This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


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2004 Travels July 30

FRIDAY 30 JULY   SOUTH HEDLAND TO NANUTARRA ROADHOUSE   490kms

Today’s was a long day of driving south.

The country was not particularly interesting, and we’d driven it before.

Refuelled at the roadhouse at the turn off to Karratha – $1.08cpl. Topped up the fuel again at the Fortescue River Roadhouse – $1.20 cpl.

For several weeks now, we had spent time in the very large catchment area of the Fortescue River. Now, we were not far from its mouth, about a hundred kms SW of Dampier. There was water in part of the wide bed. We had to detour through a section of the river bed, around the bridge repairs that were happening after the cyclone damage of earlier in the year. Clearly, this river could be ferocious at times.

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Fortescue River bridge – note flood debris

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Flood damage Fortescue River bridge

Overnighted again back at Nanutarra Roadhouse. The ground was dry, this time, but the place was still noisy. $20 a night.

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Dry Nanutarra, this time

Whilst we were here, John took the jerry can to be refilled – $1.36cpl.

He then retreated to the van for a rest. I went for a walk along to the Ashburton River and had a look at the works going on there on a new road bridge. It would be a big improvement on the old, one lane only bridge.

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2004 Travels July 8

THURSDAY 8 JULY   NANUTARRA RH TO KARRATHA   280kms

When we woke in the morning, it was not raining, but was still really muddy.

According to the radio news, the highway just north of Carnarvon had been cut by floods.

John’s face was still swollen.

The drive to Karratha was very scenic, with the typical Pilbara hills and spinifex country.

We stopped for a break at the Fortescue River Roadhouse. It would have been a better overnight stop than Nanutarra had been. Diesel was a lot cheaper there, too.

At Karratha, we went into the Rosemary Road Pilbara Holiday park – another Top Tourist one. $23.80 after discount. It was much nicer than the previous one we’d stayed at. Apparently that one had now been given over entirely to permanents, anyway.

We had a very generous site that would also hold M’s tent.

After setting up, drove to the Post Office, but there was no mail waiting for us. Posted some cards. I’d phoned L last weekend to send a bag of mail here.

Went to the Tourist Information Centre to get a permit to drive the Hamersley Iron railway access road, between here and Tom Price.

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Ore Train railway road (from Pinterest)

We had to watch a short video on how to drive on it – common sense stuff, like give way to ore trains! Really? There was no fee for this. No mention was made about towing the van on it, and we didn’t ask.  All good.

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