West Hamersley Ranges and Woongarra Pool

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesWoongarra Pool TurnOff
FinishTrack Access West End
DifficultyDifficulty 3/5
Suitable For4WD AWD Camper 
Distance43.29 km
Minimum Days1
Average Speed36.67 km/hr
Travel Time1 hr 10 mins
Page Updated: 7 Jul 2017


This trip can be commenced from either end point on the Tom Price to Nanutarra Road. Assuming entry from the eastern point – the entry is obscured by gravel scrapes but becomes easily visible once off the road. Proceed approximately two kms on flats to a narrow rocky gap following which the track rapidly rises and winds to reveal a spectacular iron ore rocky landscape.

Following the plotted trail is recommended as the main track has many offtakes leading to various drill pads – without the plot it would be very easy to become lost here. Continuing approximately four kms further leads to a steep climb to an unnamed peak of 715m from which extensive panoramas in all directions can be seen. The track continues through similar series of high points, all of which have excellent viewsheds, until it levels out along a tributary of the Beasley, passing through a protected Indigenous site along the way.

The track T junctions at a black water tank on Cheela Station. Turn right to proceed to the Pool, about six kms, or left to the main road exit (or entry) point under Mt Dixon after about five kms. The pool itself is set against a wide sandy gravel bed and river gums – very pretty.

How to Use this Trek Note

Click the "Map" tab to see the route we've provided. Icons on the map are the POIs you'll need for navigation purposes. Be sure to check the list of Nearby Places on each POI page..

If you'd like to save this information there are a couple of ways to go about it, depending on what you're actually after:-
  • Ideal solution - download the ExplorOz Traveller App from the applicable store for your device -
    either the Google PlayStore, the App Store, or the Windows Store (for Windows 10 devices only). The ExplorOz Traveller app is a complete mapping, navigation and tracking app and includes all the ExplorOz Trek routes ready for you to simply click and follow with auto-guidance available whether you are online, or offline. For more details, read our ExplorOz Traveller page.
  • You can print a paper copy of the text using the print icon button shown above, near the social media buttons. For the best output it is advised to open each tab/section to load all images and artwork. You will still need to click open each Place page (listed in Where to Stay, What to See) to print off all available information.
  • If you have a Hema Navigator or use Mapping Software such as OziExplorer, or TrackRanger AND you are an ExplorOz Member, then you can click the Download Trek button at the top of this page to obtain the raw data files (eg. GPX) for this Trek.
  • If you're not a Member, or you'd like to batch download the entire Treks database you can obtain this by buying a product called EOTreks Route Files from our online shop.


The Pilbara is located in the Australian arid zone and this area has low rainfall of around 250mm annually, arising mainly from cyclonic events in summer. Temperatures are very high in summer and pleasant in winter, but with significant diurnal variations leading to frequent cold evenings.

The area falls in the Fortescue botanical district with an estimated 2000 species of flora present including significant proportions of eucalypt species as well as acacias. The upland rocks are notable for iconic snappy gums. Everywhere other than rivers and alluvial valleys, the landscape is characterised by Spinifex; triodia pungens on the lower slopes being replaced by triodia wiseana as the ground rises.

Rivers and streams are dominated by river gums. Woongarra Pool lies on the Beasley River which flows to the Hardey, which is in turn a tributary of the Ashburton.

The Hamersleys are also rich in faunal diversity with over 30 mammal species, 130 birds, and 90 reptiles and amphibians.

Rocks in the Hamersleys are old; in the order of 2000 million years. At the macro level three groups of rock, Fortescue, Hamersley and Turree Creek groups together overlay an older Hamersley Basin and collectively are known as the Mount Bruce Supergroup. Subsequent folding and erosion has led to today’s distinctive character. The Hamersley’s are highly prospective for iron as is the case for this trek. The prominent features of the trek’s landscape result from the highly resistant to erosion banded iron formations present throughout.


Aboriginal history in the Hamersleys extends from at least 30,000 years ago. The area of this trek was part of the Kurrama language group. Aboriginal interests continue strongly today and this trek contains at least one exclusion zone due to religious sensitivity.

Colonial history commenced with F.T. Gregory who surveyed the Hamersleys twice from a landing at Hearson Cove near Dampier on the Burrup Peninsula. He named the Ranges after his friend Edward Hamersley as well as naming many other features. Gregory reported good grazing at many places and early runs were taken up for sheep. Both Cheela and Rocklea stations continue pastoral operations on the area of this trek.

