Located in the Eastern Pilbara region of Western Australia, the town of Newman is in one of the most isolated areas of the country. This isolation forms part of the town’s charm which includes its rugged, mountainous surroundings. Newman itself, a young mining town with a strong economy, boasts a range of modern facilities and services. The history of the area, however, goes back tens of thousands of years having been settled by the Aboriginal Martu people over 25, 000 years ago.
The town’s claim to fame is that it’s the home of the world’s largest open-cut iron ore mine, BHB Bilton Mt Whaleback Mine. This vast mine represents a beautiful human etch onto the deep red iron deposits that have the unique appearance of a humpback whale. Tours of the mine operate throughout the year.
Newman is ideal for lovers of wildlife and rugged natural beauty. From the Weeli Walli spring to the Eagle Rock Falls, there are plenty of places to trek and swim. Nearby Rudall River National Park is one of Australia’s biggest and most remote parks.
For daytrips further afield, Karijini National Park is like no other place on earth and is composed of jaw-dropping gorges and water courses. Even further away is the paradise-like Cape Keraudren Coastal Nature Reserve.
Most visitors to Newman will make the day trip to Marble Bar, a historic gold rush settlement and the ‘hottest town in Australia’, home to stunning rock formations. On the way back the fellow gold rush town of Nulligane is famed for its beautiful water spots found along the Nulligane River.
Peak vacation season in Western Australia is during the local winter months from May to August when the temperatures are cooler but still warm by most standards. Visitors may find it cheaper to travel outside of the school winter holidays which occur in mid-July. During April and from September – October it’s the shoulder seasons when visitors may find cheaper deals. Whilst temperatures are very warm during the shoulder seasons, they are bearable provided you avoid going out in the midday sun. Travelers should generally avoid the local summer months from October to March when temperatures are regularly close to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
The town of Newman itself is small and easily navigable on foot. However for daytrips or tours it’s possible to rent a 4×4 provided you are experienced in terrain driving. The weather is very hot and most places are remote which means travelers need to keep plenty of water, fuel and essentials with them in the vehicle. Alternatively it’s best to take a tour or travel with an experienced driving guide.