Time to reminisce – Pilbara Part 5

Back on the road we ventured south east along the increasingly busy Northern Highway pulling into the picturesque Opthalmia Dam located off the road  to Marble Bar for a barbecue lunch. A top bird watching spot we only wished we had more time to spend here and tick a few more off the list but it was onward to the mining town of Newman for the night with a night in the local caravan park and time to stock up on supplies for the next leg of our journey. This would be the last main town we would see for a while as we snaked our way back to Perth. Green curry and rice for dinner tonight.

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Opthalmia Dam, a top spot for lunch

It was an easy run south the next morning along the highway, albeit for the many oversized loads heading north to the mines that we had to repeatedly pull off the road for. We were getting used to them by now. Around lunch time we pulled into the hamlet of Meekatharra and headed for the beautiful Peace Gorge and lookout for our picnic lunch. This serene spot was so named after a celebratory picnic was held here following the end of the Great War in 1919. It is not a bad spot to pull up for a break.

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The aptly named Peace Gorge for lunch

Moving on we pulled into Lake Nallan Nature Reserve Rest Area for the night and were treated to an amazing sunset over the vast yet beautiful Pilbara. Following our salmon and vegetables for dinner a restful night was had by all.

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An amazing sunset at Lake Nallan Nature Reserve

Next day it was up early and on the road with a big day ahead planned. First stop was the heritage listed town of Cue with its quaint and historic buildings including the remains of the old hospital still visible that was in operation until 1942.

 

After absorbing the history in Cue we backtracked to Meekatharra picking up the historic Kingsford Smith Mail Run route and followed in the footsteps of the famous Charles Kingsford Smith and his mail run from the goldfields to Carnarvon. What a journey it must have been back then. There are historic reminders all along this route including the abandoned Mount Gould Police Station and Lock up as well as the Casgoine River Crossing where an ingenious method of getting the mail across the river when in flood was developed.

 

We eventually trundled into Mount Augustus Tourist Park located adjacent to Mount Augustus National Park for a couple of nights. Again we were treated to yet another stunning Pilbara sunset, what an amazing part of the country this is. Kebabs and vegetables for dinner tonight. Next day we headed off to explore what is known as the “largest monocline in the world”. It is twice the size  of Uluru and the biggest “rock” in the world. Also known as “burringurrah” by the local Wadjari people and is said to be that of a young boy that was speared.

 

A 49km dirt road circumnavigates the base of this monolith with all points of interest easily accessed off this road. We visited stunning lookouts, viewed ancient Aboriginal Rock Art and explored scenic gorges. Back at camp for the night it was left over green curry and rice for dinner.

 

Leaving Mount Augustus it was back to the coast for a few nights back at Carnarvon via Emu Hill Lookout.

 

Join us next time as we explore what is on Carnarvon’s doorstep before visiting a town of monks, a few more amazing camp spots then back to Perth before jumping on a boat to the famous Rottnest Island for some peddle power.

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