The Pilbara

Contrasts, Weano Gorge, Karijini Ntl Pk

Most of us would be hard-pressed to locate the vast Pilbara region on a map of Australia.  We might associate the Pilbara with iron ore mining and offshore gas rigs, but know little more about it.  Nirbeeja and I certainly knew very little about the region before we visited. The first time we looked at a map of the region, there seemed to be a few small settlements with vast distances between them, and huge areas of ‘nothing’ on the map.

The reality of the Pilbara is, of course, very different.  It is a beautiful region, perhaps with the greatest range of colours of any we have seen in Australia.  The deep red of the rocks and earth contrasted with the deep blue of the sky and the pale spinifex grass.

Much of the region is relatively untouched by white man, with the obvious exception of the mining works, which have left their deep scars on the landscape in a number of places.  In other places, especially the National Parks, the country appears in pristine condition; waterholes are crystal clear and you gaze in awe upon an ancient, timeless landscape.  The rocks of the Pilbara – dating back some 3500 million years, are among the oldest on the Earth.

We were fortunate to spend several months exploring the Pilbara, yet feel we have only scratched its hard, ancient surface.  The Pilbara holds many special memories for us, and we will feature several of the Pilbara’s gems in ‘Our Favourite Places’.  For now, we hope you enjoy the following photos.

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