MONDAY 17 SEPTEMBER EIGHTY MILE BEACH TO NEWMAN 690kms
We were away from Eighty Mile Beach reasonably early.
M had phoned while we were packing up. She’d had enough of the Tom Price visit and proposed to meet up with us tonight at Newman.
Last November, when we travelled back to the Rail Village from our R&R stay, there were fires along the highway before Paroo Roadhouse. Now, some of that burnt country appeared to have regenerated quite well.
Did a quick stock up on some food supplies at the South Hedland shopping centre, and refuelled there – $1.44cpl.
As we drove south on the Great Northern Highway, passed the dirt road that was the way into the Rail Village 1 camp, that had been “home” for three months last year. We could glimpse in the distance, the old Fly Camp site and a white dome that was the workshop of one of the rail building contractors, obviously replaced after the big cyclone of last March.
It was a bit tempting to drive in and have a look at the Rail Village 1 camp – to see how it had been cleared and rebuilt after that cyclone – but we didn’t. Thought it might not have been politic for anyone associated with the first version of the Camp to go visiting!
There were lots of wildflowers along the roadsides, mostly oranges and yellows – the colours of the Pilbara. And of course, the ubiquitous mulla mulla.
The amount of mining associated development we passed through in the last couple of hundred kms before Newman, was amazing. So much had changed through there, in less than a year. A lot of the change was associated with the new Hope Downs Mine project. This mine was in the area we had explored in 2004, and I hoped that, somehow, some of the lovely rock pools and waterholes we had seen had been preserved.
We reached Newman in the late afternoon, after a long day of driving.
M was already there, of course, given that she did not have so far to come. She had gotten us a site in the Newman Caravan Park, for which we were grateful. With all the mining development now, around Newman, one could not take accommodation there for granted.
Our site cost $23.
Shower, quick tea, and early night.
The caravan park was so noisy, through the night, with shift workers coming and going.