A Trip In Western Australia
The drive south of Port Hedland provides much to see. From amazing scenery, huge road trains and their escort vehicles, to grey and not so grey nomads. This is a must-see part of Australia.
Around six hours from Port Hedland is the mining town of Newman. For excellent local insights, go to the Visitor Centre. The staff are very friendly, knowledgeable and happy to answer any questions. There’s also a well-stocked gift shop – one of the best I’ve seen. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a souvenir.
Mt Whaleback, the ‘largest single pit iron ore mine in the world’ is a sight to behold.
BHP Billiton conducts mine tours of Mt Whaleback on certain days. It’s wise to book ahead. For the tour to go ahead, there must be at least four people. For safety reasons, you must wear certain types of clothing.
At Radio Lookout, there’s an excellent view over Mt Whaleback, Newman and the stunning surrounding countryside. The red earth seems to stretch forever.
Accommodation for the night is 10 kilometres out of town, close to the airport. Home to many miners, it’s certainly a unique experience to stay. The room was small but clean, with a label on the door: ‘Night Shift’.
Meals are paid for on arrival at reception. Dinner is in the main hall and there’s a sumptuous buffet awaiting with many choices. There were lots of miners eating dinner – and a few travellers. The miners left as soon as they finished their meal – they have to be up early. Breakfast is from 4 – 7a.m.
Next morning, I see rows of white mini vans and utes with neon identifying numbers on the side and safety flags on top. All vehicles have a film of red dust on them.
Tropic Of Capricorn
Just down the road there’s a sign: ‘Tropic of Capricorn’.
It proves to be a good photo opportunity.
And nearby, the roadhouse has excellent coffee.
Inland and Interesting. The drive south of Port Hedland is a great road trip.
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Jill Weeks is the author of 21 Ways To Retire and co-author of Where To
Retire In Australia and Retire Bizzi. Information Provider For Great Retirement Lifestyles.
She is a regular contributor to radio.