Eighty Mile Beach and Parked at Pardoo
Monday 8th July
We headed off this morning into more uncharted territory.Eighty Mile Beach was a spot that everyone had told us was a ‘Must See’. So off we went.
We braved the 10 km of dirt road (with corrugations) and arrived at Eighty Mile Beach Caravan Park ($34.00 unpowered, there weren’t any powered ones left) at around 1.00pm and went for a walk.
As we came over the top of the dune, we realised why it is a must see. It is gorgeous.
The beach stretches for miles (probably eighty of them) and is made up almost entirely of shells!
It is a real 4WD and fisher folk place. We walked along the beach for a while. No-one was swimming and we decided that was probably a good idea as we had seen at least 2 fishermen who had caught small sharks!!!!
We came back to Indie, did some laundry, took a shower, chatted to the neighbours and then we headed off to the concert!
The concert was run in aid of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and all the ‘entertainers’ were people who were staying at the caravan park.
It was OK, but honestly, I have been to some School Concerts that were better.
It had a nice atmosphere though and there were heaps of people there. I expect they collected quite a bit for the RFDS before the day was done.
After the concert we wound our way up to the top of the dune to watch the sunset. There was a fair bit of cloud cover and the view did not disappoint!!!
We went back to camp and the neighbours, Ray and Marilyn invited us over for sundowners.
During the course of the conversation, they mentioned that they were from Redcliff and I said I knew where that was because I used to be a member of Peninsula Camera Club. Well, you would not believe it….so were they!!! It turns out they joined up about 5 minutes after I left (or may be 6 months). Anyway, small world!
Ron and I were undecided whether to stay another day or not.
Tuesday 9th July
We decided to move to a powered site where hopefully we would have phone and internet. We have stopped now at Pardoo Roadhouse ($30.00 per night).
When we pulled in, we had internet and phone coverage coming out our ears…..now we are camped up, it plays when it feels like it!!!!!
We went and paid for our second night here; it was only $26.00. Apparently it goes down every night.Sadly, I spent our savings on a Mint flavoured Drumstick.
Wednesday 10th July
Today is very windy; it would blow dogs off chains.
We had a quiet, kick back, lazy day; in fact we were so lazy we bought hot chips from the roadhouse to have with our chicken and gravy that Ronnie cooked for tea.
Tomorrow we head off again.
Moving to Marble Bar via Port Headland
Thursday 11th JulyWe set off with best intentions and drove 71km to (615) De Grey River.
It was the loveliest free camp spot but all the good positions on the actual river had already been snaffled so we decided to go into Port Headland.
Along the way, the scenery was pretty much the same, fairly flat but in some places there were small hills and just acres and acres of wattle.
As we got closer, it became a bit more hilly but still very flat for the most part.
Port Headland is very much dominated by the Port (obviously) and mining.
Some people have a sense of humour with these workers helmets placed on top of termite mounds!!!
BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto signs are every where.
After much thought and the fact that the caravan park cost $54.00 we decided to grab some groceries, backtrack a little and head off to Marble Bar.
Again, the area is incredibly flat and there is a lot of water lying around from recent rain in the area.
I had just finished commenting to Ron that the water would not want to be much higher, then bingo, there it was, right over the road in front of us!!!!
Luckily there was a little Toyota Ute in front. Honestly, Toyota should never go broke. There are thousands of these little miners’ trucks everywhere.
Even though the creek was flowing quite deeply on one side, there were still a lot of dry bits on the other – not to mention a pelican surveying his domain!
It was getting on to dusk as we negotiated our way through yet another herd of wandering cows.
The colours in the East Pilbara hills were beautiful in the soft pastels of approaching sun set.
We arrived at (608) Des Streckfuss Rest Area, 120km from Port Headland just in time for sun downers.
We met the neighbours.
Nigel and Nancy are from Manly in Queensland.
Charlie and Ann come from North Ryde in Sydney.
They were very friendly and we had a good chat finding out about Marble Bar, where to go and what to see.
Friday 12th July
We have decided to remain here today
We are camped on the top part of the area with views of the hills all around.
However, further investigation did reveal that there is a creek down the back. Like De Grey River, however, all the spots right on the water had been snaffled. We consoled ourselves by saying there would be too many mozzies and biting things anyway!!!
It was really pretty on the water but the sites were very uneven and there were really only these two that had reasonable views.
I played around with my water colour paints for a while and had a bit of fun. Ronnie finished reading yet another novel and all in all it was a very pleasant way to spend a day.
Saturday 13th July
We drove to Marble Bar, the ‘hottest town in Australia’ and not just because hotties like Ron and I have arrived but because for 161 consecutive days leading up to 20 April 1924, the temperature never dropped below 37.8 degrees centigrade.
Marble Bar is named after a local deposit of mineral first thought to be Marble, but which later turned out to be Jasper.
We did all the tourist sites. After we drove through the main street of town, we scooted off down more dirt roads.
We followed a sign which said Jasper Deposit.
And while it was quite interesting, and it really did look like marble, let’s just say we were extremely underwhelmed!!!!
Not to be put off, we then drove on to the Flying Fox Lookout.
We finally arrived at the Tourist Information Centre at the old Comet Gold Mine (which no longer operates). The 75 metre high chimney was once recognised as the highest in the Southern Hemisphere.
It is the only Information Centre I have visited that is 7.5km past the town!!!!!
Anyway, they sent us backtracking to the real Marble Bar.
According to the brochure ‘an extraordinary colourful Jasper Bar crosses the Coongan River just west of town. It was this Jasper Bar that Nathaniel Cooke mistook for marble that gave rise to the name Marble Bar.’
There is a $10,000.00 fine for removing Jasper from here and the underwhelming site we visited first (that we thought was ‘Marble Bar’) is where you are allowed to take samples from.
This spot is the real deal and is absolutely spectacular!!!
The colours are unreal and look even better when they are wet.
We scrambled around, over the Jasper and walked along the river.
It was amazing.
After that we moved on to Chinamans Pool for lunch.
We are staying in the Marble Bar Holiday Park ($38.00) tonight and moving on again tomorrow.