Coming to Karratha, Continuing to Cossack and Diverting to Dampier
Saturday 20th July
I told you it was
Resplendent as I was in this elaborate garb, I eventually
changed from my skirt into tracky dacks!!! But I kept the socks!!!!!
The red dust became redder and dustier!
We travelled on to the junction of the North West Coastal
Highway and this is where we decided to go to Karratha.
Ronnie hates the idea of going into a place and coming
out the same way. Therefore, our trip to Karijini National Park took us the
long way round. Now we have to bite the bullet and turn right and go into
Karratha and back out the same way. This is about a 500 km round trip. Nothing
is close to anywhere else over here!!!!!
The colours of the landscape changed quite
The land looked almost like bitumen and it was a dark,
maroon, purple red.
little further on, we came to a mine site. Perhaps it was the minerals in the
soil that had caused the dramatic colour and texture change
Anyway, as we
drove on past the mine, the road went over a bridge and we saw one of the
massive trucks in action.
arrived at (497) Robe River and set up camp. There wasn’t much water about,
probably just enough to breed mosquitos and midges!
Truly, we have camped under so many bridges, I’m sure I
could get a part in ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’ as the Troll that lived under
I went for a walk and met a couple, Ray and Mary from
Griffith. My Mum came from Griffith and it turns out they know my cousin, Gary.
In fact, it turns out they know him better than I. Last time I saw him, I was
about 8 or 9 years old!!!!!
Sunday 21st July
We are still here. It is a pleasant little spot. There is
nothing to see and not much to do but we are tucked away in a quiet little corner
and we are quite comfortable.
It is cold again this morning and Ronnie had to get up
last night to bring the awning in. It had come up quite windy.
He prepared a delightful brunch of pancakes, bacon and
maple syrup this morning. I am soooooo spoilt!!!!!!
The weather is much the same and I have taken full
advantage of a warm sheltered spot and finished reading my novel.
This afternoon, I set
off in search of a new friend and found the gorgeous Joan.
She was a true delight and with hubby Roy (who was mending the fly
screen and only emerged momentarily) has been travelling since last November. We
chatted about everything and solved most of the world’s problems before a
worried Ronnie came looking for me; I had been gone for nearly three hours!!!
Monday 22nd July
Joan called by to say goodbye. We have decided to stay on
today as well. It is so relaxing.
For a while, I spoke to a lovely young German girl
travelling by herself, then retreated to my latest novel (which I am now more
than half way through!!!). What a wonderful life!!
Tuesday 23rd July
We arrived at Karratha about lunchtime. My friend MacGoo
told me her partner PJ used to work in Karratha and there was nothing there and
boy was he right!!!!
We called at the Visitor Info Centre and the girl there
said there was nothing there as well (including accommodation!!!) It was all
booked out (which was quite a godsend since the Caravan Park was $54.00 per
We decided on 2nights at Cossack and 1 night in Dampier
For the first time on our trip, we paid for water!!!!
We ended up buying about 90 litres.
We then did groceries, bought our first McDonalds since I
don’t know when and left town.
We had read that it was a good idea to buy everything you
need in Karratha as quickly as possible and get out before your wallet
We arrived in Roebourne at the Harding River Caravan Park
($38.50 per night) and set up camp for the next two nights. It is the closest
accommodation to Cossack.
We chatted to a few of the neighbours and went to bed.
After breakfast, we headed off towards Cossack.
We stopped in at Roebourne Jail (now a museum) and had a
is pretty much a ghost town now although it did have a large pearl industry
before it moved to Broome and it was the port for the pastoral industry until
the port became clogged with silt. It also thrived when gold was discovered in
the 1880s. Now there is a lot of restoration work being done to the old
buildings in the town.
When we arrived, we drove up to Tien Tsin lookout. From
there, you can see the town almost in its entirety.
old buildings are fabulous and the Bond Store was housing the 2013 Cossack Art
Awards which had been judged just recently.
The Cossack art Award has a total prize pool of $109,000.
It is the richest, most isolated acquisitive art award of its kind in regional
Australia. It was really great to see.
we saw the art, we drove to the site of the old jetty and up to the lookout
over Settlers Beach.
Finally, we had a glimpse into our possible future.
When we finish travelling, we can install an upper level sundeck, with
picket fencing on top of Indie and enjoy the Utopian dream.
Thursday 25th July
We drove to Dampier, home of the Red Dog memorial
The land is very flat and low.
Even the telegraph poles are in water.
went to the Information Centre, parked in a patch of Sturts Desert Peas and
sought directions to the Red Dog statue only to be told we had driven straight
past it on the way in!
were informed that we should take comfort in the fact that we were the second
lot that day and almost everyone coming into Dampier misses it and has to go
Armed with new information regarding its location, (and
directions to other points of interest), we enjoyed a quiet cup of coffee out
on the deck overlooking the harbour. Later we found the elusive statue that has
been erected to the memory of Red Dog who died November 21st, 1979.
made our way to Dampier Transit Caravan Park ($28.00 per night) and set up. Then
we headed off to Deep Gorge to see the Petroglyphs.
To get there, we drove out along Hearson’s Cove Road (mainly
gravel) and turned right at the Fertiliser Plant onto the even more gravelly
track until we arrived at the almost impassable walking track which disappeared
entirely after about 30 metres.
I have never clambered over so many rocks. The creek was
lovely and so clear and the landscape very imposing with its great stacks of
I can remember when you tucked your skirt in your knickers when wading at the
beach or riding push bikes and this modification worked just as well in
negotiating streams and rock piles!
Since the place looked like no one had ever been there,
we were relieved to see a family group emerging near us. They said the place
did in fact exist and not to give up. So we pushed on.
are rock art images made (not by painting) by carving, pounding, abrading and
scoring. In the Burrup Peninsula area there is estimated to be 500,000 to
1,000,000 petroglyphs with about 1,000 of them here at Deep Gorge.
was really hard slog to get to them. It was really hot and the ground underfoot
was entirely stone and creek crossings. We were even tempted to turn back at
one stage. I must say we were not overly impressed. Many of the motifs were
hard to discern but I’m still glad we did it.
From there we drove
up to North West Shelf Venture.
Built in 1984, and covering approximately 200 hectares, the
Woodside operated North West Gas Venture facilities constitute Australia’s
largest oil and gas resource development and currently account for more than 40
per cent of Australia’s oil and gas production. (You can tell I went to the
North West Shelf Visitors Centre!)
Our final outing in
Dampier is tonight. We are going to see ‘Staircase to the Moon’. No it is not a
theatrical production or mega movie, it is a natural phenomenon. When the full
moon rises over the mud flats at particular times of the month, the reflection
caused appears to be a staircase leading to the moon. It is really built up as
a ‘must see’ here and in other places. We missed it in Broome so were
determined to see it this time. We travelled out along the gravel road again to
Hearson’s Cove (a recommended viewing area) and arrived at the beach (along
with about 40 or 50 car loads of other keen tourists) and settled in for the
In the beginning, it did look a bit like lines in the
reflection across the mud flats but I do think there needs to be a lot of
imagination called into play before it could be classified as a stairway!
But it did look pretty specky!
We are leaving Dampier in the morning and heading back to
(497) Robe River.
It has not been our best break with break being probably
an appropriate description. In the past few days, we have broken the hose
fitting, table legs, electric lead, radio, Ron’s wet pack, aerial, Ron’s chair,
smoke detector, side mirror on Indie, cigarette lighter and the last straw came
when we sat down for sundowners and found the wine had gone off!!!!!!!!!!