On the edge of the Hamersley Range, up in the spectacular Pilbara region, about 1600km north-east of Perth, Tom Price is a purpose-built mining town, modern and attractive. After a huge iron ore deposit was discovered here in 1962, Hamersley Iron Pty Ltd was formed and construction began on the mine site itself, the towns of Tom Price and Dampier, a railway line between them, and the port of Dampier to ship out the ore. The town of Tom Price was named after an American iron ore magnate, one of the main supporters of the opening of the Pilbara region to mining.
You can tour the gigantic mine and wonder at the enormous scale of the operation and the machinery required to maintain it. Closed-in shoes are a must on the tour.
Tom Price is also a gateway to the Karijini National Park (formerly the Hamersley Range National Park), WA’s second largest. The Hamersley Range is considered to be one of the world's oldest surfaces, and spectacular deep gorges have been carved into the rock by rain, water and ice over the ages. Other attractions in the park include waterfalls, walking trails, lookouts and natural pools in what is unquestionably one of the most fascinating landscapes in the world. There are picnic and camping facilities in several locations within the park. Walking and abseiling tours are available and the best time to visit the park is between May and October.
Mt Nameless, one of WA's tallest peaks, lies just 4km from town. The summit can be accessed by 4WD or walking trail. There are spectacular views of the town and the mine from the top. North of the town, Mt Sheila Lookout is accessible by 4WD and offers fine views over the surrounding area. Along this road you will pass Hamersley Station, former home of iron ore magnate, Lang Hancock. Further on, at Hamersley Gorge, you can swim in the natural waterhole.
Things to do:
In the area:
- Mine tour
- Mt Nameless - walk or 4WD to the top for spectacular views
- Mt Sheila Lookout - accessible by 4WD for great views
- Tom Price Visitor Centre - Central Road
- Karijini National Park - gorges, waterfalls, walking trails, lookouts and natural swimming holes
- Hamersley Gorge - natural waterhole for swimming