Leaving the Kimberly region of WA we first stopped at 80 Mile Beach for some more sand driving on white sand, perfect aqua waters, beach fishing and shell collecting. After a few days spent relaxing at the beach we headed into the real Pilbara region of WA which is iron ore country and ecologically one of the oldest regions in Australia with rocks that are 3600 million years old. Visiting Port Headland we were introduced to the huge size of the ore industry in Australia. There was red dust everywhere and many large ships lined up waiting in the harbour to load the ore to take to such manufacturing countries as China, Japan and Korea.
Travelling through Roebourne we were excited to see the start of magnificent wildflowers including the Sturt Desert Pea that was prolific beside the road which of course made Carolyne squeal. The greener vegetation also meant that many large flocks of lime green budgies flew over the car as we passed in the early morning. Then into Dampier where we stopped at the Red Dog Monument. Red Dog was known as the Pilbara Wanderer who hitched rides with local truckies and workers back in the 1970’s – they made a great movie about him of course.
Before heading back into Karratha we stopped to see the aboriginal art site in the Murujuga National Park where there are more than 1500 individual ancient boulders with with rock art carved or painted onto each. Nearby is the Woodside-operated North West Shelf Project supplying the Australia with gas from offshore. At Karratha, Hamersley Iron established the Port and created Dampier Salt operations. Primarily, Karratha is resource industry driven and The Rio Tinto Iron Ore rail facility services 15 mining sites and we took videos of the longest train that we have ever seen – at least 4kms – the record is 7kms carrying 99,000 tons of ore!