World War 2 and Exmouth
The inside coastline near Exmouth was used as training grounds for the attack on the Japanese at Singapore. Relics from this time have been set up as a memorial of that very successful campaign.
We had the good fortune to go out on the “Seamen’s Mission” launch for a tour of the harbour. Thoroughly recommend this wonderful experience.
The Mission has a launch that it uses to take crew members off the boats who would like to go to shore for 3 hours. The sailors are offered money changing facilities, shopping or help with personal matters. Most are Asian,so an interpreter is a useful member of the staff. Most staff of the mission are volunteers. It is run by the Anglican Church and is self funded by donations and the Harbour tours.
The captains and crew are very appreciative of the Mission’s services. In all a great afternoon
Caravan parks book out very quickly here and the shire council opens up the parking area at racecourse when the parks are full. Toilers and water are available and the cost is FREE!
This is a win win situation, because people are allowed to stay 2 nights, and so more money is spent in Hedland.
Leaving the beautiful remote beaches of the North West, we arrive at the busy port of Port Hedland.
Salt and iron ore are the main exports. The fluctuation in tides is still quite huge here.
The enormous port of Port Hedland has facilities to cater for 13 iron ore and salt carriers to be moored at any one time.
It is a hive of industry with good organisation required as the channel is narrow, and has room for only one ship at a time.
All ships have to be turned around before docking so they face the open sea in readiness for a cyclone evacuation warning.
Celebrating 70th birthday in style, at 80 Mile Beach, then onto Pardoo station
There is no better place to celebrate your 70th birthday than on a working Cattle station, Pardoo station covers 500,000 acres (2023 square kms), its home to approx 7000 head of cattle
But leave it we must and move south to Broome.
After leaving Kununurra, we headed towards Wyndham, on our way to the Gibb River Road. Preferring to stay at a lovely bush caravan park on a lagoon on Parry’s Creek. The area is known as Parry’s Lagoon, and is a series of lagoons on Parry Creek alongside the old Hall’s Creek – Kununurra road.
The road in from the bitumen is a good, fairly well maintained dirt road easily traversed by on-road caravans. The caravan park is well worth a visit. Although not flash, it has all the mod cons including water, power, basic but very well kept facilities. Not a lot of shade, but still enough in a lot of places. It is a casual “choose a site” park with a huge area to choose from. A little restaurant under cover and under the shade of beautiful old trees provides very enjoyable food and beverages. The park was formally market gardens and mango orchards, but is now just a tourist park with a dozen motel units with a walkway over the lagoon and magical views and a lovely shady swimming pool to cool off in. After the hustle and bustle of Kununurra, it is a beautiful place of peace, quiet and an opportunity to see some amazing bird life. Because of it’s location, being just a few k’s from Wyndham, it is a great base for exploring the Wyndham district and the Eastern end of the Gibb River Road.
This one of our favourite places!
If you don’t have the suitable vehicle to traverse the often quite challenging conditions of the entire road, an excellent place to visit which has bitumen right to their turn off is El Questro Station.
The station road is a dirt road well maintained, but does have a creek crossing plus the Pentecost River crossing, so a conventional car is not suitable for this journey. However, our friends have a quite low on road caravan which managed them very well. It would be advisable to ring ahead if you are not suitably equipped.
Tunnel Creek is part of the Windjana Gorge National Park. Further along the road is Windjana Gorge itself.
Out of the flat landscape rises a majestic outcrop several km’s long. If you have ever been to Yosemite National Park in the USA, Windjana Gorge is a mini version of that, with sheer stone cliffs rising abruptly. It is quite an awesome sight!
An amazing bush caravan and camping park has been set up on Mabel Downs station just 1 km off the Victoria highway.
It has limited powered sites, which were booked out by 2pm, but the unpowered sites were very nice with clean bore water(which we boiled before using) available. The area is very large and people are free to choose their own sites.
The one thing we have learnt over the last few years of traveling is the freedom you have when you are on the road with a caravan behind you.
With the help of Camps 8, we are able to map out our days and travel around this amazing country.
If we decide we like somewhere we are able to stop for a few days, if we have enough we can move along to the next place.
Australia really is a beautiful place.