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Saturday, 24 January 2015

19th March 2014 Port Hedland Trip

This one is a car trip which I've also done on the bike for a few trips between March 2007 until July 2008 and by car a few times when on holidays until end of October 2010.

I'm not a fan of paying for accommodation and having the right vehicle to make up a bed is a bonus. Here's the bedroom, kitchen and lounge room all ready for the trip away. On the left is an esky, gas bottle and camping stove/oven.

This was taken at a rest stop where we usually stop when on the bike. The bike trailer comes in handy for extra gear that would normally be in the back of the car.

The shaded Koongawa area on the map is about where the rest stop is

Another view taken on our last bike trip  in 2012. It also a good place for a picnic or an overnight camping spot.

This was taken at Penong just up the road from the truck stop. There's been a few mines open up in the area and this one of the road trains they use.

This one is only three trailers, 18 axles making a total of 70 wheels and less than 150 metres in length.

 From Penong to the SA/WA border it's 406 km and there's not much of anything other than two roadhouses ( Nundroo and Nullarbor) and native vegetation to look at. The highway crosses the Nullarbor (treeless plain) for about 80 km and then goes along the southern boundary for a few hundred km.

 Not much to look at other than an occasional dead animal and related feeding birds.

There's a lot of long straight sections going across this way, taken through the front screen.

The next place of any interest is the Nullarbor National Park where the road nears the Southern Ocean. There's a few rest areas between the highway and the coast which allow for some views along the coast. The one that I parked the car in was made large enough to park road trains in as they run 24/7 and the drivers can sleep overnight.

Looking South out over the water and the misty sky

There are some unofficial walking tracks down to towards the water at this one but most rest areas and look outs are next to cliffs where a lot more care has to be taken.

This is where I stopped for my second night on the road Map of area and there's a track leading to limestone cave further north.

Far enough away from the road to allow for privacy.

After Caiguna which about 30 km west of my overnight stop is the longest straight piece of road in the country. Map

This about half way along the straight where I stopped

My next stop for lunch was at Newman Rocks and every time I've stopped: there has always been some water.

Norseman is the next town but for me it was only a fuel stop as was Kalgoorlie after that. I did visit the supermarket as one must eat.

After an overnight stop beside the road somewhere and early in the morning I was at Leonora and waiting for the service station to open.

The main road through town

The new Police station....

This is a section of road which is used as an emergency landing strip for the flying doctors  which saves the cost of building a rarely used runway. This one is near the town of Leinster  beside the road to Mount Magnet.

The last time I came this way the dam in the next photo didn't exist and it's just around a bend after the landing strip. On a hot day the water would look inviting and one way to keep cool. On the return trip I did just that.

Being a remote area we also get few fires started by lightening strikes but the local plant life are used to fire and don't take long to regenerate. Some native vegetation needs fire for their seeds to germinate. 

A cool place to park on a warm day. I stopped for some lunch here as the rest area I planned had very little shade due to most of the trees being burnt.

Across the other side of the road......more trees

A little bit of colour in the town of Sandstone


A grid. Most roads in out back Australia cross sheep or cattle stations and these are placed on the fence line and prevent live stock going where they shouldn't In the early days of motoring you would have had to open/close a gate.

The next place I stopped at was Meekatharra and not being the wettest place in Australia is quite green for the climate.

Photos of the rest area



One of the many triple road trains that frequent this road. Most of these will run up to Port Hedland, Broome, and places further north.

Some of road between Meekatharra and Newman


And we move into the sub tropical zone at the 26th Parallel

The car in front of the sign says I was there.

Before I did this trip the main highway was impassable due to flooding: normally a dry paddock

The highway crosses some dry salt pans

and remaining flood waters within a few miles of each other.

Before we get to Newman we cross into the southern boundary of the tropical zone.

From Newman to Port Hedland there is Munjina road house about halfway between the 400 km plus distance. Not only general freight but 4 trailer mining trucks are common as well. This type has a total of 22 axles making 86 wheels total. 

So I reach the end of the photos I took on my trip to Port Hedland.