Mount Newman, Western Australia
Mount Newman, or just plain Newman, is at the heart of WA’s famous, iron-rich Pilbara region. Located 1200km north of Perth, the coast is 450km at Port Hedland. It’s hot out here. In summer the average maximum is 39C – and it normally exceeds 38C. In winter it’s 23C.
While Newman is deep inside WA’s red desert country, it’s actually quite a modern town. It’s home to about 5000 people and most of them are there for one thing – mining. The community itself is only 50 years old, having been founded when iron ore was discovered in the area.
It’s a well-resourced town, with a shopping mall, a couple of smaller shopping centres,
several hotels, bars and restaurants, an airport and, importantly, a town swimming pool. There are childcare services, a recreation centre, sports ovals and clubs, medical facilities and a hospital.
Newman also services the smaller communities around it, so it tends to have more facilities. For more information on Newman, what’s there, and even a short video on the community, check out the Shire of East Pilbara’s Newman page on its website.
Or check out the Newman visitor centre.
The big employer in town is BHP Billiton’s Mount Whaleback iron ore operation. It’s legendary for its size – the 5km long and 1.5km wide pit is the largest open-cut iron ore mine in the world. BHP exports 124 million tonnes of ore from the Pilbara region each year.
In WA, at least, even the name Mount Whaleback has pretty good recognition with the general public – even if they’re not 100 per cent sure which company owns it. The ore is sent by (incredibly long) trains to Port Hedland, from where it is shipped.
Visit our Living and Working in Australia section for guides to more Key Industry Locations.