Leaving the beautiful Ningaloo Reef behind we headed north to Karratha where our car was booked in for a service. We stopped on the way at a free overnight roadside camp called Quartz Hill on the Onslow Road, Talandji. It’s not signposted but being the only hill on a very flat landscape it’s easy to spot from a distance. The sunset was stunning and the moon over the hill was eerily beautiful.
This area of Western Australia is known as the Pilbara. There are large mining works in the area, mostly iron ore. We saw a train carrying the empty carts back to the mine. Don’t know how many but there must have been over a hundred.
We laughed at this sign which says “Welcome to the city of Karratha”, it seemed to be in the middle of nowhere, we wondered if someone had stolen it and put it there for fun.
Instead of staying in Karratha we chose a bush camp not far out of town called Cleaverville Camp, right on the beach of Nickol Bay. Although the road in is dirt, it’s a good road.
You need to be self sufficient at Cleaverville Camp as there is no power or water and only one toilet for day visitors. There are rubbish bins and dump points for van toilets. We were able to fill jerry cans with drinking water at Karratha Tourist Information Centre and use the showers at the Karratha Leisureplex, pool and gym complex for the cost of pool entry. Our Internet service at Cleaverville Camp was good (using an external antenna on a 5m mast) although the phone service was a bit dodgy at times.
Our site beside the beach was perfect.
The sunsets were gorgeous.
We could see the lights of Port Samson, one of the iron ore loading ports, from our camp.
The beach was fun to explore at low tide.
People do swim and snorkel here but they occasionally get the stray crocodile, which put us off slightly, so we stayed land based. We tried fishing but caught nothing edible. We did catch a good sized Striped Scat which apparently has venomous fin spines which cause painful wounds, so that went back in the water. Our lovely camp hosts gave us some of the fish they’d caught from their boat.
Saw a pod of dolphins go past one day.
We visited the towns of Wickham and Point Samson; both appear to be there to support the mine workers, lots of temporary accommodation, grocery stores, service stations etc.
On our one day in Karratha for the car service it rained all day. None of the buildings have gutters because it doesn’t rain often and when it does it’s a deluge that gutters can’t handle. Also, they get cyclones and gutters don’t stay on during cyclones. These photos are of the Karratha Leisureplex.
The car is serviced and we are heading (temporarily south east) to Tom Price and Karijini National Park and then heading north.
cheers till next time, Helen and TIm