|Travelling Australia - Journal 2006
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25 May 2006 - Karijini National Park to Tom Price
The night was moonless and very black, there was some starlight but also variable thin cloud so the starlight was pretty dim. There is no lighting at all in the campground - neither is there any electricity in the amenities blocks so torches were in demand at night. In the morning I looked at a couple of new tracks and gorges but then it was time to leave. We took our rubbish with us, as requested, and left it in the rubbish trailer set up outside the national park. There are no rubbish bins or rubbish collection in the park itself.
The road to Tom Price was quite good, a secondary road but pleasant driving with a good surface. Traffic was very light. This area is quite high and we reached an elevation of 847 metres before arriving at Tom Price which prides itself on being the highest town in Western Australia at 747 metres. Finding the road from Karijini to Tom Price is not marked on the GPS was a surprise. Tom Price itself was mapped but not the road from the east.
Arriving at Tom Price we followed the signs to the only caravan park a little out of town. There was actually green grass on the caravan sites. Then we drove into the town. It was interesting to find that Tom Price has a single petrol station but two tyre dealerships, probably reflecting the way the local terrain deals with tyres.
Tom Price shopping centre is small and laid out like a normal small town, bore water is used for watering grass and trees. By contrast Newman appeared regimented and centrally planned. Tom Price was established earlier and was set up more like a single man's camp, not as a family town. As more families moved in and houses were built the shopping centre grew although it is still limited (one of the shopping arcades was built as a single men's mess). Population of Tom Price is 4,500 at present of which half are children; 1000 at primary and secondary schools and the rest pre-school; according to the hospital there are, at any time, 100 pregnant women in Tom Price.