Tuesday, November 15, 2011

7 - THE PILBARA REGION

This all seems so long ago I hope I can remember what we did now!

Millstream National Park - spent two nights here, camped at Crossing Pool. Lovely!  Just a basic campsite - bush toilet, a patch of dirt big enough to fit in about a dozen caravans, plus a grass area with picnic tables etc.  Lovely couple as camp hosts, other very friendly campers and a beautiful waterhole with a ladder down into the water right next to our camp, so no need for a shower!  Had a drive around to the lookouts, old homestead and interesting bushwalk nearby.

After leaving there we came across a station-stay at Mt Florance and called in, just for the night but ended up staying four nights.  Another great group of  happy campers - three other couples, two young men building fences on the property and the Shire Council grader driver who was working on the road nearby.  All joined in a communal BBQ and chat around the camp fire each night.  The couple acting as camp hosts organised 2 day trips, the first one to Nunyerry, an adjoining property which was the first place run by Lang Hancock before he became rich and famous.  He started it as a cattle station, but it proved un-viable however he discovered white asbestos, which led him into mining, and "the rest is history".  The ruins of the homestead and air field are still there but it's a 3 hour drive to do 30 kilometres as the road is not maintained.  The next day we did a trip to Millers Gorge and around the bores on Mt Florence, and met Elsie, a very friendly young cow who was one of last year's hand reared ones (due to drought conditions), who still comes up for a cuddle and fussing when people come around near the mob.

When we finally left there, we stayed at Karijini National Park for a couple of days.  It has some spectacular gorges, but the walks were very steep and dangerous and we didn't venture down any of them, just contenting ourselves to look down into them from the lookouts at the top.  We talked to others there and all agreed it was the most dangerous National Park we'd ever seen.  When we returned 3 days later, we saw that one of the walks was closed off  with 'police tape' and heard that the next day after we'd left a young man died on one of those climbs. His 7 year old son had fallen going down the very steep, rocky steps, he tried to grab him and they both fell a long distance.  The child was seriously injured.  Haven't heard any more about it since then.

We then went to Newman & Tom Price, doing the mine tours at both places.  The Tom Price one is by far the best tour if you ever go there and don't want to do both.  From Tom Price we spent a night at Parabadoo - free camping at the local sports ground, then over the very rough Dooley Downs road to Mt Augustus.  Spent 2 nights there, doing some of the walks on the mountain, which is the biggest rock in the world, but it just looks like a regular mountain with trees and grass on it, not bare rock like Ayers Rock.  There was a quite easy walk to a wonderful lookout, which makes a difference - usually I can't manage to get up to the top of a lot of the lookouts.

Then we spent a couple of days just travelling, staying at Cobra and a roadside stop at Mangaroon Creek on the way to the Kennedy Ranges National Park. We stayed a couple of days there and had a bit of a look around, then went back towards the coast.

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1 Comments:

At November 16, 2011 at 8:03 PM , Blogger Merilyn said...

My goodness!! what an awful accident! You really have to be very careful out there, the land can be so merciless when people get careless!!! I've heard a lot about (Mt) Newman, I used to know people who worked there over 30 years ago, wonderful mining history in that part of the world!!!!

 

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