waterhole system known as Three Pools with Thunder Gorge also on the same creek, these two places are relatively remote, access is along unmaintained but navigable tracks.

If you have an additional point or place of interest that might be near by your 'Hidden Tree Pool' it might just narrow the search area down?

Safe travels : Joe
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Sunday, Jul 03, 2022 at 23:59

Sunday, Jul 03, 2022 at 23:59
Hi Joe,
I was looking at the description Here on this website, which indicates its in the same area as Three Pools, Eagle Falls, Kalgan Pool but I can't find it.

Can you confirm if any of these waterholes are still accessible?

Thanks very much.
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Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Monday, Jul 04, 2022 at 15:04

Monday, Jul 04, 2022 at 15:04
G'day Michelle

The web site you highlighted as showing 'Hidden Tree Pool' is one that I've never heard of or visited until now.

As I said in my initial response to your question about the possible location of 'Hidden Tree Pool' ~ I've never heard that name before, but that means absolutely nothing these days, as most people who dare to venture into places they've not been to previously tend to over state their first impressions on what they have 'just' discovered, these modern day explorers also like to tell their 'Social Media Followers' about where they've been, what they have seen and at times these explorers 'lard up' their stories just to make it appealing.

After reading and absorbing the follow up response from *1392* it's this sort of reply that simply perpetuates misinformation and in this case it's about a region where I live and have done so for more than 30 years, I also operated a remote region tag along tour enterprise from Newman for better than 17 years, all of the waterholes back in the 1990's had popular local names, none though were Official or Gazetted, just names given to a place at the time, mostly by adventurous people who worked in the area for whatever mining company.

Place names such as 'Apache Gorge' and 'Jacks Crack' came from the Canadian/American workforce at the time, thankfully these characters have gone and so have those names.

Now days the South African contingent in the workforce has given rise to strange names for places that have been simply called 'Butterfly or Crystal Gorge' ~ only because there are Butterflies or Column Crystals in the Gorge or Homestead Pool, yes there once was a homestead near the pool, today there is no homestead and possibly no pool either ~ just another lousy mine!

The images shown on the Hike west site are of Thunder Gorge, this place is so named simply because of the 'thunderous roar' when the water cascades through the gorge at times during the wet season, this incredibly magnificent place is on the same creek as Three Pools.

It is not overly difficult to get too, but it is not a place for anything being towed, no matter how user friendly some web sites make it out to be.

Just to cap things off, people these days refer to Kalgan Creek as Kalgan River, it's not a river even though it is sign posted as being Kalgan River on the causeway on the old Great Northern Highway, now days known as the Marble Bar road, the Kalgan River title came about after the original signs were washed away in the 2000 wet season, my guess is the Main Roads department at the time had a few spare Kalgan River signs and we all know the Kalgan River is in the Great Southern Region of W.A.

I did contact that department raising my concerns, they said they will look into it and get back to me, my guess is it's a deep dark hole they are looking into as I am still waiting for the return call.

No malice intended in my reply.

Safe travels : Joe
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Monday, Jul 04, 2022 at 16:01

Monday, Jul 04, 2022 at 16:01
Thanks Joe, I totally understand where you’re coming from and very much appreciate your useful comments. I have also just spoken to Michelle at the Visitor Centre who has lived there 26 years and she didn’t know of it by that name but we have it’s also known as Syds and she has heard of that but never been asked for info about it in 7 years working in the visitor centre….trust me to dig up lesser known sites…I can’t help myself seek out every bit of info.
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Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Monday, Jul 04, 2022 at 18:21

Monday, Jul 04, 2022 at 18:21
G'day Michelle

I appreciate your reply regarding 'useful' information/comment, I avoid responding to questions asked about various places and points of interest on this or any other forum if the place asked about is outside of my 'home range'.

I might be past my use by date as a tour operator, this was by choice and that choice was totally mine.

The Newman region more specifically the Ohpthalmia/Hamersley Ranges are little known for being a tourist destination and I hope it stays that way for a long, long time, there are places that defy description and if someone chances on to it, that first sighting may well stay with them forever simply because the Pilbara has that magic or charm about it.

Seeing you have gathered information from Michelle Bains at the NVC you may have come away with a few mud maps and information on mine tours and Karijini etc, but local waterhole(s) information is fairly limited and the NVC has a habit of grinding out photo copy reproductions of places of interest and track access information that is decades old, no fault of the staff, but that's what you get from a Shire run information outlet.

A previous NVC manager made a real effort to gather correct precise information on all accessible places that were visitor friendly, all this information, track notes, co ordinates, distances to and between these places were all logged carefully, then submitted to the various tenement holders (mining companies) for appraisal, as all the waterholes are on or in some buggers proposed exploration or active mine lease.

This all came to naught, as far as public access to what was and to a degree still is the waterhole circuit, the reasoning in restricting open public access was 'Safety' because it's a mine site.

Places that were once deemed to be on vacant or unoccupied crown land are now 'someone's' mining lease, the indigenous folk have little say in what happens, as certain government legislations have all but nullified traditional land ownership title, very sadly the big miners can and do get away with destroying what ever is in their way, the Jukkan Cave destruction is just one of the dirty deeds done with state government approval rules at the time allowing it to happen.

Sounds rather sad, but believe me the Pilbara is a magnificent place, with so much still to be explored by anyone adventurous enough to do so, if you allow it to happen the Pilbara can have a profound affect on you.

