Tom Price, Western Australia
About 1500km north of Perth, Tom Price is controlled by mining giant, Rio Tinto. Located inland, in the heart of the Pilbara region, Tom Price is reportedly one of the most affluent non-metropolitan regions in Australia. That’s thanks to the high wages paid to the bulk of the town’s 5000 or so residents.
It’s a beautiful place, close to the Karijini and Millstream national parks and settled at the base of Mount Nameless. Tom Price is actually the highest town in WA – at 747 metres above sea level. This location makes it popular with tourists. The average temperature is 35C, but it can get up to 45C on hot summer days.
The community is said to be very sports-oriented, perhaps because the average age of residents is 29. There are also great sporting facilities from ovals and courts to a gym and an Olympic-sized swimming pool to a motocross and BMX track. It also has a strong arts scene – particularly painters and photographers – often inspired by the local landscape. Tom Price has two primary schools, a high school and a TAFE college.
The town has a major supermarket, a hospital, hotels, restaurants, a library and major banks. For more information on what’s available in the town, check the Shire of Ashburton’s website.
The major employer is Rio Tinto’s Mount Tom Price mine, which has the capacity to produce about 28 million tonnes of iron ore a year.
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