The eerie Australian ghost town tourists refuse to stop visiting – even though 2000 people have died there and the air is so toxic just breathing it could kill you
- Tourists are flocking to Wittenoom in Western Australia despite health warnings
- The town was taken off maps due to fatally high levels of asbestos in the air
- Families and groups of friends are pictured in the former mining town
- ‘Extreme tourists’ are seen posing with run down cafes and abandoned homes
- Lands Minister Ben Wyatt said there were ‘fatal consequences’ to visiting
Authorities are begging tourists to stay out of a town in Western Australia, saying just breathing the air there could kill you.
Wittenoom was taken off maps and disconnected from the power grid after high levels of asbestos in the air caused the death of thousands of miners.
Despite warning signs posted all around, tourists are still flocking to Wittenoom, a former mining town about 300km inland of Port Hedland.
In a form of ‘extreme tourism’, visitors are flocking to Wittenoom to photograph the run-down Doc Holiday’s Cafe, the gem shop with a caved in roof, abandoned cars and homes, and the barren land it all sits on.
Tourists continue to flock to an abandoned mine in Western Australia (pictured), despite the town being so heavily contaminated with asbestos thousands of people have died
Wittenoom has been taken off maps and disconnected from the power grid, but defiant tourists continue to visit
The town was left abandoned after the asbestos mine closed in 1966, leaving behind 3million tonnes of residue
Warning signs surround the town, but those desperate for an Instagram shot appear to pay no attention
The images show families holidaying, groups of friends camping out, and tourists swimming in a nearby lake – sometimes with their pets.
Many are also sharing pictures of the warning sign advising them not to enter.
Most don’t mention in their captions the deadly contaminants in the air, or reference the issue at all.
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Lands, Ben Wyatt, told Nine Honey there was still a terrifying amount of asbestos in the air, and the town would never again be safe to visit.
Ironically the warnings, noting the high levels of asbestos in the air could cause cancer or lung disease, feature heavily in Instagram shots of the area
The former mining town is popular with ‘extreme tourists’, who travel to physically dangerous places for kicks
He said when the Wittenoom mine closed in 1966, there was three million tonnes of asbestos residue – known as tailings – left behind in the gorge and surrounding area.
‘Exposure to a single fibre of these tailings could prove fatal,’ he said.
Mr Wyatt said no amount of money or time would allow the town to be cleaned to a point where it would be acceptable for human habitation.
‘I have a simple message for anyone thinking of travelling to Wittenoom. Don’t,’ he said.
‘These warnings signs are not there for decoration or to add your Instagram collection. They are serious warnings about serious health consequences.
‘I can’t stress enough that it is particularly foolish to travel to Wittenoom. There are plenty of gorges in WA which do not bring with them the threat of a fatal consequences.’
One man is seen posing in front of the sign on the edge of town, warning of the dangers within
This couple captioned their image ‘rolling in the blue’, which may have been a reference to the blue asbestos which was mined in Wittenoom