Newman, in the state’s north, is the southern gateway to the beautiful Karijini National Park and is in close proximity to many beautiful natural attractions, the Newman Waterholes and Aboriginal rock carvings.
Newman is a modern town originally built to house mining staff, but is now considered a tourist attraction. Newman is surrounded by the ancient eroded hills of the Ophthalmia Ranges and offers the chance to take a local waterhole day trip or visit the largest open cut iron ore mine in the world. A sealed road from Perth makes the inland route to Karijini National Park and the north accessible to all vehicles.
Tour the iron ore operation at Mount Whaleback, marvel at the giant mining equipment and the massive pit. Drop in to the Visitor Centre which is made from rammed earth and features a huge leadlight window depicting the area’s landscape. Newman Visitor Centre has an art gallery, interpretative displays, an Outdoor Mining Museum, a theatrette and an arts and crafts shop.
Wildflowers are spread throughout the countryside with flora such as the Mulla Mulla and Sturt Desert Pea.
Newman offers an excellent selection of restaurants, ranging from a la carte to bistro style, with a variety of cuisines. Takeaway and fast food outlets are also available. Newman nightlife and entertainment can vary from a quiet drink at one of our many hotels and cocktail lounges to a raging evening at the local nightclub.
Newman offers a broad range of accommodation including hotels, lodges and cabins. Caravan and camping sites are also available for the more independent traveller.
Rudall River National Park is the largest national park in Western Australia and one of the largest in the world. In fact, it is more than two-and-a-half times as large as the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. But as well as being so vast, it is also one of the most remote places in the world.
The park sits on the boundary between the Great Sandy and Little Sandy Deserts and includes the watershed of the Rudall River. Salt lakes are characteristic of these desert regions, and two major ones lie within the park’s boundaries. They fill with water only after very heavy rain.
Sand dunes cover much of the desert areas in the eastern and south-western parts of the park, forming giant parallel ridges between 20 and 40 metres high.
The stony hills and flattish plains of the Little Sandy Desert cover the south-west of the park, and a mosaic of trees and shrubs that cover sand dunes and rocky hills make up the Great Sandy Desert to the north-east.
More than 90 bird species live within the park. Waterbirds float on the Rudall River and associated streams, and the spectacular painted finch, spinifex pigeons and honeyeaters drink at the pools.
Also living here are dingos and small, rare marsupials including the lesser hairy-footed dunnart, the spinifex hopping mouse, the pebble-mound mouse, and the sandy inland mouse.
The Rudall River is unique in the region – being a major watercourse with reliable water sources and permanent pools. This, together with the abundant wildlife it attracts, made it an oasis for desert-living Aborigines. The western deserts are crisscrossed by a large number of song lines, or Dreaming tracks, associated with their ancient history.
Before you visit the park, make sure you are well prepared and have sufficient food, water, medical and mechanical supplies. Rudall River is truly unspoiled wilderness and there are no facilities for visitors by way of fresh water supplies, fuel, signage, park ranger services, camping facilities or picnic areas.
The Rudall River National Park is a beautiful and haunting place, rich in history and culture. This ancient land is one of only a few areas in Australia that remain rarely visited. Its secrets are known only to a few hardy travellers, scientists, researchers and explorers, and of course, the traditional Aboriginal groups, who have lived there for tens of thousands of years.
Nearest Airport: Newman
- National Park