Friday 7 September 2012

Oz Trip - Day 129

Day 129 – 7/9/2012 – Tom Price mine tour

We left Karijini at 7:30am because we had to be in Tom Price for a mine tour at 9:30am. This mine tour was really good as well. Although you couldn't see a lot into the bottom of the pit to see the activity, it did allow you to get up closer to the big mining trucks and see more of the processing plant up close. The mining trucks were driving right past the lookout and you could see the drivers in the cabs. They were also blowing their horns as the tour group waved to them.

Changing a wheel on a dump truck requires a monster forklift!

A new Chinese dump truck. Cost $1million as opposed to $4million for the other brands. Rio Tinto are experimenting with 4 of them to see how they will last.

Entering the pit

Up close to a big truck.  They use 4,500 litres of diesel in 24hrs!!  Glad I don't have that fuel bill!

The bottom of the pit

The pit

After we left the lookout the tour bus took us through the processing plant for an up close look.

By the time the tour finished it was lunch time so we had lunch in the park that was in the main street of the town. The town is going through a bit of a rejuvenation process with money from the Royalties for the Regions program. This is where it some of the royalties money collected by the governments is given back to the communities where mines are located to improve facilities for the residents.

Main street of Tom Price

And the other end
Our lunch friends
We were heading for Exmouth, so after lunch we decide to hit the road and see how far we could get. We didn't have any firm destination in mind and we knew that there were plenty of free camps along the way if we needed them.

On the way we stopped off at Paraburdoo for a bit of a rest stop.

Paraburdoo town centre
As the afternoon progressed the wind was getting up and it looked like we were getting closer to a dust storm that was on the horizon. So even though there was a still a couple of hours of sunlight left we didn't fancy heading into a dust storm so we pulled in early at the Nanutarra Roadhouse. When we arrived it was so windy and dusty that we didn't even bother trying to set up camp. We just parked and made our way to the roadhouse to shelter out of the wind and dust.

Dust in the distance

And getting closer
After dinner and a few drinks the wind and dust had settled down a bit so we popped the lid on the camper and crawled into bed.

Today we also clocked up the 20,000km so far on the trip!

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