Newman, the largest town in Western Australia's Pilbara region, is an active mining town surrounded by classic Australian outback and national parks. Newman Airport is around a 12-minute drive from the Newman CBD, along National Highway 95. Newman is close to the north coast, and is around a 12-hour drive from Perth and a 5-hour drive from the north coast and towns such as Karratha and Port Hedland. Newman will act as your gateway to the many national parks in the region, particularly the Karijini National Park. Newman has some attractions of its own, with Mount Whaleback, the world's largest open-cut iron ore mine.
Start off your trip with a visit to the Newman Visitor Centre; this will provide you with all the information you need during your stay. Find out what parks are having events and what routes would be best for your rental car when driving around the region. Find the best local lookout spots to see the spectacular sunrises and sunsets in the region. As with much of rural Western Australia, stargazing is a popular activity due to the low light pollution in the area.
The national parks offer unforgettable walking trails as well as other activities such as kayaking, fishing, swimming and rock climbing (for the extra adventurous). Newman is perfect for nature and adventure lovers. You won't be uncomfortable in Newman either, with many resources including hotels, shopping centres, bars and restaurants located within the town itself.
Take Your Rental Car to Karijini National Park
Perhaps the most popular location in the Pilbara region, Karijini National Park, is a natural wonder and a must-visit when in the area. Karijini covers over 625,000 hectares, making it Western Australia's second-largest national park. Karijini is simply unlike anywhere else on earth, with mountains, gorges, rivers and waterfalls; it has jaw dropping scenery that will leave you coming back for more. Much of Karijini is accessible by car, with stunning sites just a short walk from car parks and rest stops. If you wish to stretch your legs a little bit more, then Karijini has a wide range of hiking options, from easy looped walks to multi day treks.
Walk one hour from the car park at Dales Gorge, and you can find yourself at Fortescue Falls and Fern Pool. This spring-fed pool is an unforgettable swimming experience. The gorge walls are covered in vegetation and unique flora and fauna, and the waters are crystal clear and incredibly still. It truly is like something out of a fantasy novel, many visitors have claimed it to be the most picturesque place in the entire park, and when you arrive, you will see why.
If you want to stay a little longer, try one of the eco-treats inside the park—these range from camping sites to larger eco-tents complete with electricity and running water.
You will see a variety of animals in the park, from rock wallabies and red kangaroos to small echidnas and lizard species. Certain wildflowers carpet the region during different times of the year, from yellow cassia and wattle to purple mulla-mullas.
More Top Sights in the Region to Take a Car Hire
Karijini National park isn't the only stunning natural site in the region, with many more rock pools, aboriginal art sites and river lookouts to explore. Drive two hours to the Wanna Munna Aboriginal rock carvings. Evidence suggests traditional owners have occupied the area for over 40,000 years. Many of the waterholes are spiritually significant and contain rock art and rock carvings. It is a fascinating insight to see these carvings and artwork. Wanna Munna, in particular, has a vast array of detailed petroglyphs.