We left Carnarvon, after staying two nights, and traveled over 600kms directly to Karratha. The landscape and scenery starts to change dramatically, the first red dirt appears and it all becomes flat, vast open space, with low green bushes once again, however, with the complete absence of mountains until we are 50 kms outside of Karratha. Some of these hills have a spooky resemblance to Uluru (a sacred indigenous mountain in the desert of Middle Australia) – or maybe it is just the late afternoon sun. This area is called the Pilbara area. As we have Gypsy, the outlaw’s dog, we are limited in seeing the National parks, so we drove past Exmouth and Coral Bay, on the way to Karratha.We arrive at Karratha, passing a few natural gas processing plants and lots of mining vehicles with large flags. We are well and truly in the heartland of oil, gas and mIning, where everything seems to be owned by Rio Tinto or BHP. Karratha is next to a major exporting port, Dampier, and this city seems to be all grit and industrial business. The large infrastructure within the townships is the glue that holds it all together for Australian exports. You can see why the fossil fuel and mining industry (Copper, Iron Ore, Gold, Salt, etc) would be so against the emerging new “free energy” industries making a slow headway into their futures (wind farms, solar etc).
We drove up to view a little town north of Karratha, called Roebourne, which turned out to be a small community for local miners and local indigenous people.
The outlaws (Julz folks) did not want to explore any further the towns of point Samson or Cossack, so we headed back to camp for the afternoon – and some rest and R & R.
We left Karratha to a striking sunrise morning and headed further north to view Port Hedland, about 180 kms north of Karratha. The huge four carriage long road vehicles and the “as far as the eye can see” iron ore trains were prolific as we headed into Port Hedland. BHP and Rio Tinto certainly have a large presence and the port was full of large cargo ships loading Iron Ore and other minerals being shipped, mainly, to China and the broader Asia.
We stopped at the local information office at Port Hedland yo ask about our next leg of our journey. We took their advice and spent two nights at Pardoo Station, a working cattle station that has access to the Marine Park along the coastline of Eighty Mile Beach. We had heard it is a great fishing spot and so after chatting with some experts, we get the tips on the spots to go and fish. Because we are very north of WA the tides are either very high or very low. We find a beaut little creek, Pardoo Creek, which is low ride when we arrive with an incoming high tide. Julz and Ron put a line in and Julz catches a Bream and a Salmon. Very exciting stuff. The funniest part of the day was when Julz slid in the mud, on the river bank, however, we laughed so hard and just covered her more in the slush.
This area of the coast, between Port Hedland and Broome, at this time of year, is perfect weather too. We are at 33° in the day and 24° at night. The ability to witness the amazing array of planet and stars in this area is “to die for”.
Needless to say, we are feeling quite relaxed and with no digital coverage, forces us to not think about social media or phone contact. Digital detox is healthy (especially for me, I am reminded 😜).