Tom Price the big Iron Mining Town

We had a big day driving after packing camp at Cape Range we restocked the food at Exmouth and headed for the Pilbara. On the way out we visited the Exmouth Light House which has amazing views.

Exmouth lighthouse built in  early 1900s

Exmouth lighthouse built in early 1900s

thumb_P5115902_1024

The road out of Exmouth changed quickly from lovely flat plains covered with spinefex and dotted with large termite mounds to big mountain ranges across the horizon. The views were getting us very excited about the next part of our travels.

The termite mounds

The termite mounds

Mountains coming into view on the road

Mountains coming into view on the road

Road inland

Road inland

Hammersley Ranges

Hammersley Ranges

We took the left hand unsealed road into Tom Price missing Paraburdoo. When we arrived at Tom Price and had to drive around this bit truck which lost its trailer.


thumb_IMG_4562_1024 thumb_IMG_4560_1024 thumb_IMG_4558_1024 thumb_IMG_4556_1024

We visited the information centre Andrew wanted to know about getting a permit to travel along the Tom Price Railway Road a patch of dirt road owned by Rio Tinto. Whilst in town we did get Fresh Fish from the ‘Pilbara Fish Truck’ which travels around.

Lunch stop

Lunch stop

Lizard we found on the lunch stop - he had lost his tail.

Lizard we found on the lunch stop – he had lost his tail.

Hammersley Ranges

Hammersley Ranges

Cows cross our path on the road to Tom Price

Cows cross our path on the road to Tom Price

Cow on the road ahead.

Cow on the road ahead.

After we parked the trailer at the only caravan park in town, which was pricey but had good and clean facilities, we headed up Mount Nameless, 1128m above sea level one of the highest in WA only 3k from Tom Price and the highest mount in WA accessable by vehicle via 4×4 only track. Mt Nameless which actually has an aboriginal name of Jarndrunmunhna meaning place of wallabies.

thumb_P5125944_1024

Views down into the mining operations at Tom Price

Views down into the mining operations at Tom Price

Views from the top of

Views from the top of

thumb_P5125939_1024

Sunset from the top

Sunset from the top of Mt Jarndrunmunhna

The track gave Andrew another chance to use his new low range gears (money well spent he says J ) we were warned the track is ‘Very Rough’ the track was rocky and steep but overall it was not too bad. The views from the top were awesome looking down over Tom Price and the Mine Site. The open cut iron ore mine is huge and from here it was clear that it is a huge operation. We could see the big haul trucks and lots of trains being loaded with ore. The views over the Hamersely Ranges were quite beautiful and well worth the drive.

Whilst the Mountain has two names the original indigenous name and the Mt Nameless on the way down crawling with the new gears we thought of a name for Mt Nameless….Holly – Mt Red Rock, Aaron – Mt McIntosh and Bianca – Steep Mountain. When we got to Karijini there is a quote from a local Aboriginal saying I don’t know why they named Mt Jarndrunmunhna Mt Nameless when it already had a name but they didn’t ask us – this is a bit sad.

Big truck in Tom Price

Big truck in Tom Price

The next day Andrew had to watch his safety video to be able to get the permit for the Rio Tinto owned road we headed into town to visit the library but regrettably it was closed on Wednesdays and the kids were disappointed. Smiles all around after the purchase of some ‘Red Dog’ souvenirs – and we bought the book to read – this is the story of a dog that lived in and around the Pilbara in the 1970s. Pocket money well spent.

Red Dog souvenirs

Red Dog souvenirs

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: