This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

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2004 Travels July 10


We did a food shop in the morning – tedious but necessary. Refuelled – $1.08cpl.

Drove out to Dampier – the port for the export of iron ore from the inland Pilbara.

Had intended to take M to the processing plant for offshore gas, on the Burrup Peninsula, but the Visitor Centre we’d intended to visit was shut.

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Burrup Peninsula

We drove out along the rough track on the Peninsula for some way and had a good view back over the gas loading port.

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Ship loading LNG for export

Drove around Dampier town for a look.

Went back to Karratha in time to get the Weekend Australian, which came in on a late plane.

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2000 Travels October 5



After breakfast, we went back to the Burrup Peninsula to have a look at the infrastructure of the NW Shelf Gas Project. This was developed in the 1980’s, extracts gas from offshore wells, processes it onshore and both exports it overseas in special tankers, and sends it south via pipeline.

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The gas plant in the distance

The Visitors Centre  was a very interesting place to visit, and free. We saw a good video about the Project.

Display tanks show how marine life colonizes the legs of the offshore structures, rather like some sort of reef – I think this display was designed to give the idea that they benefit the environment.

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Demonstration of how marine life colonizes offshore structures

There was a feature sculpture outside the administration area – a memorial to workers injured in the Project. It was created by the lady who became Head of Art at my school – she lived here before moving over to us in Melbourne.

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Memorial to injured workers

We then drove further out on the Peninsula, to Withnell Bay. Then we explored a side track,  where the construction camp was when the plant was being built. Went up to a lookout. I was surprised to see how extensive the salt flats are.

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Withnell Bay

After cruising around the area for a while, we decided that, in fact, Dampier was a nicer place to live than Karratha.

Tea was a beef stir fry, with rice – from a new stir fry recipe book I bought.


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2000 Travels September 17


Very hot day. It reached about 36 degrees!

John rigged up a shadecloth shelter across the worst sun angle, at the back of the van, to try to keep it a bit cooler.

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Our Karratha camp, with shadecloth shelter

Watched some Olympics on TV.

After lunch, we went for a drive to the nearby town of Dampier. This was built in the 1960’s to be an export port for iron ore from the Pilbara Hamersley Mines, further inland. Because of the landforms, there was not room to expand Dampier, when subsequent development began to occur, which was why Karratha was then built.

We travelled past salt lakes and salt works, which occupied much of the approach to Dampier.

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The causeway to Dampier, and distant salt works

There were a number of islands close inshore. The port area was large.

We found a small “beach” and walked along it.

I did not find Dampier a very attractive town, although its location by the sea did make it seem nicer than Karratha.

After that little beach walk, and driving about having a look, we went back to the van.

Tea was soup, cold pork and salad.

Later in the evening, John complained of bad chest pains – the anxiety attack that he gets sometimes? Or maybe indigestion from the pork? Anyway, he did not want to do anything about it, except  stay quiet and wait for it to pass.