Great sleep in the chalets last night and in the light of day we were able to appreciate the unusual courtyard with its donated large vintage mining equipment and transport which adds a quirky charm.
We head over for a buffet breakfast at Mia Mia House in the Desert which was really yummy. The food selection was perfect, the service lovely and I really enjoyed the extra marshmallows in my naughty hot choccie.
We met back at the visitor centre to begin our Whaleback Mine Tour, safety gear on and we are ready to go. The tour takes you through the mine up to the visitor’s lookout which gives a bird’s eye view of the mine site. Our guide was very informative as she shared information on the site and BHP's plans for the future.
Part of the tour package is a drink plus scones, jam and cream which we enjoyed on the run as Hannah from the Shire of East Pilbara took us over to the Martumili Art Centre where we met Carly, the manager and Marjory, Rebecca and Billy some of the artists. This centre is very unique in the sense that the staff travel to remote Aboriginal communities with art supplies providing the opportunities for the artists to do what they love. The paintings then come back to the centre where they are either sold or sent to galleries all over the world. We were lucky to be able to watch Billy start one of his paintings as well as get a signed copy of a book sharing his story and art.
Time to meet Joe, from Pilbara Iron Country Tours, for a tour with a twist of Newman. Joe is just one of those people who immediately draw you in and he has a deep passion for the natural beauty and landscapes of the Pilbara. He took us bush to explore the lesser known gems and they were worth it. Within the time limits of the afternoon he could only give an introduction to these areas but I recommend seeing Joe if you wish to really experience the natural and beautiful Pilbara. He also has quite a few witty stories to listen to as you drive along.
A definite highlight was the drive to Kalgan Gorge and creek. Driving along with the cool breeze coming through the window it was easy to lose yourself in the amazing scenery that surrounded us. The view from the top of the gorge was one of the most beautiful landscapes, from the markings on the rock faces to the greenery that looks out of place. The view from the bottom was equally as beautiful, you could really see yourself spending an afternoon or even longer swimming in the waterhole and settling in for a picnic. Thanks Joe for a great afternoon out, one day we will be back to explore the part of the country that you love the most.
Check in tonight at Outback Travel Centre's Capricorn Village before meeting down at the Capricorn Bar and Grill for dinner and drinks. Our hosts Blair and Mike ensured we had one of the best dining experiences of the trip and they also make a mean cocktail. We were treated to a selection of their best food and there wasn't one of us who didn't rave about the food. These guys have the best energy and this can be seen in their service and the attention to detail in their meals. Keep your eyes and ears out as there will be an Outback Travel Centre opening in Karratha very soon and then later in Port Hedland.
Headed back to our room for a sleep. So ready for it and while we have a gentle start to tomorrow they are saying it is going to be a big, big day in Karijini.