Inland WA - What to see?

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 14:46
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Going to WA in Aug/Sep & after Port Hedland will be doing the inland route Via Newman, Meekatharra, Mt Magnet to Perth. Now to do the detailed planning. Any information on any items of interest on that inland route would be appreciated - have 4WD towing a 18ft standard pop top. We also have a tent so we can go to places that the van can't go. Thanks.
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 14:59

Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 14:59
A tour of the mine at Newman is a must-do.
J and V
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Reply By: Dan - Yal - Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 14:59

Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 14:59
Karijini is a must

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Follow Up By: stumbly1 - Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 17:42

Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 17:42
Karajini is one of the most stunning places I've been. If nothing else, do Dales gorge from one end to the other, takes about 2 hours.
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Follow Up By: Neil & Pauline - Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 18:14

Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 18:14
When you go to Karajini get there as early as possible in the day. Camping area fills up before lunch in peak period. There is an overflow area to stay overnight if you can;t get in. You could fill in a week or more if you have time and do the Weano gorge end (west end) Also have Kalamina (spelling ?) gorge half way between Dales and Weano and Hamersley Gorge.

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Follow Up By: Member - mazcan - Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 18:24

Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 18:24
hi willyjk
karajini gorges are a must do look at all of them they are all different and well worth the effort
also millstream
although the roads may have horragations you will get through ok just drive at a sensible speed to suit the conditions
cheers and enjoy the experience
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Reply By: Notso - Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 16:13

Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 16:13
You could go and visit one of the largest rocks in Aus.Walga rock, outside Cue.
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Reply By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 20:10

Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 20:10
Other than Karijini there are great places to see along the Great Northern Highway:

If in Tom Price do Mt Nameless for a great view of the mines, and surrounds. The fish and chip shop next to Coles is fantastic and cheap. Between Newman & Paraburdoo you've got Weeli Wolli creek which is a thermal creek, rough track in so maybe park the van in Newman and backtrack for a couple of days. An amazing spot, drive up the track untill you getto the river crossing and then cross over and follow the track further in to find some great camping spots and a great swim.
Back on the highway and a bit further north is Wanna Munna aboriginal petroglyph site. This place will blow you away and only about 1.5km off the main road. Sign may have been replaced by now.
Mt Robinson has a 24hr parking area with dunnies and fire pits, what most don't know is that there is a track behind the camping/parking area that will allow vehicular access up to the top of Mt Robinson, fantastic views of the surrounding Ophthalmia Ranges.
Newman as the others have said - the mine tour.
Further south if it looks interesting from the car window check it out.
If you've got OziExplorer moving maps on your GPS check out all the old well sites close to the road they generally have a parking area and some will afford free camping - legal or otherwise.
Meekathara holds no real attraction for me other than as a refuelling point.
Lake Annean is worth a snoop around for a short while and at the moment it has water in it so it's looking good.
Cue is a really interesting little spot with some really great historic buildings, including the cop shop, court house and gaol. The Gaol is within the caravan park grounds. Close by you have the heritage listed and abandoned Fingal Mine office and Day Dawn mine very interesting and great morning tea spot.
If you're prepared to spend some time in this old mining area also check out Peak Hill which has long since been abandoned but has some really great old ruins.
Before you hit Mt Magnet there is the Granites that are Mt Magnets answer to Devil's Marbles. Really interesting and nice lunch spot but the Shire has banned camping.
Mt Magnet is good for a refuel for the car and stomach.
Lake Austin is worth a look as there are old mine sites to nosey around. Also full of water at the moment.
Just outside of Paynes Find is Ningham Stn which offers camping facilities for a modest fee. Spend some time here and explore the station tracks, hill climbs, rock formations and stunning views over Lake Moore.
New Norcia is well worth a long look at and a place I've been meaning to spend some time there. Place is run by the Benedictine monks (I think that's the Order their from). The architecture and the history of the place is astounding.

I hope that little lot gives you some guidance. Enjoy the trip it's a magic area.

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Reply By: Ali L - Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 20:24

Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 20:24
I agree with the others but after Mt Magnet cut across to Yalgoo and head south on the Yalgoo Ninghan Rd (Visit Jokers Tunnel on the way )past the Golden Grove Gold mine to Warriedar Coppermine Rd. From here it was dirt road. Head west which is north of Lake Monger and via Rothsay - an old goldmining town. You will end up on the Perenjori Rothsay Rd. Check your map and with the Shire of Perenjori !

From that travel along the vermin proof fence as far as you can ( about 50km). A farmer has blocked dit off to through traffic. Drop into Camel Soak (about 3 to 4 km from the Vermin Proof fence Perenjori_ Rothsay Rd turnoff.) This has camp sites if you are that way inclined. We prefer bush camping

We did this in Sept last year and the flowers were stunning, smooth roads, interesting bush and sites AND very few other campers around.

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Reply By: equinox - Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 21:14

Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 21:14
Hi Willy,

You could go a bit further south to the Roebourne Wittenoon Road. That is a great road and takes you through Millstream Chichester National Park, very scenic country. There's Eagle Rock Pool and Cathederal Gorge which are nice places to visit just north of Newman.

The road keeps going to Karijini National Park which also accessible from the Great Northern Highway, and as others have said is a great place to visit with many gorges, pools and streams. Auski Roadhouse has many different versions of accomodation.

Karijini Blog

Peak Hill 3 Rivers, Ashburton Downs Meekatharra Roads are a nice bypass from the main highway which takes you through pretty station country, where pelicans can be seen on nice remote waterpools if you look hard enough.

