My visit to Tom Price


(late-April - early-May 2007)

I took a few days off from Puppy Linux development to visit family at Tom Price, which is located in a region called the Pilbara, in the North West of Western Australia. This is rugged, isolated and beautiful country. You also get violent storms, searing heat, drought, flies -- the full Aussie "outback" experience.

Towering over the mining town of Tom Price is Mount Nameless. Here I am following the walking trail to the top:


A short distance out of Tom Price (only 90Km) is the Karijini National Park, with lovely gorges, streams, waterfalls and rocky pools. We visited the Eco Village, which is a kind of environmentally-aware close-to-nature and self sufficient hotel (solar power, luxury tents). Right beside the Eco Village is the spectacular Joffre Gorge:


The sedimentary layers that you can see above are truly ancient, and the bottom layers are the oldest measured rocks on this planet, literally billions of years. What really amazed me was that rock-wallabies (a species of kangaroo) live on the ledges, and they scale the cliffs vertically, going straight up by jumping from one strata to the next.
During the rainy season the water at the bottom is pure, drinkable and swimmable, and tourists are to be found in bathers or just underwear getting relief from the heat.

The guy in the hat in the photo below is the famous bushman Jeremy Perks who is currently working at the village on a fifo (fly-in-flyout, one month on site, one month off-duty in Perth) basis. Jeremy took us for walks along little trails down into the gorge, pointing out fascinating flora, fauna and geological features. Here we are on a rather scary rock ledge:


This is iron-ore country and mines here are very big business with trains carrying ore a few hundred kilometres north to Karratha and then by ship to places like China and Japan. The reddish colouration is pervasive, but what doesn't come out in these photos is the many other colours in the layers, such as yellow, purple and blue. He we are again walking on a ledge way above the gorge floor:


Jeremy took us further upstream to where the water was at ground-level, before it plunged down into the gorge. We sat and enjoyed the pleasant scene:


This is the Pilbara, and I'm told that this is a very small gorge compared with some to be found in the Kimberlies (another region of Australia further North-East).

Links

Information about Jeremy Perks
Information about Tom Price
Information about Karijini National Park
Information about Karijini Eco Retreat


(c) Copyright Barry Kauler 2007. http://bkhome.org/