West Hamersley Ranges and Woongarra Pool

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesTrack Access West End
FinishWoongarra Pool TurnOff
DifficultyDifficulty 3/5
Suitable For4WD AWD Camper 
Distance43.29 km
Minimum Days1
Average Speed36.67 km/hr
Travel Time1 hr 10 mins
Page Updated: 23 Aug 2019

Description

This trip can be commenced from either end point on the Tom Price to Nanutarra Road. You will obtain current mud maps and information when you pay and obtain keys from Cheela Plains Station. This information is merely a description to inspire those of you who don't know that this private self-drive track is available and we take no responsibility for errors in this document which may arise due to changes made by Cheela Plains Station. Please follow their instructions. Contact cheelaplains@gmail.com

There are steep vehicular climbs from which extensive panoramas in all directions can be seen. The track continues through similar series of high points, all of which have excellent views until it levels out along a tributary of the Beasley, passing through a protected Indigenous site along the way. Woongarra pool is set against a wide sandy gravel bed and river gums – very pretty.

How to Use this Trek Note

If you'd like to download this Trek there are two options:
  • purchase our app ExplorOz Traveller. This will allow you to download all the ExplorOz Trek Notes to your GPS enabled smartphone/tablet/iPad or laptop and enable active route guidance along the route we provide as per the Directions. The app also allows you to edit/customise the route. In the app you will get all the words, images and POIs for each Trek exactly as on the website (excludes Wildflowers). For more info see the ExplorOz Traveller webpage.

  • Alternatively, if you already have another mapping software program (or an HN7 device) you can try downloading the data files we provide via the Download Trek button at the top of this page (or purchase EOTreks Route Files). Be aware that this doesn't include maps or text just the route line.

TIP

To purchase our maps for offline use, you will need to purchase an EOTopo map licence (available either in App Version, or Raster Version).

Environment

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.

History

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 Plains 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.

Preparation

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.

Please contact Cheela Plains Station in advance to obtain current information about this trek. They will provide full information. A small fee is payable and you will need to obtain (and return) keys to access via locked gates. Cheela Plains Station welcomes visitors to camp at their station stay campground and use facilities provided. Contact cheelaplains@gmail.com or call +61 89189 8084

Permits

Track access is gated and locked. Make $20 payment and obtain keys from Cheela Plains Station Stay. Contact cheelaplains@gmail.com or call +61 89189 8084

Fuel Supplies & Usage

Fuel Symbol Tom Price, Paraburdoo, Nanutarra.
DieselULPLPG
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
 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Mean Max. °C41.038.636.433.429.225.224.827.531.235.638.240.2
Mean Min. °C26.025.023.119.614.611.09.710.913.418.121.324.4
Mean Rain mm50.778.346.426.816.623.614.611.63.54.48.128.7

Services & Supplies

Map

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What to See

Showing 3 Places

Where to Stay

Showing 1 Places

Directions

Track Access West End to Gap: Woongarra Pool Trek
Driving: 1.79 km
Heading: 312°
Avg Speed: 39.03 km/hr
EST Time: 02:45
Gap: Woongarra Pool Trek to Views: West Hamersley Ranges
Driving: 7.41 km
Heading: 271°
Avg Speed: 21.67 km/hr
EST Time: 20:31
Views: West Hamersley Ranges to Sacred Sites Area
Driving: 8.18 km
Heading: 284°
Avg Speed: 30.03 km/hr
EST Time: 16:20
Sacred Sites Area to Woongarra Pool
Driving: 12.83 km
Heading: 306°
Avg Speed: 38.62 km/hr
EST Time: 19:55
Woongarra Pool to Black Tank
Driving: 6.94 km
Heading: 146°
Avg Speed: 45.42 km/hr
EST Time: 09:10
Black Tank to Woongarra Pool TurnOff
Driving: 6.14 km
Heading: 137°
Avg Speed: 45.26 km/hr
EST Time: 08:08
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.

Wildflowers

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