25.08.2007 - 27.08.2007 34 °C
We have been told by other travellers that Nanutarra Roadhouse is the second most expensive roadhouse in WA. Unleaded petrol was $1.56 per litre which is a lot less than I expected, but food and drink in the roadhouse was a bit on the pricey side. However at $20 a night for a powered caravan site, it was well worth it.
Off to Tom Price today which is one of the major iron ore mining towns in the Pilbara. It is a 353 Kilometre journey today and there is nothing until we reach Paraburdoo which is still 274 kilometres away. Once we head east the changes in the landscape are amazing. We are coming into the western parts of the Hamersley Range where a lot of WA’s mineral wealth is to be found, but it is an arid landscape despite the amount of flora. We eventually pull into Paraburdoo for some lunch before continuing onto Tom Price. The reason for staying at Tom Price is that it is a good base for exploring the western portions of Karijini National Park. However, the gravel roads to this part of the park are so rough we have to turn back approx 10 Kilometres short of our destination which is a major disappointment. We head over to Dales Gorge which is at the eastern end of the park where we climbed into the gorge which is on average 100 metres deep, and swim in the crystal clear pools which more than makes up for the earlier disappointment.
There is more to this part of the park to explore and leave this for our next leg in the journey as it’s closer. We travel almost 100 Km back to Tom Price.
For an area so heavily promoted by the State Government as a major tourist destination, it is disappointing to see a lack of spending in basic infrastructure such as bitumising roads to improve accessibility. Not everyone has access to a 4WD.