Up a bit earlier today so we could catch the good stuff on the make your own packed lunch at the Newman Hotel. Tried the a la carte breakfast and that was also very good. Did I mention the staff here are very nice? The breakfast included cheese sausage cooked with capsicum and onion. Very tasty. Think I will try that at home.
Back to the Newman visitor Centre with our packed lunches to meet Lynne Craigie, President of the East Pilbara Shire. Lynne talked about how she originally worked in Newman and Port Hedland providing services for people who worked in the mines but she moved to the region for a year. She has now been living in Newman for 19 years and the year never seems to finish. Her husband says ‘is the year up’ and she says “I don’t think so”. She is actively involved, initiating projects which have greatly assisted in helping the community. She is currently working on encouraging greater integration of the guest workers in the region with the town and community. She is a passionate advocate for the Pilbara and talked about what a great place it is to raise a family. Her family live in the town too and she had two of her grandchildren with her when we met, sweet little kids.
Lynne gave me a beautiful book called ‘The Pilbara’ which is a photographic book by Hugh Brown. Glorious pictures. Tracey Bennet the Manager of the Newman Visitor Centre also gave us a gift of tea-towel and postcards. I feel so spoilt.
Packing up and getting the car loaded to go, need to stop in for some bits form the supermarket and then stop for fuel and ice. We are a bit later getting away than was planned but that’s okay. Especially as I got the bargain of the century at Tredway’s Shoes. Woo hoo. Got the other stuff we needed too but talking about buying eats seems a bit ordinary.
Okay, got the ice and fuel, hello road north from Newman.
We travel a while and then U-turn to the little track we were searching for … can’t spoil the streak of missed turnings we have had. At the end of the track we walk a little way down to the creek bed and there is a little water in the ponds and the walls are covered in etchings. There are kangaroos, emu and emu tracks, figures and much more that the light is just wrong to see. The creek bed is a mass of pebble and rocks and we find yellow ochre but no-one in the group is geological in nature so the beautiful rocks are of nameless type.
Continuing on it is not long before we turn into Karijini Drive and the excitement is building in proportion with hunger .. midday is gone.
Finally we reach the park turn in. I have a parks pass as part of the prize from the Department of Parks and Wildlife, I am good to go. We still have to stop and get a pass for the Travis our photographer. We are in Karijini National Park. Yay! We continue into the park and head to Dales Gorge. Once we are at the car park we grab our lunches, water and hats and head in. Stopping to lunch we sit on a fallen branch at one of the lookouts, then we decide to head on to the bottom of the gorge. Lunch is packed away and on we go.
The path leading down to Circular Pool is steep but the decent is made easier by the steps that have been cut into the rocks. Down to the bottom it’s a left turn and a further walk along the bottom of the gorge to get to the pool. It’s a lovely walk, seeing the high rock walls backing smaller pools along the way. All the huge rocks have such straight edges that makes them look as though they have been cut that way. We’re walking along a river bed that has a small amount of water flowing over the beautifully cut rock.
We arrive at Circular Pool and it is just magnificent. The beauty of the height, row of small waterfalls, beautiful rocks and crystal clear water – speechless! Some people leaving say there are leeches in the water so instead of swimming we walk around the edge of the pool and shower under the waterfall. The water is cool and refreshing. Justin can’t resist diving in and swimming back.
Getting a bit late as we make it back to the cars and continue on to Eco Retreat. We are heading into the sun which makes driving a bit tricky and the dust doesn’t help … have we lost our photographer in his Raw Hire car? No he says on CB … just bringing up the rear.
After arriving and checking in it is off to find our tents and dump our stuff, have a quick freshen up and get a big surprise when visited by a frog in the ensuite. Just one small scream but it’s all good. They said to watch out for snakes as it is still ‘summer’ and they are around. There is a torch in the tent and we were also told to pack one so all is good.
Over for dinner at the main tent. As luck would have it, we are here just as they deliver on a new menu. We decide to sample a few things starting with the tasting plate, all Australian there. Crocodile, emu chorizo, kangaroo, not too sure about this even though we had a plate with venison, kangaroo and lamb last night. It is all yummy. Mains and desert all delicious too.
Heading off to bed as we want to start at a reasonable time tomorrow. Not sure how well we sleep because it is quite hot and the tents are not air-conditioned. Also, not too sure how well we will sleep once it is light in the morning.