In Western Australia the people head North in the winter. The general destinations range from the beaches of Exmouth and Broome to the inland national parks like Karijini.
Karijini was to be our evential destination but Meekatharra was to be our first.
So have you ever heard of Meeka?
Meekatharra is a small town 800 kilometres north-east of Perth and (according to Wikipedia and perhaps untrue) is the local Yamatji peoples' word meaning 'place of little water' - a fairly accurate assessment.
It is also known as a place of little gold, and it is the mining of gold that has ensured Meeka's surival (and was essential in its founding in the 1890s). It now survives as an important regional centre for the vast pastoral and mining areas of the Murchison.
Two weeks ago today my older brother Josh and I set off for Meeka from Perth. The destination of this nine hour drive was the house of our aunty and uncle (and cousins) who live in Meekatharra. Another uncle, aunty and cousin(s) arrived from Perth up a few hours later. Over the next few days we explored the shire office, lookout, granite boulders and open pit mines that sum up the town attractions. Other attractions include the three pubs and gold prospecting.
After a three night stay with family Josh and I set off for the gorge-ous Karijini National Park (see what I did there?).
While I edit the many photos I took in Karijini, here are some images of Meeka and surrounds...
Meekatharra in a badly stitched panorama. You can see an open pit mine on the right.
The famous outdoor cinemas of Meekatharra. Don't worry about it raining, just worry about the stinkbugs...
The granites boulder rock things at sunset. One of the sights near Meeka.
Another view of the granites.
A vehicle leaves, on the road to Meeka.
We mucked around with some light painting while waiting for a lift.
Big thankyou to Josh for being my photography assistant, facing the wild dogs of Meeka and the cold night with me. The granites were painted in with a handheld torch.
After looking at images taken at Meeka, I was able to improve my capturing of the stars at Karijini thanks to this post: http://www.lonelyspeck.com/how-to-make-an-amazing-photo-of-the-milky-way-galaxy/
The photographer (right) and his assistant (left). Under the stars, taken at f1.4 with an adapted Pentax 50mm f1.4 lens.
A portrait of Meeka: Blue skys, houses and greens, roadtrains, mines, red dirt.
An open pit mine known as 'five mile' by the locals. Curiously, it is located about 8 kilometres from Meekatharra.
A low angle view of the mine achieved by walking down to the bottom of the mine.
Some of these mines are supposed to be good swimming spots but personally I wouldn't be too keen on it...
The colours in those rocks are pretty incredible though.
Part of Meekatharra at sunset with the outdoor cinemas on the other side of the Great Northern Highway.
So that's the little town of Meeka. A post on Karijini should be up within the next week or so. Also, check out Facebook for I will upload some photos of Karijini there as well.
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