Pilbara Trip August 2015

8 August
Karratha–Karijini Nationl Park
9 August
Karijini National Park
10 August
Savannah Campground
12 August
Dales Campground
13 August
Cheela Plains Station
-Mt Augustus
15 August
Mt Augustus
16 August

Burrup Rock Art Tour 31 July to 7 Agust2015

I couln't attend the Burrup Rock Art Tour because it was fullybooked and there was no free place.
I went earlier to Karratha and stayed there for three days to explore the area in the region.

5 August 2015 Perth - Carnarvon

     Left Perth at 7:00 am with my new Forester MY14 and arrived in Geralton around 11:00am. I sold my 16 year old Forester, which was well prepared for 4WD & camping, because of repair work that needed to be done. Had a short lunch-break there and drove on to Carnarvon where I stayed at the Coral Coast Tourist Park. It was a very pleasant drive in the new Forester with eyesight assisted driver facility. Unfortunately not so well set up for camping as my Forester 1999.

6 August 2015 Carnarvon - Karratha

     I had a good night sleep and headed off to Karratha. I had booked accommodation and st ayed at the Karratha Lodge. I programmed two full days to explore the Karrathe-Roebourne area. A must do while being there is a Rio Tinto-Pilbara Resources Tour to see Dampier Salt Lookout,  Tinto’s loading operations in Dampier inclusive a refreshment stop at the Dampier Palms.

Visited Parker Point and East Intercourse Island and Rio Tinto’s loading operations in Dampier.

                    Refreshment stop at the Dampier Palms.                     Iron ore carrier ready for sailing to China

I also visited the Western Australian mining towns of Wickham, Cossack Heritage and Roebourne.

My Trip Begin

Maps of the the major Karijini National Park Gorges

(to go back to the previus page use the back arror n the address bar)

8 August 2015 Karratha – Karijini National Park

     Instead of using the Roebourne Wittenoom Road we headed off a new Road which you won't find on the map. The road follows the Tom Price Railway Road and is bitumised and easier and quicker to get to Karijini NP. We passed throuh the Millsteam NP and stop on Mt Florance Station for a break. We head off and made to stop at Hamersley Gorge. The access looks different as on our trip in 2008. We stayed here for a while admirer in the rock, the colours, wildflowers and enjoying the spectacular sight. On arrival at Savannah Campground we are allocated several bays in Grevillia Loop in which we pitch our tents. After dinner we all gathered together to admire the night sky.

Click here for Hamersley Gorge photos

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9 August 2015 Karijini National Park

     Click here for a map of the Karijini National Park. The park has two camping areas, Dales Recreation Area, and the Savannah ‘Eco’ Campground. Karijini National Park has so many beautiful gorges and sites to visit, but be sure to include Dales Gorge, Fortescue Falls, Fern Pool, Weano Gorge, Kalamina Gorge and Oxers Lookout.
     I have visited the Karijini National Park three times (1993, 2008 and 2015) and it's amasing seeing the changes that has been made in these years.

Below the detail maps of the Weano Recreation Area 2008 & 2015
Weano Gorge
Weano Gorge 2015
as well as maps of the Dales Recreation Area 2008 & 2015
Dales Gorge

     We team up and head out to the Info shelter at Weano Gorge. There are a few walks from from the car park, with the more difficult trek leading to Hancock Gorge and the slightly easier walk leading to Weano Gorge. We walked along the rim and descended down into the gorge and followed a path at the bottom toward Handrail Pool. It was mid-morning so the day was not entirely warmed up but this did not stop me and Chris going in for a dip! At the end was a small but pretty waterfall that flowed into the Handrail Pool. Instead of the rope a ladder had been installed and it was much esiere to get down to the pool. Unfortunately you can't walk any further. In 2008 Keith W and Karl B climbed further through the very narrow gorge and stop at the end of Class 5 walk. (See Weano Recreation Area 2008 map)
    Then we walked from from the car park, to follow a more difficult trek to Hancock Gorge. We went down the ladder, proceed carefully past the smooth black rocks and arrived at the lovely Kermit’s Pool.
     Later in the day we drove to the Joffre Falls Lookout, on the eastern side of the gorge opposite the Eco Retread. From here we enjoyed spectacular views. It was time to go back to Savanna Campgroud and cooking a mea! Again, a short time was spent in conversation and admiring the heavens before turning in for the night. We had an early start as it was felt that we could not be guaranteed a camping spot at Dales Gorge on the eastern side of Karijini.
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10 August 2015 Savannah Campground

