Meekatharra
Collage of Meekatharra.

The 1913 edition of 'The Adelaide Advertiser' quoted Mr R. Prior, retiring manager of the Fenian Mines at Meekathara, as saying "Never has the district been so prosperous as it is at present. The Fenian still heads the list of producers, and at the present time about 3000 tons of its ore is being treated monthly. Sufficient ore is blocked out in the various levels of the property to maintain the present rate of production for at least two or three years."

Meekatharra had only been established for 20 years old in 1913 and the numerous gold rushes over the years wouldn't have sustained the town if it were not for its central location. In the 1920's Meekatharra was the heart of the Murchison region in Western Australia and provided employment in the mining, pastoral and shearing industries. It was the end of the railway line and shipped wool and beef from 1910 onwards. The rail line closed in 1978 but it had proved invaluable in accommodating huge numbers of cattle from the Kimberley. The animals had been driven down the Canning Stock Route before making their way to Meekatharra to be loaded onto south bound trains.

Meekatharra has played an import role in remote aviation over the years. The Royal Flying Doctor Service established a base in 1935 which remains in operation today. During World War 2 the U.S. Airforce built a massive runway over 2km long which is used as a diversionary runway for Perth Airport. To quote 'World Airport Codes.com' - "Meekatharra airport is a unique airport surrounded by red sand and salt bushes in all directions. It is a true outback airport."

The School of the Air which educates remote school students via UHF radio holds daily class in Meekatharra while Australia's largest solar farm provides power to the town.

Meekatharra is home to about 900 people with 45% describing themselves of indigenous descent. The town has a range of tourist options including a 'Town Heritage Walk' and 'Creek Walk' while three kilometres out of town is the beginning of the Meeka Rangelands Discovery Trail - "...for a fascinating insight into the Indigenous history, nature and cultural heritage of Meekatharra." The Meekatharra Museum hosts local photographs and memorabilia while the surrounding landscape is dotted with the ruins of old towns and mine sites.


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