We left Cape Range National Park and free camped a night at Robe River rest area before making our way to Karratha.
|Our over night set up in Robe River|
We pulled into a certain big chain caravan park in Karratha early afternoon and Craig went into reception to ask for a powered site. He was greeted by an older lady who looked rather annoyed to see him and suggested he walk the park to look at the site before he paid. It was $77 a night, which was the most expensive place to date. We went for a quick walk and realized the tiny concrete sites were not for us. There was also a list of rules and regulations for campers such as not putting anything on their grass etc, which put us off a bit.
We got back in the car and drove to the only other park, to find that it was full of mine workers and was not open anymore to tourists. Feeling rather tired of driving around Karratha Craig suggested we have a quick look in the nearby town of Dampier and then get outta there and free camp up the road somewhere.
20km later and we found ourselves driving past this tiny little caravan park called ‘Dampier Transit’. It looked clean and tidy from the road and the kids were getting ratty so we decided to stay the night.
It was a great find because a powered site here was only $38! The owner was friendly, the amenities were clean and we got a front site so we had a view of all the boats loading in the nearby dock. I was given a tourist brochure when I checked in and we found there was quite a few interesting things to see around town.
|Our view from the camper, boats getting loaded with Iron Ore in Dampier|
The next morning we checked out the red dog statue in the heart of Dampier. This is the town that the Australia movie was filmed in.
|Red Dog Statue|
We then drove out to the north west shelf to see the gas hub out there. We have a friend who works there, FIFO from Perth, so Craig had heard a bit about it and was interested to have a look. I am by no means an environmentalist or greenie but I have to say it was awful to see how the beautiful land had been scattered with pipes and buildings and man made mess. I am the first to use gas for my cooking and showers but it has made me think about where it actually comes from and as a consumer I do feel guilty. I am glad that they recently made part of the peninsula a national park so some of the landscape can be preserved.
|The gas hub on the Pennunsula out of Dampier|
Dampier itself is a nice little place with a supermarket, playground, café and lots of accommodation for miners. It was a decent place to stay as it was easy to drive into Karratha but we were still far enough out.
I can’t say there was a great deal to love about Karratha. It reminded me very much of Kalgoorlie where we lived for 9 months last year. Dirt, mining, and very much isolated from the rest of the world. It just has a certain feel that isn’t touristy, it isn’t homely, and it is very much an industrial kind of place that I was more than happy to have a quick look around then move on.
|Sunset over Dampier|