Eagle Rock Pool is a magic little waterhole not far outside Newman in the Central Pilbara Region of WA. It’s a place I had heard talk of from locals for many years, so on my recent trip to the Pilbara I thought it was time to go and have a look.
Although I have current topographical maps, and even a GPS navigator, the track to Eagle Rock Pool seemed to have vanished. I drove past the location where the GPS told me the turn off should be 3 times, before finally concluding that the track had actually gone… Never one to give up easily I kept going up the road a few km til I came to a fire break that ran in approximately the right direction, and turned down that. After a few km of bone jarring driving the fire break crossed an overgrown track, which my GPS navigator told me was the one I was looking for. So off I went.
The track bumped along in the right direction nicely for miles and miles, until I was a couple of kilometres from my destination (according to the GPS), when suddenly the track ended in a huge windrow pushed up by a bulldozer, and a railway track… That wasn’t on the map either… Lacking other options I followed the railway track , which was headed in more or less the right direction, until I ended up at the biggest iron ore mine processing and outloading facility I have ever seen! That was a little intimidating I must say, lots of guys in reflective vests and hard hats looking strangely at me.
After lots of discussion over two way radios, and talk of being “escorted” off the facility, a friendly bloke in a ute (wearing a reflective vest and hard hat) turned up to do the “escorting”. Apparently that’s the rule, that although I found my way onto the site, I wasn’t allowed to find my way back out… In case I pinch some iron ore I guess, or a big monster machine squashes me…
When I mentioned Eagle Rock Pool to my escort, he said, “Sure, I can take you there”. So off we went, all around this enormous scar on the landscape, all red and bleeding with no trees left.
Anyway, after another half hour of driving on mine-site tracks he led me to the other end of the track I had been following in the first place, the one that had been cut off by the mining operation and the railway, and left me there to make my own way. I arrived finally just after sunset, about 2 hours after I thought I would get there.