Safe travels : Joe

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Follow Up By: 1392 - Tuesday, Jul 05, 2022 at 09:59

Tuesday, Jul 05, 2022 at 09:59
Joe (you legend),

Really appreciate you clarifying what 'misinformation' I 'perpetuated' in my response. Other readers will obviously appreciate your words of wisdom as they will not want my misinformation sending them off on a wild goose chase.

Be nice if you could keep it to less than 1000 words.

PS Don't have any social media accounts.

FollowupID: 920158

Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Tuesday, Jul 05, 2022 at 11:42

Tuesday, Jul 05, 2022 at 11:42
G'day 1392

There you go again, misinformation in your very first line of text ~ quote ~ Joe (you legend) ~ No I am not, never have been and never will be.

Perpetuated misinformation three times by calling Kalgan Creek a River, not a river, it's a Creek, always was always will be a creek.

'must drive under the railway bridge' ~ No you don't, just 120 metres North/East of the 'under the bridge' access 'you must take' is a very acceptable section of track along Kalgan creek that affords easy access to the Kalgan Pool track, or if like a good citizen who has gained (payed for) a BHP rail access road permit at the Visitor Centre, you use the BHP permit approved Yandi rail access road off the Marble Bar road, proceed to then over the rail line, turn left onto the west side access road, drive past the Eagle Falls sign and 'Bob's your Uncle' ~ you've done the right thing and no one can slate you at all.

The Kalgan Siding track is the one you referred to as being essentially a survey track(s), yes it's rough as guts in a few places but easy enough if you take the alternative or Chicken track, scary terrain you say, stunning, magnificent, incredibly beautiful ~ I say.

I didn't do a word count but I trust I am below your suggested 1000 word limit.

No malice intended

Safe travels : Joe

FollowupID: 920159

Follow Up By: equinox - Tuesday, Jul 05, 2022 at 12:31

Tuesday, Jul 05, 2022 at 12:31
Hey, I've checked the old topos 20th century up to 1956 - I can't find anything.

Looks like there was no old pastoral lease there, so no historical pastoral map is available. There looks like there was/is surrounding pastoral leases - Poonda, Mt Newman and Ethel Creek.

Looking for adventure.
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Follow Up By: 1392 - Tuesday, Jul 05, 2022 at 13:07

Tuesday, Jul 05, 2022 at 13:07
Wow Joe,

Fantastic bit of nit picking! What you are saying is that when I drove under the BHP rail bridge and drove along the Kalgan River (that was what the sign said; gee, I apologise for not stopping on the old Gt Northern Highway, which has now been renamed the Marble Bar road without any reference by Main Roads to you; then checking if the sign post was a mistake - stupid me), that I did not reach Kalgan Pool! I did. I have done so twice!!

My first visit to Kalgan pool was around 1997 and no permits required. You could cross the rail at the marshalling yards back then. The trek route I nominated in the response to Michelle did not entail travelling on the rail access road, but I am sure you will find fault somewhere there.

No malice meant? Serious? You lumped me in with Canadian and US ex-pats dating back to the late 60s early 70's from the Utah mining company days (yep, I have a long history too); South Africans, social media posters and all manner of other uninformed travellers who have dared to stray into Joe's backyard. I copped the brunt of Joe's distain for unwanted comment by an interloper in Joe's territory.

Joe, you are now an official legend. Keep up the good work. Have you got a personal contact such that I can obtain permission to travel next time?

FollowupID: 920161

Reply By: 1392 - Monday, Jul 04, 2022 at 12:23

Monday, Jul 04, 2022 at 12:23
Can't help with Hidden Tree Falls but have been to Kalgan Pool and Kalgan River several times. Last time was around August 2019. Kalgan Pool was low and covered in green algae but the river was flowing furiously. To access the track drive north along the Marble Bar road from Gt Northern Hwy for about 10kms ( 23 12 17.34S; 11 54 11.91E or thereabouts). You depart the road to the left and must drive under the railway bridge heading west. Heaps of tracks all over the place but just follow the well worn one. If you pass a burnt out Kombi on your right after a period, you are going the right direction. Kalgan River crossing is at about 23 10 45.71S; 119 45 16.99E Kalgan pool is further west but necessitates driving some distance along the river (in the river).
Kalgan River flows (or was at the time) thanks to RTIO dewatering the Hope Downs minesite and discharging into the river system.
Previously tried to access Eagle Falls towing a camper and gave up. Tracks were essentially survey tracks and traversed some very steep and quite scary terrain.
AnswerID: 641053

Reply By: Life Member - Duncan W (WA) - Monday, Jul 04, 2022 at 15:15

Monday, Jul 04, 2022 at 15:15
Michelle, if going into 3 Pools I wouldn't take your CT as it is a very small and tight parking area and only suitable for a single vehicle camping. You could possibly turn around but it would be a struggle with the CT attached. Nice spot though.

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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Monday, Jul 04, 2022 at 16:02

Monday, Jul 04, 2022 at 16:02
Oh ok !!!!!
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Reply By: Member - Cuppa - Wednesday, Jul 06, 2022 at 21:39

Wednesday, Jul 06, 2022 at 21:39
Perhaps of interest? (Sorry about 'River') ;)
See 'My Profile' (below) for link to our Aussie travel blog, now in it's 5th year.

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