Albert Tognolini Rest Area; amazing lookout and better camping

Want to spend the night at one of the most stunning lookouts in Australia? Albert Tognolini Rest Area is a truly unbelievable camping and rest area in the Pilbara that is absolutely worth a look.

After grabbing fuel at Auski Roadhouse, we made a pit stop at possibly the best lookout and rest area that I have seen in WA, ever. You’ll find this place just 17 kilometres from Auski Roadhouse heading south, and it’s a short drive to the lookout, which has magnificent views over the incredible rocky scenery, big hills and amazing colours.

We’ve found rest areas are often bland and boring, but this is the other end of the spectrum, and I reckon its the best lookout we’ve been to in WA by a long shot.

What’s funny is we’ve often commented on how beautiful this particular part of the journey between Newman and Port Hedland is, not knowing there’s a rest area that’s even better, right in the middle of it! We’d literally driven right past this place a handful of times and never even knew it existed!

Albert Tognolini Rest Stop
We pulled in for a bite of lunch and were blown away by the views
Enjoying the views
We got some overcast weather, but this place is unreal

Where is it?

You’ll find the Albert Tognolini Rest Area about 2 hours North West of Newman, along the Great Northern Highway. When the scenery starts to get good, you are getting close. It’s also just near Auski Roadhouse, that you’ll drive past not long after going past the turn off to Albert Tognolini Rest Area.

A lot of people stay here to visit Karijini National Park, which is only 70km away (to Dales Campground)

How big is the area?

What impressed us even more was the fact that there are more places to stop on your own than you can poke a stick at. On your way in, instead of going to the lookout head to the right, and you’ll follow a gravel track up the range for what seems like ever.

Eventually it goes to a narrower 4WD track, and we went up a fair bit before finding a clearing for ourselves to set up and have lunch. I suspect it goes much further, but anywhere close to the edge looking north is nothing short of mind blowing.

Tracks at Albert Tognolini
The track just keeps going, and going and going

Can you camp at Albert Tognolini Rest Area?

People have used this as a base to camp at for many years, and when we drove through it was very obvious its still being used. I did read some comments about it being closed for campers, but the road is very much open, it was clean and looked well maintained, and we counted at least 15 setups making use of it as a rest stop.

I would get updated clarification from the relevant shire before staying here, but watching the sun set and rise would be unbelievable. The colour of the red rock when the sun sets or comes back up is just insane, and I would have loved to have spent a night there.

3 weeks ago, main roads have come back and said its still open as a 24 hour rest stop, but you need to avoid any areas that are closed off.

Camped at Albert Tognolini
Lots of people still camp here, but check before you do

We just stopped for lunch, and had a clearing that was reasonable for the kids in terms of them not being easily able to fall off the edge, but some sites are certainly not young kid friendly.

Is it big rig friendly?

We saw some monster caravans set up here, and you’d have no issues towing most vans in and turning around when you weren’t happy with it. I wouldn’t take them up the last 4WD section, but you should have no issues finding somewhere to pull in safely, and easily.

Access to Albert Tognolini
There’s plenty of room for big rigs to drive in and turn around

What amenities are there?

There are no amenities here, so bring your own toilet, water, and whatever else you need.

Road noise

You can see the road that has been cut through the range here, and the closer you camp to the road the more noise you’d hear. It would quieten down over night, but it’s a seriously busy road regardless and I’d be finding a spot further away if possible.

Heading out of Auski
Heading out of Auski takes you right past the rest stop, although you are 2km off the road

Stop for lunch at the very least

I’ve often commented on how stunning the drive is from past Newman to Auski Roadhouse, not realising that there is a stunning lookout you can pull into, and even rest your head at. I’d go as far as to say this is the single best lookout that is quickly and easily accessible to all vehicles in WA. It really is nothing short of stunning, and at the very least, pull in to take a look.

Stop for a look at least
You should absolutely stop in here and check it out

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  1. Hey Trish,

    Thanks for your comment, and interesting question. I don’t think we ever set our awning up on our current hybrid, or the soft floor prior in the Pilbara. We generally try and camp somewhere with a bit of shade, or if that isn’t possible just use the existing shade of the camper. With the sun being down nice and low even during the day if you park with the kitchen facing south you’ve got a good chance of not needing the awning at all.

    That said, you can generally find places where you’d be able to get a screw in peg to work, and worst case just find a big, heavy rock and tie it off to that.

    All the best

  2. Trish Ford says:

    Hi Aaron! Great website and blogs – thanks for passing on information! Just a question for the hard rock in the Pilbara (and other places!). How do you peg out your awning for instance in these places? We have a Trackabout camper trailer and whilst the main bit is free standing we like to put out guy ropes for the awning over the kitchen area when it is windy and also to peg down the rest of the annexe tent if we choose to use it. Looking for your thoughts please!
    We have used the Pajero before now if we can get it parked alongside the set up! But not always possible…………….