If you don't mind missing out on Mount Magnet you can head west at Cue and go down the Cue Dalgaranga Road then Uanna Mount Magnet Road. Passing Walga Rock there is the Dalgaranga Meteorite Crater, perhaps Australias smallest crater. Following Dalgaranga Road south to Yalgoo North Road takes you to the mining town of Yalgoo. Paynes Find Yalgoo Road takes you back on the main highway at Paynes Find and goes past Jokers Tunnel.

There's a heap more to see and do on the way, it just depends where your interests lie.

Looking for adventure.
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 15:00

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 15:00
Alan a mate of mine who's a trucky said the Auski RH has been bought out by a mining company for mine accommodation and will not be available to the public.
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Follow Up By: equinox - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 21:30

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 21:30
Dunc, that's a blow to tourism. There's not a lot of other places to stay around there.

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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Thursday, Apr 29, 2010 at 00:01

Thursday, Apr 29, 2010 at 00:01
Yer he only found out when he went to book accommodation for his family as part of their Broome trip this year as Auski would have been one of their overnighters on the way up.

We basically said what you're saying as there isn't much else available in that area.
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Reply By: Member - Joe F (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 23:52

Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 23:52
Image Could Not Be FoundG'day Willykj

What can I say regarding the Pilbara, after all it is a mere 510,000 square kilometres in total with the East Pilbara being a piddling 379,571 square kilometres in area. Seeing some of the replies to your forum post directly mention certain places and points of interest within the East Pilbara Shire, I feel as though I am able to add comment.

All the repliers rightfully state that the Karijini National Park is a destination not to miss, it is truely spectacular and deserves at least a week of your time to see and experience all that the park has to offer. The Millstream/Chichester National Park is also fantastic.

If your frame time allows, you would find that there is far more to Mount Tom Price than the Chip shop and Mount Nameless (yes the chips are very tasty indeed).

I would recommend spending a little of your time at the Tom Price Visitor Centre ~ gain your rail access road permit {no fee} obtain a local map and have a wander out to the various waterholes in the area, take a drive up to the summit of Mount Sheila, the view from this mountain top is a true 360 degrees and spectacular in the early morning and late afternoon light.

From Mount Tom Price, travelling south towards Newman you have Mount Bruce, a beaut brisk walk to the top will give you views of the southern slopes of the Hamersley Ranges and Karijini, then on to Mount MeHarry the tallest point in Western Australia very spectacular very challenging four wheel driving but so very rewarding as not to many people actually get to the summit, let alone spend a night as a star gazer.

I guess by now more mountain top climbs would seem a bit much, but you still have Mount Robinson, the Governor, Giles Piont, Pamilia hill and Mount Newman ~ the Ophthalmia Range.

I read with some interset in the reply by Duncan W (WA) where he states that Weeli Wolli Spring(s) is a thermal creek ~ sorry mate it is not thermal, but on a bitterly cold morning in the inland Pilbara, Weeli Wolli Spring(s) can seem like a nice warm body of water.

Running Waters or Eel Pool as it is also known is a genuine "Thermal Flow", but it is on the way into the Great Sandy Desert via the Woodie Woodie/Nullagine Road.

If you do get to Newman, by all means do the Mount Whaleback ~ BHPBilliton mine tour, from the Newman Visitor Centre, it is an eye opener ~ it really is, as is the visitor centre and mining museum.

But there is far more to the Newman area than mountain tops and mine tours.

Deep gorges, deep cold waterholes, Ancient Geology, Meteor impact crater, ancient indigenous art/occupation sites, Flora, Fauna, history past and present.

I could go on ~ like a tour operator but I won't.
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 15:09

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 15:09
G'day Joe. When we were at Weeli Wolli in July last year the water being pumped out under the road was pretty warm and admitadly it does get cooler the further down the creek you go.

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Follow Up By: Member - Joe F (WA) - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 18:04

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 18:04
Image Could Not Be FoundG'day Duncan

I appreciate your follow up regarding Weeli Wolli Spring(s) water temperature, the mine operators on the Hope Downs lease are dewatering their mining venture, just to mine their ore and subsequently the natural water table level is decreasing.

This is one of the contemptuous issues with current mining practices on the Hope Downs mine lease and mining in general. The traditional land owners are in an unwinnable situation with this issue, because no matter what, the groundwater is being pumped from above the natural springs to the point where the pipeline discharges the water back into the natural creek bed.

The miners believe the dewatering program will not affect Weeli Wolli Springs but they state their intended water management practices will create a year long flow of the creek. (below the natural spring)

Rio Tinto's answer is to pump the high quality water out of the water table, and replace the lost water to the springs via surface discharge over the next 20 years, then apparently Rio Tinto will spend the following 20 years pumping 40,000 kilolitres per day back into the water table to "try and re-establish a natural flow".

Weeli Wolli Spring(s) is a significant cultural and spiritual site to the regions Indigenous People, and it was also a mighty important part of inland Western Australia's explorer history, evidence of that period in history are the surviving Date Palms the Cameleers allowed to sprout, grow and bare fruit ~ to this very day, but these too are possibly destined to extinction, I'm only guessing because I know I won't be around in 40 years time, or indeed Weeli Wolli it self, as it's seen today.

The water temperature at the discharge point ~ under the viewing platform is quite warm as the Poly pipeline runs along the surface for most of it's length from the mining operations.
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Reply By: Willykj - Monday, May 03, 2010 at 17:01

Monday, May 03, 2010 at 17:01
Thanks to everyone for their responses..lots of down to planning,
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