The Pilbara - Mt Augustus to Newman via The Gascoyne and station country.

Saturday, May 27, 2006 at 00:00

Mick O

Saturday 27th May
Mt Augustus – Newman

A pleasant morning although cool. Had a bit of a chat with our neighbour Shane as I packed up. He had a Trakshak unit and was very well set up in his Nissan Patrol. John and Julie hit the road 20 minutes before us and we were away shortly after 9.00 a.m. Our route took us southeast towards Meekatharra on largely station tracks. Our first landmark was Woodlands station and the countryside leading through the first 100 km was a very pleasant vista of low ranges and hills leading into the more spectacular Teano Range to the north and the Walberg Range to the south. (Teano must go onto my list of places to try and visit at a later date!). Caught John and Jules for morning tea and I slipped 30 litres into the tank. At woodlands Station road crews were working on the tracks and at our turn off towards Lugul Station at the Deverell Creek, there was a good-sized work camp. The road was fantastic. They’d done a great job of the track almost to Mulgul before we turned south to Mingah Springs H.S. Here the road degenerated into just two wheel tracks although nowhere near hard going by any stretch of the imagination. Gibber plains with short silvery native grasses, low rocky hills and the occasional copse of Xmas tree mulga all made the drive very enjoyable.

We took a quick lunch by the track a short time before 1.00 p.m. A stiff breeze was blowing. There was plenty of birdlife about including a lot of small doves that appeared very low on the brainpower as they would just would not get off the roads. Perhaps it was more poor eyesight and hearing that afflicted them. I’m sure we cleaned up a few as there is no swerving or heavy breaking on these tracks. That only courts disaster. Our route basically followed westwards along the Gascoyne, but at a fair distance.

From Mingah Springs we headed west to Three Rivers Station and then a short hop west to the Great Northern Hwy and the black top. We had hoped to secure a good bush camp on the Gascoyne but found it crowded with campers of all descriptions. As it was only 200 odd km to Newman and just past 2 p.m., we decided to give it a run. Finding diesel at the Kumarina Roadhouse was $1.80 a litre, I decided to empty another 30 litres in only to be shifted on by the proprietor offering;

“Doesn’t look good mate”
“Neither does the price you’re charging for diesel sport!” I retorted.

It was a good run into Newman and the 4 star “Dearloves Caravan Park”. Don’t know what they were comparing the four stars to? Not much I’d imagine.Newman hasn’t changed much, mind you there is a large woollies supermarket now. No one could be bothered cooking so we headed up town and bought a pizza and some wine, returning to camp to enjoy both. A bus load of rotary exchange students are camped nearby experiencing the “Million Star Motel”. No tents, a strong wind and it’s going to be cold. Good luck to them.
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903
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