Before we made our way out to the highway we travelled to the HMAS Sydney Memorial at the site where stationhands from Quobba Station apprehended the survivors from the German Raider Kormorant. We headed to Carnarvon for morning tea, then moved South again. Into the stromatolites at Hamelin Pool and then onto Shell Beach with its banks of tiny shells. We got into Denham after four o’clock and ended up having our first evening meal “out” – dinner at the Bistro of the Heritage Resort Shark Bay
We left a little later than anticipated and made our way south. We decided to forego Exmouth and the Ningaloo Reef as no one was interested in doing any tours and Jenny and Bob were fished out from yesterday. So we made our way steadily down the coast and then took the Blowholes Road into Point Quobba. The blowholes on the shoreline we’re quite spectacular so we spent some time checking them out before heading into the Quobba Campground which is run by Carnarvon Shire. The campground snakes along the beach for 3kms and we had to go that distance before finding a space that we could fit into. Once again the West Coast is inundated with grey nomads and all the space were taken up – $8 per person a night but no facilities.
Jenny and Bob had their fishing trip today out to the Mackerel Islands. Meanwhile Debbie and I did our housework in preparation for the load of fish we’re expecting. We went up the street for coffee and to buy supplies for cooking Tempura battered fish accompanied by Tartare Sauce and fresh salad. They were very successful (well Bob was, as he made quite clear) and caught enough fish for twenty-seven meals! Needless to say the freezer is flat out freezing the cryovacced fish.
We arrived around ten in Onslow and had morning tea at the Commemorative Park before touring the township and checking into the Ocean View Caravan Park where the helpful staff put us both on one site at a reduced rate. Straight into the showers for a much awaited scrubbing. Then the laundry before sitting back and catching up on all our correspondence. Jenny and Bob are off on their much anticipated fishing trip tomorrow. Debbie and I are staying home to clean out the freezers in the expectation of a big haul of Spanish Mackerel. Hope we haven’t put the mozz on them.
Called in to Karratha and drove around doing the sights. I had to buy a windscreen repair kit as we copped a rock from a Road Train so thought I better try and stave off the whole screen cracking by filling the hole. Time will tell if it’s successful. We checked out Dampier (with the compulsory Red Dog photo shoot – doesn’t mean I have to show them) then out to the Burrup Peninsular where you have the incongruity of heavy industrial plant on one side and rock carvings by indigenous people made tens of thousands of years ago. Continued on a further 160 kilometres to a Free Camp that we stayed at last time Jenny and I were here by ourselves. Still full of travellers but at least this time it’s not raining. Off to Onslow tomorrow – about time for a shower and some clothes washing (we’re starting to attract flies)
Headed back to Tom Price and discovered that the main road has not been graded since January as the council has received funding to seal that last section to meet up with the Railway Road. It was described as horrendous and not worth the risk of damage to our vehicles. We back tracked through Karijini and ended up at a Free Camp 100 kilometres North of Karratha.
Headed into Tom Price this morning and did the training for the railway road permit before doing a bit of shopping and then heading down to Paraburdoo to check it out. It was just as well we did because Bob went into the Post Office to buy a stubbie holder and got talking to the girl about what we were doing and she said her sister had just travelled up the railway track so gave her a ring to find out the conditions along the way. It turns out that the track itself was great but the main public road was rough as, so we decided to spend the night at a Free Camp halfway back to Tom Price and check in with the Information Centre in the morning
Well the Auski Tourist Village was gladly left behind – a bit of a dump, dirty facilities and grumpy guests. We made our way through the stunning Munjina East Gorge, stopping at the lookout for a couple of photos before continuing on toward Newman where we refuelled and had lunch. The country is truly spectacular around this area and we drove back along Karijini Drive viewing the spectacular Mount Bruce before setting up camp at a parking area just on the edge of the Karijini National Park. A cold beer awaits but first I have to put my socks and boots on as the weather has cooled considerably since we have moved inland. The iron ore trains started late this afternoon travelling along the line that is probably less than 500 metres away and blowing their horns as they approach the level crossing nearby – talk about noisy neighbours.
Headed out at around eight to make the 130 kilometre trip into Port Hedland for a bit of grocery shopping, a gas refill for the Turtle and another Inverter to replace the faulty one in Redback. We worked out that the corrugations on the gravel roads had mucked up our fridges – I suspect that the gas is becoming dissolved in the liquid refrigerant which reduces the efficiency of the refrigerator. After a days travel on the bitumen, the fridges appear to be back to normal. We were going to stop out the road but all the rest stops were bit ordinary so we continued onto the Auski Tourist Village – sounds grander than the reality – to have a shower and connect to the power to get us all back to square one.You know you’re in strife when the sign on the ablutions block urges you to keep the doors closed to keep out the snakes! Off to Newman tomorrow.
We hit Marble Bar at around 9.30 and gave the place a good going over. Checked out the Marble Bar Pool, the Jasper Deposit and old Comet Gold Mine. A great day of exploring the sites around the town. We returned to the Des Strekfuss Rest Area and set up camp around four o’clock to watch the sun set over the ranges again.