THURSDAY 22 JULY KARIJINI TO NEWMAN 210kms
There was a van queued up to take our site, well before we were packed up and ready to go!
I wondered whether this mounting pressure of visitors here would eventually mean that more camp areas would need to be set up? Or this one expanded? At least, the current limitations on the numbers of campers went some way towards ensuring the main attractions were not impossibly overcrowded.
The drive to Newman was really scenic and dramatic, with lots of the stark Pilbara ranges, near and distant.
We went into Dearloves Caravan Park, at $20 a night. The park was crowded. It was, supposedly, a 4-star operation, but to me a long way off the standard I would expect for that rating. There were no annexe slabs. Our site was a mix of struggling grass and red Pilbara dirt. The amenities were adequate, but nothing flash. We had to supply our own hose splitter before we could connect to water. They seemed to be squashing rigs in all over the place.
There was a large section of – presumably – mine workers. They were fairly feral!
This was a park that was noisy at night – a rather unpleasant contrast to where we had been. There was noise carrying from the town. There were shift workers coming and going through the night and noise from trains and trucks.
After doing a basic set up, we drove to the central shop area, to collect the mail that had been forwarded from Karratha. It was not there! Had to phone housesitter L for the tracking number. Then a very nice Australia Post staff person phoned around – and found it had been sent to Broome! They said there was another person with the same surname, having mail redirected – not sure whether that was an excuse, or true. We arranged for it to now go to South Hedland PO – where we might or might not meet up with it! Hope there was nothing too important – or urgent – in there.
Then it was off to the Tourist Centre where we booked a mine tour – BHP Billiton operation – for tomorrow. It cost $15 a person.
Newman was the typical mining service town of these parts, with a central area of shops and services. There was little of note to see around the town itself, so it was back to camp.
I showered thoroughly – very enjoyable, after several days in the heat, and with all the walking I’d done!
Did our washing and hung it out to dry overnight.