SATURDAY 24 JULY NEWMAN
Today’s destination – also sourced from out little booklet – was Weeli Wolli Springs, about 100kms from Newman.
This involved driving back on the main highway, the way we’d come on Thursday, for about 70kms, then turning north-ish.
The track was reasonable for most of the way. It deteriorated, though, towards the end. We may have tried to drive a bit too far? We got stuck trying to cross a little creek that John didn’t check first – just drove into. It had a deep gravel base that we sunk into. Luckily, he was able to reverse out.
Then we saw where other vehicles had crossed this creek and were able to drive on a bit further. These places just do not have sign posts to tell you when you have reached where you intended to go!
We had lunch out there – by a pool and rock wall.
There was a build up of dark cloud, so we did not go exploring to follow the creek any distance from there.
However, we did stop a bit further back on the track, closer to the springs, and wandered about exploring there, for a while.
Would have liked to stay out there longer, and maybe walk far enough to see if we could find the source of the springs, but the skies were looking really threatening.
Weeli Wolli Springs and creek were supposed to be a Rainbow Serpent home. It certainly seemed an unusual formation for these parts. The belief was that the Serpent came up here, in the water that flowed at the springs, from the desert to the east. He went north under the creek and came up again in the Fortescue Marshes, then went on to Millstream. It was supposed to be a dangerous place where no one was to venture into the water and should not camp there at night. Women were not to walk alone along the creek, according to the lore.
On the return trip, took an alternative, longer track to the highway – this brought us out a bit closer to Newman. We only did it for variety, and because it was marked on the map.
As we’d driven about, the past two days, saw much evidence of mining and exploration, and one could not help but hear talk of new mines. I did hope that exploration and development spare places like Kalgan Pool and Weeli Wolli.
Over the past two days, we’d visited two little known destinations that were just superb, neither of which we’d been to before. Once off the main roads, both times, we’d encountered no other travellers – had both destinations to ourselves. Wonderful.
Back in Newman, refuelled again – $1.16cpl. We’d done 353kms since yesterday’s fill!
The people who were now parked next to us had come in from the Canning and the “bomb” tracks – so called because they were made (by Len Beadell) initially to monitor the atomic bomb testing in the desert country. One of their party had been towing an Ultimate camper trailer. His auto transmission got too hot and caught fire. There may have been a build up of dry spinifex underneath, too, I thinks to myself. That damaged the electricals, so they were now in Newman for repairs, for a while. Another thing that I thinks to myself was that they were pretty silly to be towing anything on those tracks, anyway.
There were a lot of “sitting about” indigines in Newman. One cannot buy 4 litre wine casks in town, unless leaving town that day – and driving licence must be produced. They let us stock up today, as tomorrow was Sunday and we were leaving then – we had to make solemn promises that this was true. We wanted to stock up a bit because we’d heard that such casks were not available in Port Hedland at all.