Saturday 16th May 2015
Indee Station to Port Hedland
After 4 days ‘off the grid’ we need to top up our water tanks, do some in person banking in Port Hedland (the first NAB since Geraldton) and Woody needs medicine that wasn’t in stock in Tom Price. Thus, we decide to have a few nights in Port Hedland. The Cooke Point Big4 Park has a 3 nights for the price of 2 offer and whoopee we’re in like Flynn. On the way into town our eyes had been boggling at the size of the port so you could say that we’re excited.
Our vans are backed up on a small cliff overlooking a meandering creek and mangrove wetland with views towards the city. The population is around 20,000 and the ‘old town’ has a charming tropical feel with palms and rambling bougainvillea. There are old corrugated iron houses with low hanging roofs that shelter the windows from the winds. Newer homes are also corrugated iron and of a similar architecture but with security mesh on the windows. The most modern have a much more attractive shutter system that doesn’t make things look like there is a burglary problem. Each house, no matter how old, has steel bracing to hold everything together in a big blow. This is probably our most cyclone prone town. The beaches are clay coloured and the seven metre tides mean that the water almost disappears over the horizon at low tide.
We have an ale at the charming Esplanade Hotel which was built in the early 1900’s and is three storeys high. It would have had a view of the river once, but now the view is of port buildings and the towering bridges of ships. The Pier Hotel just along the street is the complete opposite and looks like a row of Dongas on stilts. There is a small park by the water where one can be captivated by the shipping activity and we are.
The ‘new town’ about 5 kms away is South Hedland all bright shiny and new with hundreds of houses and all the shops that one could wish for in the mall. For those caravanners reading this, construction is just about start on the new Bunnings!
Happy hour back at the park is somewhat noisy as we are surrounded by folks that we’ve met along the way and we are all just loving the view of the Old Town lights.
Travelling Kms: 72Kms
Note: The port of Port Hedland is the shipping hub for Pilbara iron ore.