     Ian and Nina headed off early as they were concerned there may not be space for us at Dales. The main group led by David heads out about half an hour later. The road to Dales takes us past the entrance to Kalamina Gorge but that is for another day. We make good time to Dales and we hear on the two way radio from Ian that we have secured a site in Gala Loop!!
     Dales was much more vegetated than Savannah. As it had been everywhere else it was very green and, if possible, lush! We pitched the tent up again and had a cup of tea/coffee. There was bird-life and more butterflies in the surrounding bush. Charlie the campground volunteer told us the stairs to Fortescue Falls had only been completed the previous Friday.
     We climbed down the stairs towards Fortescue Falls. The falls are beautiful and the rock formation created natural ‘steps’ right to the bottom. We walked through native figs, ferns and water loving plants to Fern Pool. Here you could get a free massage with the water coming over the falls. Large bats inhabited a fig tree on the opposite side of the pool. It was then quickly back to the sunny, warm rocks of Fortescue Falls to warm up. Some of us walked through the gorge towards Cicular Pool where we stayed for some time. The water in the pool was refreshing.But everybody swam towards a special area where the water was gentle tumbling down the rock. This was a region where was plesant warm. It was a gentle climb back to the top and returned to the campground to cook our dinner.

11 August 2015 Dales Campground

     Most of us headed off to either Dales Gorge (Circular Pool) or Kalamina Gorge. Later we drove to the visitor centre presenting an interesting history of the area. The building itself was tastefully constructed to blend in with the environment and was shaped like a gecko. The sign said the tail represented the past whilst the body was the present and the head the future.
     We returned to the camp, made our lunch and headed back to Fern Pool for a swim and had lunch at Fortescue Falls. After dinner we celebrated Rebeca' & Chris’ wedding anniversary. Rebeca had brought a beautiful decorated cake. They also opened a couple bottles of bubbles and we enjoyed the drinks and cake.

Click here for Karijini photos.

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12 August 2015 Dales Campground

via Tom Price – Paraburdoo – Cheela Plains Station

On the move again today! The drive to Tom Price saw the landscape changing again but the vivid display of wild flowers continued. Mt Bruce was impressive as was returning to the bitumen! A large load slowed our approach to Tom Price.
Most of us went to the supermarket to top up on essential items for the next leg of the trip. We also did a quick add up to see if we had sufficient water.
Some of us went up to Mt Nameless.said: The track was the roughest I had ever driven in my car but the drive was well worth the view and the experience of some 4WDing said Rebeca'
We fuelled up back in Tom Price and set out for Beasley River with a brief stop in Paraburdoo for an ice cream on the way. When we reached Beasley River there was limited space for camping. We The Station owner told us
Cheela Plains Station Stay campground was just over the road. The camping area had green grass, a fire pit and hot showers andf Wifi connection.

Trip-Map Karijini NP - Murchison Oasis

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13 August 2015 Cheela Plains Station – Mt Augustus

It was was amasing view in the early morning light. We backtracked the 10 or so km to the Ashburton Downs road. It was a busy day of driving with many dips, creek and river crossings – all dry. However it meant we had morning tea in the creek, a very pretty, shaded spot under the eucalypts. After a day of many gear changes we were relieved when an afternoon tea stop was called.
Ian announced the first glimpses of Mount Agustus were ahead. Shortly after he announced we had 17km to go Karl, driving in front of us stopped, got out and checked his rear hatch door and Chris said, ‘Karl you have a flat tyre’.
Chris got out to help Karl and they were soon changing the tyre while Rebeca took photos. Shortly after David and Keith and Joy arrived and it became clear the tyre had met with a degree of damage with several holes in the tyre and it was red hot. Soon we all were underway in a short time and welcomed the sight of the campground with the mountain in the background. Some decided to camp on grass not too far from the ablutions and the rest were scattered around the camp area. After dinner we joined some other campers by a fire gossiping about 4WD stories.

