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The delights of Weeli Wolli - Day 14

Mining with Aboriginal heritage


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Today we took off to a site, some 100ks east of Newman, with the lovely name Weeli Wolli. The ride in was through Rio Tinto mining country with plenty of areas fenced off indicating Aboriginal Sites, while the roadside metal poles covered in white plastic showed signs of being subjected to extreme heat. Many had melted plastic buckling down the sides providing an artistic display! The corrugated road provided us with a musical tune and we jerked in our seats as we roller-coastered our way to the pool. Despite the leisurely ride in we did a shock absorber. Thank gawd it wasn't the Kalumburu road or we would have done the entire lot!20180711_105526.jpg
On arrival at our end point we were greeted with a large wooden platform shaded with shade sails and table and stools, as well as interactive boards providing us with Aboriginal information about the area. The platform covered the entrance to a spring that was pouring out water similar to that found at the bottom of a hydro dam and it tumbled very strongly down a series of natural steps. The water was mildly warm and did provide Mark with his daily wash later on that night. 20180710_115438.jpg20180710_112136.jpge1bd4ab0-a2a6-11e8-97b8-9534aef4ee46.jpg20180710_112448.jpg20180710_112515.jpg
This platform provided by the mining company was oddly built in that it completely covered the spring source and even attempting to check underneath was foiled by the construction of stone walls to channel the water. Given the tourist's propensity to check things out, this did not accommodate that need, and this design may have been built with cultural sensitivity in mind. I did however find out later that this spring was indeed artificial in that Rio is de-watering the underground water table for mining uses, and the the water is being pumped back into Weeli Wolli creek to a point below the natural spring. This area and water course is believed, by the Aboriginals, to contain the spirit of the Yurduba ( Rainbow Serpent) and one can only surmise that with time the natural spring may dry out and this will in turn further diminishes the significance of the area.c15220b0-a946-11e8-bacc-17dcb4d5eb9e.jpg
We spent a couple of hours checking the area out finding no aboriginal sites, very little rock of consequence but a lot of interesting flora. We were unable to find a decent path to the river as rushes or reeds smothered the edges and we weren't prepared to navigated thru what could be hostile vegetation. There was a road crossing but what with the strong currents and rather deep platforms to drive over we decided to give it a miss.20180710_122726.jpg
We put up camp a small distance away beneath a cliff face of banded iron and before settling in we muffled the rhythmic sounds of a pump nearby spurting out air. We ended the day with the sun setting over the tall gums on the cliff edge high-lighting their tops with a yellow tinge.e9a27e00-a948-11e8-baa2-dd22cafaad3b.jpge8b81e00-a948-11e8-bacc-17dcb4d5eb9e.jpg

Posted by Toot'speak 08:37 Archived in Australia Tagged rio tinto weeli wooli Comments (0)

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