"The Pilbara Cobra"

Marble Bar, Pilbara,
Western Australia


Marble Bar, 152 km east of Port Hedland, promotes itself as "Australia's Hottest Town", that is 'hot' as in temperature, not as in lively. Marble Bar is certainly not a very lively place, which is just about right for film crews and herpers!
The name of the town came from a seam of jasper which was mistaken for marble, on the nearby Coongan River.

Map of Marble Bar on the Coongan River
click to enlarge


Marble Bar is a gold town, established in in the 1890s when the gold rush peaked its population at 5,000 although today it is home to fewer than 200 souls. The most famous landmark is the Ironclad Hotel, contructed of corrugated iron sheeting. We initially stayed at the Marble Bar Roadhouse but transferred to the Ironclad later.


"Australia's Hottest Town" - Marble Bar in the Pilbara
A moment on humour - frying an egg on the streets of Marble Bar

It is said that it is so hot that you can "fry an egg on the streets of Marble Bar". We filmed a sequence where I walked down the high street trying shop doors and not gaining entry. I then shrugged, pulled an egg from my pocket, cracked it on the curb-stone and sat down besides it, variously reading a newspaper and playing patience while I waited for the egg to fry in the sun. Nothing happened, and Brian walks over.

Brian: "What are you doing Mark ?"

Mark: "I'm frying an egg on the streets of Marble Bar"

Brian: "That's in the summer!" and under his breath "Daft Pom".

Humour is a marvellous vehicle and something we tried to use as often as possible.
The dog in the photo walked over and ate the raw egg.

We did not herp much around Marble Bar itself although we did acquire a second Black-headed python (Aspidites melanocephalus) brought into the Ironclad Hotel. We now had two of these large reptile-eating pythons to release.