Often described as an oasis in the desert, Tom Price has a modern shopping centre. The town was judged overall state winner of the Tidy Towns Competition in 1977, 1988 and 1992. It was also
placed either first or second in its category in 1980, 1983, 1989, 1991 and 1993.
Sporting facilities in the town are excellent and cater for a wide range of sports. There are tennis, basketball, net ball and squash courts, as well as three ovals, a lawn bowls green, an indoor cricket
centre, a swimming pool and a golf course.
During the summer months (wet season) it is hot with mostly clear days and an average temperature of 35C. The highest recorded temperature in Tom Price was 46.7C, but it can be much higher
in the full sun and workers on rail maintenance and road construction are one group who often experience 50C. plus.
The annual average rainfall is 330 mm, but more may be experienced depending on the cyclone pattern during the wet season.
Winter months are very pleasant with daytime temperatures around 23C, however the nights can be as low as 0C.
Tom Price is well catered for accommodation wise. Visitors can choose between the hotel, the lodge or the caravan park.
Like Newman, Tom Price is a modern mining town, not a quaint old fashioned town like many in the wheat belt and south west. Most towns in the north west are relatively modern
and lack the country charm of older settlements.
One of the big attractions near Tom Price is the Karijini National Park. This area is one of the most beautiful and striking in Australia. Anyone who visits the north west
and doesn't go to Karijini hasn't seen anything.
The oddly named Mount Nameless actually does have a name. The Aborigines call it 'Jarndrunmunhna' and it is the highest mountain in W.A. (1128 metres) to have vehicle access. There is also a walk trail starting at the caravan park which takes about 2.5 hours to complete.
(Thanks to: Chantelle, Casual Records Officer, Tom Price. Who helped in compiling this information.)
In 1952 Langley Hancock flew over the area and saw places where large deposits of iron ore were
located. After surveying the area, Hamersley Iron was founded and the richest deposit of iron ore in the world has since been mined there.
Construction of the first 250 houses in what was to become the town of Tom Price commenced in 1965.
As the town is sometimes subject to cyclonic conditions the houses are built to cyclone proof standards and may be offered to Hamersley Iron employees for purchase when they are first employed
by the company.
There are now over 1200 homes in the town.
Located at the edge of the Hamersley Ranges, 747 metres above sea level. Tom Price is the highest town in Western Australia.
The town of Tom Price (gazetted in 1964) was named after Thomas Moore Price,
an American raw minerals surveyor and Vice President of Kaiser Steel, who was involved in early feasibility studies.
After viewing some of the ore deposits, Tom Price is reported to have said: 'God made men out of a bit of dust and if you cannot make some money out of the mountains of ore I have seen so far,
then our very God would have wasted his time.'
An enthusiastic supporter of plans to develop the vast iron ore deposits of the Pilbara, he played a key role in the establishment of the industry which has seen enormous benefits to the state and
nation including thousands of jobs and the construction of towns like the one that bears his name. (Tom Price died one day after Burns and Whitcher made the discovery of the major ore body.)
When the ore body was first located there was some consternation as it lay some 40 kilometres outside the temporary mining reserve held by C.R.A. but only 1 kilometre from a temporary reserve
that had been held by B.H.P. (a competitor.)
TALL TALES AND TRUE
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Mount Nameless, Karijini, Kings lake, Mine site tours.
BUILDINGS OF NOTE
State : Central Kimberley-Pilbara
Federal : Durack
Postcode : 6751
Local Government : Shire of Ashburton
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