On our way back to Perth on our 3 week Pilbara trip, we decided to call in at Mt Augustus, and see what it was all about. We left Cheela Plains and headed down the Ashburton down road, before arriving at the Mt Augustus Tourist Park about 6 hours later.
Pulling in, I was extremely glad to have arrived, after watching the road like a hawk, dodging wash outs and trying to pick the best speed for 6 hours, and I was absolutely knackered.
I’ll be completely honest here and say I wasn’t expecting too much at the Mt Augustus Tourist Park; we’ve never really been a fan of caravan parks, and after doing so many nights free camping away from others it wasn’t something we were overly excited about.
I was wrong
From the moment we arrived, to the moment we left, I felt extremely glad of Mt Augustus Tourist Park. The staff were amazing, the prices were very, very reasonable, they have plenty of nice grass to relax on, and if you want bush camping you can have that too.
It was fairly quiet (just before school holidays), and we had a really relaxing stay, in what is literally an oasis in the middle of no where, and after a long, tiring drive it was a welcome sight!
The prices are really decent
We paid $30 a night for 2 adults, and 2 kids to stay in an unpowered site. That’s less than what we paid at Cheela Plains way up the road ($40 a night), and even for Caravan Parks close to Perth its still decent value.
To make it even better, their fuel price for diesel and unleaded was $2.35 a litre, which was one cent more expensive than Paraburdoo, which is on a bitumen road, easily accessible.
Mt Augustus is in the middle of no where. Seriously, its 300 – 400km to the nearest town, and often by gravel or average roads.
It would be so easy for them to rip you off, and they very easily could as you have no where else to go, but I was seriously happy to see that they are very fair. So much so, that I decided we’d go out to their tavern for a meal on our last night to show a bit of extra support, and we had decent, reasonably priced food too.
Where is Mt Augustus Tourist Park?
Mt Augustus Tourist Park is located a couple of kilometres from the Eastern side of Mt Augustus itself. In terms of other towns, its 352 km from Meekatharra, 280km from Paraburdoo, 300km from Gascoyne Junction and ultimately, in the middle of no where!
Can you stay anywhere else?
In the vicinity of the Mt Augustus rock, there’s no where else you can stay, and given what we experienced I didn’t fell too bad about that. It’s a magic place to pull in, and regardless of your opinions on caravan parks its worth a visit.
How close is it to Mt Augustus?
You can see the rock from the camp ground (in fact in one direction its basically all you can see!), and its only a short drive to the closest walk and attraction, with the loop drive being right there too.
What’s the roads like?
You can get to Mt Augustus from 3 directions. From the Paraburdoo end down the Ashburton Downs road conditions were fairly average, and certainly not 2WD suitable when we did it.
From the Kennedy Ranges side the road is much better, and we didn’t do the road to Gascoyne Junction (which is longer than going through Cobra).
We were constantly on the lookout for washouts and holes, and hit a few faster than I would have liked. The 350km from the Paraburdoo end took 6 hours, and that was at the absolute fastest we could have gone.
Heading from Mt Augustus to the Kennedy Ranges via Cobra was a whole lot better experience; the gravel road was mostly always wide enough for two vehicles, very flat with limited dips and washouts and we managed to sit on 90km/h for the large majority of it.
Would we recommend it?
In a heartbeat. I was told that the June school holidays is their peak season and I think you might be wise to avoid that period if possible, but we loved the location, and despite thinking it was going to be your usual caravan park jammed in like sardines, noisy, cars going everywhere and being ripped a new one to stay, it was none of the above.
It was quiet, with amazing staff, plenty to see around the rock, lovely, well cared for grass, chickens running around and a beautiful place overall. We’d highly recommend it, and I love to have my perspective changed so much in a positive way!