Thursday, 2 September 2010

Port Hedland to Point Samson

We were able to get a site at the caravan park in Port Hedland so decided to stay and have a look around and top up our supplies.

Port Hedland isn't a tourist town, it's an iron ore mining town with most of the population working for mining companies. Successful mining has led to a surge of population in the area which is the largest in the Pilbara. High rental prices have lead to many workers living in cabins in the local caravan parks. There are "help wanted" signs posted outside just about every business in town from restaurants to retail. I found it humorous to see so many people walking around town and in the shops wearing flouro safety clothes.

The port is the largest in Australia in terms of tonnage. Iron ore is transported from throughout the Pilbara region to Port Hedland by trains that are several kilometers long (I'd hate to get stuck at that railway crossing!). Once at Port Hedland massive conveyors load the ships for export.

A local park with great views of port operations.

Tugs on either side of a massive ore ship pushing and pulling to assist in guiding the ship out of port.

China bound

We are still making our way toward Karijini National Park, and the next day we headed off in that general direction with no fixed destination planned. We made a pittstop at the Whim Creek Hotel and ran into Dave and Bronwyn, a couple that we originally met in Mataranka, over 1500 kilometers away. We also met up in Darwin and Derby and no doubt will cross paths again.

Cossack was our next stop where we had a look at the abandoned pioneer town. It was a bit eerie walking through the ghost town viewing the buildings, and we learned a bit about it's rough history as we walked through the display in the former prison.

Mike heard that the fish and chips at Point Samson, a small fishing village, was a "must do" and we headed there for lunch. As we drove down the foreshore toward the only restaurant in town (well, there's two actually - both in the same building) we couldn't help but notice the lovely beach and caravan park on the foreshore. We've been here ever since. :)

Although we gave up our fish and chips lunch for a swim at the beach we made up for it at dinner.  We are camped only a couple of meters from the beach and have found another lovely spot a few meters further along called honeymoon cove that we plan on having a dip in today. There's a reef here and today we're going to get our snorkel equipment organised and do some practicing so we're ready for Exmouth.

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