After leaving Eighty Mile Beach we decided to drive to Port Hedland and spend the night there. It was a larger town than we imagined, we then found out that it’s the second largest town in the Pilbara.Being a mining town there really isn’t too much to do, but there were some really pretty beach areas we found, one being “Pretty Pool”, pictured above.
The main industries in Port Hedland are iron ore processing and export and salt production and other minerals. This picture below is of the big salt mine on the way into town.Port Hedland is one of the world’s largest and busiest working harbours and also one of the world’s largest tonnage ports, handling over 100 million tonnes of product worth over $3 billion a year. The information centre has a list of ships coming and going each day so you can head down to see them, we arrived in time to see the tugs pulling one out to sea.
The view at night looking out over the mining area was like looking at a big city, it was quite a sight! The picture above wastaken from our caravan park at sunset.
After dark we also took a drive out to the water to see the lights of all the ships parked up offshore, again it was like a mini city out there.
On our way from Port Hedland to Karratha we passed a little pub in the middle of nowhere. We stopped in for a coffee and look around and to have a chat with the friendly birds that were out the back. George was even brave enough to play with the galah!At the entrance there was this little model of the pub!We arrived in Karratha, another mining town and took a drive around. It’s quite a large town with all the facilities you would need. We headed to the information centre as we needed to apply for a permit to drive on one of the roads in the coming days. It’s a road owned by Rio Tinto and you need a permit to drive it. After that we drove out to Dampier for one reason only ……. to see Red Dog!I’m sure you all know the story of Red Dog and have seen the movie, but if not you can google it or wait and we will do a blog at some point. Anyway, there is a memorial in Dampier in honour of this loveable dog.Next day we headed to the Millstream National Park to spend the night. One of the highlights was a visit to Python Pool, pictured below. This is a great little swimming hole nestled amongst the huge cliff faces. Did we swim? NO, as with most of the waterholes around there, the water was freezing! Regardless, this was another beautiful spot to visit.The one thing we will remember Millstream National Park for will be the bugs that come out at night, it was nearly as bad as Kununurra and that’s saying something! So last night for dinner we had ‘buttermilk and bug’ pancakes!