© Belinda Gibson 2013

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

01

Who is Meentheena dedicated to?

People who have served in the Australian military forces, as well as Para-military veterans who have served in peace keeping forces, police, fire and rescue, ambulance officers and volunteers, State Emergency Services volunteers, etc.  [Basic proof of service may be required]  The above is to be a guideline criteria only - all service personnel will be considered.

02

Where is Meentheena, how do we get there and when is the best time to visit?

The general location is 5km off Rippon Road, 75km East of Marble Bar, Pilbara Region, WA.  The best time to visit is between April and September (the "season").

For further information see our "Location" page under our "Home" page index.

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04

Fuel availability.

The nearest fuel - diesel, petrol and LPG is available at Marble Bar 75km away (service may be erratic).  Please bring sufficient fuel for your needs.  We do not carry any fuel beyond our immediate needs due to the constant danger of bush fires.

Requirements for vehicle and towing equipment.

Generally, your vehicle should be in very good condition.  From the turn-off from Rippon Hill Road to the camp and all other roads/tracks are unsealed and at times can be quite rough.  We endeavour at all times of the season to have the access track to the Main Camp site available to two-wheel drive vehicles with caravans.  However, you must contact the Camp Host (see "Location" or "Contact" for details) via mobile phone, SMS or email several days in advance to check the condition of the track as unseasonal rain can make it suitable for four-wheel drive only very quickly.
ALL tracks outside the Main Camp site are four-wheel drive only.  The Camp Host (if not busy) may be able to transport you to the nearest permanent billabong, but he should not be considered as a taxi-driver as this is not part of his responsibilities.
Caravans of any description may not be taken on any track outside the Main Camp area.  Camper trailers and suitable dual wheel motor homes have limited access along the river to some 20 camp sites.  Please explore first prior to taking towed vehicles past the Main Camp site.
You must check in and out with the Camp Host or you are not covered by our insurance - you are on your own.
The Camp Host has "site mud maps" and Hema maps for sale (highly recommended for serious four wheel drive adventurers (tracks only allowed - no off road).

05

What are the costs for camping and entry at Meentheena?

In an endeavour to make the camp somewhat self-sustaining the following charges will apply (subject to annual review):
Overnight stay for Members $15.00 per vehicle (car) with 2 (two) occupants.
*  If in excess of 2 (two) occupants) in vehicle $5.00 per head extra
 
Overnight stay for Non-Members $20.00 per vehicle (car) with 2 (two) occupants.
*  If in excess of 2 (two) occupants in vehicle $5.00 per head per night extra
 
*  Both payable prior to camping in advance
These charges do not cover anywhere near our costs, so donations and memberships are gratefully received by the Camp Host and forwarded to Head Office. Eligible persons may join the association on arrival and camp at Members rates. 
The Camp Host can be contacted via the following:
Email: veteransretreats.wa.inc@gmail.com
Camp Host Phone: 0497 004 491
The charges cover your use of all facilities including drinking water access 24/7, use of shade sites at Main Camp (first in basis), use of all facilities including showers and composting toilet at Main Camp site, all the fish you can catch and eat on site, Emergency, First Aid, Ambulance from Marble Bar (charges may apply) and Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) evacuation services, (charges may apply).

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07

What are we going to see and experience at Meentheena?

This rugged country is waiting for you to explore, set up camp alongside a billabong, fish in the morning for crafty catfish, swim during the heat of the day or just relax in the shade of the trees overhanging the water.

Sit on a hill and watch the sunrise or sunset - they are always incredible.  You need to look for the flora but you will be rewarded when you come across the various plants and wildflowers found in the region.  Fossicking for gemstones and gold panning is a favourite past-time and we are told that rough diamonds have been found in the area (check out the river beds).

If you plan to go walking, don't go alone but enjoy the company of friends as you quietly wander along the billabongs and check out the myriad of birds and wildlife.

Feral donkeys and all animals are protected.  The local cattle will walk through your camp at any time they feel like a drink and are not really alarmed by visitors - please use your common sense and be alert at all times.

Listen to the silence... Breathe deeply and enjoy the fresh air.  The early morning bird songs are a treat.  Billabong water is not recommended for drinking without boiling first.  Drinking water is available without cost at the Main Camp.

This is a vast area.  While the retreat covers only some 25km of the river and is 3km wide, the whole station is some ----------- km square.  Outside the retreat area we have no control of track conditions so you must be careful and least have good communications and UHF radio.

The environment is extreme outback, wild pristine and incredibly dangerous for the unwary - please take care.

What facilities are available?
The Main Camp has 24 hour solar battery/generator power, good drinking water, showers and toilet facilities.  There is shade for caravans, campers or tents.  We have lots of space to move or camp out of the way and avoid everyone if that's what you want.  If you're not feeling well and need some air-conditioned comfort, settle down in an en-suite donga.  If you're car or van needs some work done (DIY), park in the big open work shed and do what needs to be done.  There is a camp kitchen with wash-up and cooking facilities currently being upgraded to a decent standard with refrigeration soon available.

08

What health facilities are available?
General First Aid equipment is available on site.
The nearest ambulance service is at Marble Bar (charges may apply) and RFDS evacuation services available if deemed necessary for emergency situations (charges may apply).

Veterans Retreats of Western Australia Incorporated