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Living in Weipa

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  • Living in Weipa

    Does anyone live in or has lived in Weipa? Hubby is applying for a job however the idea of moving there scares the bejesus out of me based on what very very little I know about the place so if love to get some more info and a better idea of the place.
    I'm aware it's really just a base for mining workers and families so I'm not expecting a Westfield or anything [emoji23] However im interested if there's a community vibe and catch ups/playgroups etc What the hospital would be like and the care if we were to have a baby up there, things like doing groceries, cost of groceries, etc. Is there a Coles or is it a small ($$$) independent grocer etc.

    Help please!

  • #2
    I haven't lived in Weipa, but do travel there for work. Just doing the dinner/bath/bed thing and will get back to you. Do you like fishing?


    • #3
      Haven't ever been there but have a look at the link that gives you information about the town.

      It's a long long way from no where. Personally I wouldn't be able to cope in such a small town


      • #4
        First you need to know about the weather. It is the tropics. Right now the weather is amazing (the dry season), but the wet is hot and humid and going 'troppo' is a real thing.

        It is more than a mining town and also services many indigenous cape community and has a tourist industry. There is a supermarket (but I can't remember if it's a Coles or woollies). The hospital is ok, until recently there was no obstetrics and you needed to go to Cairns. I expect that high risk would still end up in Cairns. There is a real community there and would be great for younger kids.

        Road access is restricted in the wet, but OK in the dry. There are a few flights a day to Cairns. This makes freight a bit expensive.

        I grew up in a small country town and think that Weipa would be OK to live in. Depending on what you are used to it could be a bit of a culture shock.


        • #5
          My eldest son lived on Weipa for 18 months while working for Rio. I flew up to see him frequently as he had only just turned 18 when he started up there.

          There is a Woolworths, it is serviced by a weekly barge. It used to come on Wednesdays so that was the day for the best fresh produce. Food is more expensive as is fuel.

          The 'shopping centre' is VERY limited as are options for eating out - the pubs, bowls club and a cafe at the shops. The shops all shut at noon on Saturday and do not reopen until Monday so being organised is essential.

          Medical facilities are limited, if you had a high risk pregnancy you would definitely need to travel to Cairns. The chemist is also limited in what they hold prescription medicine wise. I had to send (or bring up with me) meds up to DS1 on more than one occasion as the chemist did not have them.

          If you are from a rural or regional area you may not find the transition to hard. If your from a big city you're in for a very rude shock. It is extremely isolated and as PP said the weather is extreme. The build up really does send people 'troppo'.


          • #6
            Weipa is amazing!

            Hi #Mama,

            Weipa is a beautiful little town in a very special part of the World - Cape York!

            It is (like most places) what you make of it. It has a Woolies, Chemist (that has just expanded and stock everything my family has ever needed), a good, clean, but basic hospital (i.e. no births here yet). A Tackle World, Mitre 10, Cafe, Butcher's, Bakery, Newsagent, Bowls and Golf Club and a Pub.

            It has a good gov school (P-12) and a new Catholic primary school. A Library, Community Centre/Cafe, a great pool, beaut beaches, great fishing and camping and plenty on offer in the way of team or individual sports (i.e. touch footy, league, netball, squash, tennis, bootcamps, etc.).

            My wife and I have lived here for eight years and we're not going anywhere else anytime soon (certainly not back to a city)! We've had two beautiful kids since being here (two yr old girl and 4 mth old boy) and had quite a few complications and pregnancies prior to them joining us. It just meant having to go to Cairns (and in our case, because of family in the West, going to Perth) for specialists, but everyone has to go out of town for their twelve-week scan and to give birth anyway (and the government pay for this), so it's no big deal and you just factor it in to the cost of living in paradise!

            What more could you want?

            Having said that ... it's also very hot most of the time (dry season is perfect though), it's remote and gets cut-off by road in the wet season. It's dusty and there's plenty of bugs like flies and mosquitoes to keep you busy. All but express post deliveries take weeks to get here. It's expensive - multiply the cost of everything by two (multiply the cost of housing by three). You can't swim in the ocean (except for the clearest shallows) or many of the creeks and rivers because of crocs (but there are lots of great fresh-water spots you can swim). Although there is an influx of tourists in the dry and fishing charters, it is basically a one-horse town (mining) and although bauxite is doing well, anything can happen and if it goes pear-shaped you could be without a job pretty quick and if you've invested in a home here you could end-up with a very expensive fishing shack.

            So ... there's pros and cons.

            If you like the outdoors lifestyle (fishing, camping, 4x4ing, quadding, hunting, boating, exploring, etc.) you'll love living up here!

            If you're more a city-slicker who needs trendy restaurants and shops and hussle-and-bussle, you might not.

            Hope that helps.

            Last edited by Crido; 08-07-2016, 11:48.