Broome to Exmouth
Distance: 1610 kms
Fuel consumption: 580 kms from a 35 litre tank. How good’s that?
Total distance travelled to date: 11189 kms
Car and driver in excellent condition!
Leaving Broome heading towards Port Hedland
Leaving Broome early in the morning to beat the heat, driving conservatively and dropping into a few roadhouses along the way, I was told that it was a long trip from Broome to Port Hedland with very few corners and whoever told me that was right. There is the Shamrock roadhouse , Pardoo Roadhouse the Sandfire Roadhouse to name a few. Sandfire Roadhouse is about half way to Port Hedland and after between four and five hours driving, it was time for a break.
It was hot, damn hot, dry and dusty but I found a shady spot under a tree and had a little kip for an hour or so to recharge my batteries. I woke up ready to proceed to Port Hedland for the night. The road was so flat, the rocket was just purring along so well in fact, the rocket got 580 kms out of a 35 litre tank of fuel. A remarkable effort from the rocket and the driver.
There was some incredible scenery along the way. Lots of people had told me it was going to be really boring, nothing to see and that I wouldn’t really like this part of the journey, but I found it the complete opposite. It highlighted how vast Australia actually is and what incredible nature is just sitting on the side of the road for all to see… termite mounds, ferns, trees, areas that had been burnt out, the contrast of the red rocks against the black ashes, endless fields of dry grass. it was all fascinating.
I say tax the termites – there are so many of them!
No shortage of road trains !
Driving into Port Hedland the sun had gone down but there was lots of street lights to follow, there were more road trains than cars or 4WD’s. All the cars and 4WD’s that were in town seemed to be associated with the mines – covered in signage, yellow reflective tape sirens etc. There was lots of traffic probably the most traffic I’ve seen since leaving Sydney.
A bed for the night in one of the Port Hedland hotels full of miners, was a lucky break and an education. Port Hedland is a big mining town, the cost of everything was big too. After the $45 buffet breakfast I didn’t hang around too long, next stop – Dampier.
There are two different ways you can get to Perth from Port Hedland: you can take the Great Norther Highway and National Highway, this doesn’t follow the coast, is a shorter distance and has lots of trucks or you can take the Mick Miller way and follow the coast via Karratha, Dampier and Exmouth. a longer but much more interesting drive.
Karratha here I come!
Karratha is a neat little town and 20 kms away is Dampier. It was great to see the ocean again.
Looking across to the port in Dampier
I ran into Red Dog
There is a statue in his memory in Dampier.
Red Dog was keen to check out the rocket!
Sticking to a time schedule to get from Broome to Perth in 28 days, I’m glad there are going to be some smaller gaps of driving coming up. Occasionally the rocket and I have to stop to lend a helping hand or should I say a helping tow.
The rocket steps up to help out a stranded trailer!
The dusk drives, watching the sun hang in the sky just before it sets are really enjoyable, the colours and the sunsets are amazing. Just off the highway is Onslow, a one pub town.
The pub at Onslow
There are some very strict rules at the Onslow pub – no riff or raff, luckily they let me stay the night and enjoy the $20 steak and vegies !
On the way out of town the next morning I drove past the airport, expecting to see a couple of single engine Cessna’s, instead there were two private freshly painted DC-10’s on the tarmac, along with 4 huge Greyhound buses picking up the passengers who all work at the mines.
Back on the highway heading to Exmouth. What a great stretch of road. It’s very peaceful on the road, I really enjoy the driving, some days I can’t believe what I see.
Another day at the office – the rocket and I rescue a fisherman.
Gidday from Exmouth
Surf’s up at Exmouth
I stayed at the Exmouth Lighthouse Caravan Park. Another amazing sunset then it was a full moon, what more could you want?
Exmouth is a really nice, picturesque port town. There is lots of history, there are heaps of communication towers around, built by the US military during the Cold War, with over 152 kms of wire strung between them and still in use. Great mobile phone reception, but I did wonder who’s listening !
Also at Exmouth there is a number of war memorials. The Krait left Exmouth on its first mission to Singapore and part of the original jetty where it left from is still standing.
I remember as a kid hanging around the Krait when it was parked at Church Point, when I was working as a deckhand on the ferries there.
There aren’t any dogs in Exmouth…….. because they have all been blown off their chains….. it’s that windy, a honking 35 knots plus every day! All day and all night, super sized tent pegs a must!
Another brilliant sunny day, heading to Perth.