Day 4

Posted by admin on April 2, 2014

What is more difficult than having a bed that is so comfortable you simply don't want to get up at all but having a day full of things you are looking forward to doing?  Can't decide?

Newman visitor centre

The bed's in those cute little chalets chock of modern conveniences and the best ensuites, are also awesome. Set amongst the historic antique mining equipment next to the Newman Visitor Centre it would have to be most unique tourist accommodation in the Pilbara .

Anyway, so out of bed and off to face the day. Breakfast at the Newman Hotel. As it was raining when we arrived the lovely ladies in reception provided umbrellas so we could walk without getting wet, to The Palms dining room. Despite the fact that we were late, a beautiful cooked breakfast was provided, after which we chose items for our packed lunch. Spoke to one of waitresses who said they are doing 300 meals, three times a day when there is a shutdown though normally it is 150.  Wow.

Then back to the Visitor Centre where the BHP Whaleback Mine tour starts.

First we deck out in long sleeves and pants. The rain has stopped and its started to heat up... They supply hard hats, flouro visibility vests and protective eyewear. On the bus; with a warm welcome from the tour guide, past security and up the hill to the highest point remaining on Mt Whaleback. We get out of the bus to view the whole minesite and operations.

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Staggering the amount of ore that's sent by rail to Port Hedland to be shipped. And even more staggering that this mine, largest in the southern hemisphere has a life yet of 60 more years.  It is nice though to understand the whole cycle which we started with at Hedland, the end of the process which is the export.

Heading back to the Visitor Centre after the tour to be treated to a lovely cuppa and delicious scone, jam and cream of course. Such a nice cafe seating area in the centre and so many nice things. The staff are just fantastically friendly and very knowledgeable. Picked up a map for Kalgan Pool and off on our way again.

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Stopped at Martumilli Art to talk to the staff and have a look at the works they have there.  Amazing the places the art has been exhibited and there is a touring exhibition as well.  Some of the artist have met the Queen when exhibiting in Vicitoria and while we were sitting there one of the artist who has just returned from exhibiting in Adelaide came in. How lucky are we to have met Kumbaya.

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Off to find Kalgan pool, these waterholes are hidden gems! A permit from the Visitor Centre is needed to access the BHP rail access road. The turnoff is signposted on the highway, good start! A couple of stops to check the map, but found there's another sign pointing the way. A long 4wd track, sometimes wondering if we've passed the pool. Found it at the end of the track!

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Stunning waterhole with the high rock wall backdrop. Perfect setting for picnic lunch from Newman Hotel before a lovely swim, it's shaded but not too cold. A ropeswing and slide mat are here, lots of fun! So peaceful with the birds singing until Travis our photographer spent what seemed like hours getting the perfect bommie photo of Justin on the rope swing. Lots of yippee's shouts echoing in the gorge. What fun.

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Stayed a long time, better move on. Straight to Capricorn, just across the Tropic of Capricorn. This is a big establishment - the truckstop is really busy, there's accommodation to hold 350 people with pools, tennis/ basketball court, cricket nets & golf nets also.

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The manager of the whole establishment, Blair and Head Chef, Mike, meet us at the Capricorn Bar & Grill. The old roadhouse homestead has been renovated into a fabulous modern bar & grill, with a family friendly beer garden (including a playground).

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The atmosphere here is great. A new menu is being launched this Friday and we were given the privilege of sampling a few of these new items. And what a privilege it was!! Absolutely delicious and revolutionary tastes. Couldn't fault a single thing - simply amazing food and service. Highly recommended.

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It's gotten dark but one more stop before turning in for the night. It was recommended to go to Radio Hill Lookout at night to see not only the townsite, but also the lights at Mt Whaleback minesite. There's also lights from mines beyond the town.

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In Newman, My Pilbara Adventure magnets have been hidden at Mia Mia restaurant, Newman Visitor Centre, Martumilli Arts, Capricorn Bar & Grill and at the Newman Hotel. If you find one, your challenge is to get a photo and post it on the Facebook page, My Pilbara Adventure and say where.

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By the way we have been doing this everywhere we go so keep your eyes open when you are supporting these businesses and take the opportunity to join the fun.

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We're off to Karijini tomorrow. Can't wait to explore the gorges... but no mobile phone or internet, so I will not be able to update my blog for the next couple of days. Once I am back in range I will post lots of photos and share some more of my adventure.

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