Tom Price - Karalundi
30.07.2012 - 31.07.2012 19 °C
Its time to keep moving! Tonight’s destination is Karalundi. We headed back through the Karijini National Park towards Newman. There isn’t a whole lot to see on this drive, just more of the same country; red dirt, shrubby bushes with a few trees and quite rocky. Something we did see lots of and that is oversize trucks along this stretch of road! Hundreds! All mining equipment, site huts or something related to mining! Of course we had to take photos of every single one that passed, I am rather over taking photos of oversized loads by now!
We took the turn to Newman, can’t come all this way and not check out the town that boasts having the biggest open cut mine in the world! Unfortunately we arrived an hour late to go on the mine tour that only runs once a day Mark was pretty disappointed to have missed the opportunity to see this impressive mine. We had a look through the Visitors Information Centre, buying some Iron Ore! And had a drive around the town, absolutely a mining town, once again all the cars you pass are mine spec with everyone dressed in high vis. Newman is probably twice the size of Tom Price. The majority of this town is owned by BHP Billiton whereas Tom Price is owned by Rio Tinto. They even own 90% of the houses, shops and infrastructure.
The distance from Tom Price to Karalundi is about 650kms which we made in good time, arriving around 5pm that night. After saying our hello’s to our friends Rik and Kez it was soon dinner time and I headed off to the Kitchen with Kez who was on duty that night to cook dinner for all the students. Kez works two days a week in the kitchen, cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner for all the students and dorm parents, one day in the Karalundi Café and two days a week cleaning. Helping serve dinner that night was a fun experience!
The next morning we were ready to explore this place a little further. Rik and Kez had organised to both have the day off which was lovely as we then had the day to explore and catch up. We went for a tour of the grounds starting with the ‘farm’. Mack got to feed the sheep and little lambs and even got a ride on the back of one! We visited the chickens and horses next and then moved onto the paddocks which are actually flood plains surprisingly! They were all flooded last year! We had a look at the new staff housing building that is currently being built and the just finished Multi-Purpose Hall. For those who don’t know, Karalundi is an SDA boarding school for Aboriginal children from Primary through to High School. The school has all the facilities required with a church, swimming pool, high ropes, ovals, multi-purpose hall, canteen/kitchen, mini hospital/nurse station, sheds, farm, animals, Café and a new addition of a Caravan Park that is open to the public. It is very well set up and maintained, the grounds are very clean and the grass is green! We really enjoyed the atmosphere of the place; it seems structured and has routine but at the same time is very relaxing and has a cruisy feel to it.
Mack had a quick nap while the boys (Mark and Rik) went and had a look through Rik’s sheds where he has made a cardboard shredder! After we had some lunch we then both headed off to check out some of the surrounding sites. They took us to a place about 30kms up the road called Tunnel Hill which is a massive rock structure on top of a hill that has a hole in it! We all scampered up to the top and had a look at the spectacular view you get from up there. It was far too tempting for the boys to come out this way and not do some 4WD’ing so they found a hill they thought they could climb and went for it! All the hills are extremely rocky and all loose rock too. After a few attempts each it was rather evident we weren’t going to make it up. So Mark got out his winch and found a sturdy enough tree to winch himself up part of the way and then onto a rock for the last little bit. Perched on top of the mountain he then connected Rik’s car onto the Hilux and winched Rik most of the way before using the Maxx Tracks to get the rest of the way up. Kez and I managed to get some pretty good photos of the whole operation! Once on top we discovered a pretty cool cave that had a top and side opening, so we lit a fire and sat around eating oranges and de-briefing off the trip up!
After all that was done and dusted and we had conquered the mountain, we had run out of daylight and headed home – were we had tea and a viewing of the photos! We thoroughly enjoyed our time here at Karalundi checking it all out and catching up with friends.
Mark, Delle & Mack xx