Mining in the Hamersleys initially took place for asbestos at Wittenoon as well as for minor gold deposits at Turree Creek. Interest in iron deposits intensified after the lifting of a federal Government ban on exports of iron ore in 1960, leading to the building of no less than ten towns in the Pilbara during this decade alone!

Nearby major mines are located at Mt Whaleback (at Tom Price) and at Paraburdoo. Initially built as company towns, Paraburdoo and Tom Price were ‘normalised’ in the 1980s with residences being placed on the open market.


MUST READ: You are strongly encouraged to read the following articles prepared by the knowledge experts at ExplorOz for your safety and preparation before undertaking any published ExplorOz Trek - Outback Safety, Outback Driving Tips, Outback Communications, and Vehicle Setup for the Outback.

All of this trip is on bladed earth tracks or good station tracks. However, the BHP exploration tracks are in very remote and rugged country albeit within about 4kms from the main road. Due to the terrain, walking out if in difficulty should only be attempted by experienced bushwalkers.

Preparation for this route should be as for any other remote 4WD track, including carrying sufficient fuel, water, food, supplies, communications gear, safety equipment and first aid, along with emergency backup supplies.

Be well prepared with a GPS, HF radio or Satellite phone. We advise that you refer to the latest information and advice about outback communications in the Communications Topic.

Make sure you have adequate recovery gear and tyre repair kits. Travellers should read the 4WDriving Topic for related articles and checklists for vehicle setup and driver awareness


None required, although prior permission for access to the Pool must be requested from Cheela Station – 9189 8084 or UHF Ch25 passing the station if travelling from Nanutarra.

Rocklea (owned by BHP) – 91898159 - should also be contacted to ascertain whether access is available to the exploration site – it may be denied if current exploration work is being undertaken.

Fuel Supplies & Usage

Fuel Symbol Tom Price, Paraburdoo, Nanutarra.
4cyl 6 litres4cyl 7 litres4cyl 9 litres
6cyl 7 litres6cyl 8 litres6cyl 8 litres
8cyl 7 litres8cyl 7 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

Closest Climatic Station

Paraburdoo Aero
Distance from Trek Mid Point 55.97km SE
Mean Max. °C41.038.636.433.429.225.224.827.531.235.638.240.2
Mean Min. °C26.
Mean Rain mm50.778.346.426.816.623.614.611.

Services & Supplies


Loading Resources...

Embed Map
Embed this trek map directly into your website or page. It is easy and free, click the button to retreive the embed code and copy and paste it to your website or page.

What to See

Download Trek
Save time and download all digital map data for this trek (all places are included in the trek download).
This is just a selection. We recommend also browsing the map for other Places nearby.

Showing 2 Places

Where to Stay

Download Trek
Save time and download all digital map data for this trek (all places are included in the trek download).
This is just a selection. We recommend also browsing the map for other Places nearby.
No Places To Stay available for this trek


Woongarra Pool TurnOff to Black Tank
Driving: 6.14 km
Heading: 317°
Avg Speed: 45.26 km/hr
EST Time: 08:08
Black Tank to Woongarra Pool
Driving: 6.94 km
Heading: 326°
Avg Speed: 45.42 km/hr
EST Time: 09:10
Woongarra Pool to Sacred Sites Area
Driving: 12.83 km
Heading: 126°
Avg Speed: 38.62 km/hr
EST Time: 19:55
Sacred Sites Area to Views: West Hamersley Ranges
Driving: 8.18 km
Heading: 104°
Avg Speed: 30.03 km/hr
EST Time: 16:20
Views: West Hamersley Ranges to Gap: Woongarra Pool Trek
Driving: 7.41 km
Heading: 91°
Avg Speed: 21.67 km/hr
EST Time: 20:31
Gap: Woongarra Pool Trek to Track Access West End
Driving: 1.79 km
Heading: 132°
Avg Speed: 39.03 km/hr
EST Time: 02:45
Distance is GPS recorded distance based on the travel mode shown (Driving, Straight, Cycling, Walking etc), Direction is straight line from start to end, Avg Speed & EST Time is calculated from GPS data.


Related Travel Journals

The following are links to Members' Blogs that contain the words West Hamersley Ranges and Woongarra Pool. Creating Blogs is restricted to Members only. Not a Member? Join here.

There are no blogs available. Results based on search "West Hamersley Ranges and Woongarra Pool"

Feedback(1) Rating 3/5

Post a Comment
You must be registered and logged in to post here.

Registration is free and takes only seconds to complete!

Popular Content

Popular Products (15)