Click here for Mt Augustus photos

14 August 2015 Mt Augustus

     Chris set off with Karl to climb Mt Augustus but Karl asked Chris whether it was ok taking the Gully Trail back to the carport. The trail (class 5) was more difficult than expected. With inadequate water and food supplies Karl got dehydrated and asked for help.
     Some of us drove the 49 km Loop Road that provides access to all feature sites. The first walk trail was Ooramboo followed by Mundee to see the Wajarri culture engravings. Moving on to Flintstone-Beedoboondu which also marks the start of the trail to climb Mt Augustus. The summit trail (class 4) 12 km return (6 hours) is an easy route to the top.
     The next stop was The Pound, a natural valley between the peaks that had been used for holding cattle before moving them to Meekathara. After all our activity during the day we turned in early for a good night’s sleep.
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15 August 2015 Mt Augustus – Murchison

     Before we headed off to Murchison we stopped at Gum Grove-Warrarla Warrarla. The Gum Grove Trail is through a shady grove of river red gums. Archways of ghost gums led us through and it was unnerving to hear rustling in the undergrowth.
Then all rolled out of the campground bound for Murchison across station country. We passed Burringurrah Community. The landscape seemed to have changed again and we encountered more creek and river crossings.
     After passing Landor Station we had morning tea in another picturesque spot. The convoy stopped at Mt Gould Lockup for lunch

Mt Gould Police Station and Lockup 1.

This police station is located on Berongarra-Mt Gould Rd Mount Gould. Sheep stealing was a very serious crime but for Aboriginal sheep were a legitimate source of food. Local pastoralists response was to build a PoliceStation.

Mt Gould Police Station and Lockup 2.
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     Nearby Mt Gould, Ian told us, was a disused gold mine and green coloured tailings could be seen where they had spilled over the lip of the saddle in the mountain.
     During the afternoon we crossed Milli Milli Station passing right by the homestead. Signs asked drivers to slow down. There was a degree of sadness as we approached Murchison as our trip was drawing to a close.
We had some issues with the automated petrol pump at Murchison but it was sorted out and we were all able to fuel up..
     Apart from Karl who had booked accomodation camping on grass we were the only occupants of the caravan park. It was a nice location apart from the mosquitoes and the generator that seemed to run all night! It doesn’t get anymore outback than the Shire of Murchison.
     “The Shire without a town” is home to sprawling pastoral stations, abundant wildlife and seasonal wildflower displays, yet very few people. The hub of the Shire is Murchison Settlement, home to 20 people as well as the Shire office, museum and a brand new roadhouse with internet access, upgraded caravan park, dumping point, sealed airstrip and more!

Murchison Oasis Roadhouse, Motel Caravan Park - 200 Carnarvon-Mullewa Road, MURCHISON SETTLEMENT WA, 6630

Three motel units available. Double $75 per night or single bed $65 and $10 per person extra
(up to 3 beds with TV, air conditioning, mini fridge, coffee/tea making facilities and linen provided)

The Park is an oasis in itself with beautiful grassed areas and a brand new gazebo complete with BBQ that overlooks the famous Murchison Polocrosse grounds.

16 August 2015 Murchison - Mullewa - Perth

     After having a good breakfast at BBQ- gazebo we left Murchison Settlement early in the morning. We headed south the Carnarvon-Mullewa-Road and arrived in Mullewa ready for morning tee. We all thanked Ian for the fantastic trip and headed back to Perth.

Trip End

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