Australia
Finucane

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  • Day97

    Port Hedland

    June 23 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    Port Hedland is a mining town in the Pilbara. There is really nothing to see and do here. It was a good stop for supplies. We stayed at the Port Hedland Discovery Park which had a great pool and really nice caravan sites.Read more

  • Day353

    Port Hedland

    November 20, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 38 °C

    Port Hedland was just a bit of a stop over, mostly known for its massive resource industry, long trains, big ships and salt piles.
    Although that evening we went to Cemetery Beach and saw the most magical thing - flatshell turtles emerging from the ocean to lay their eggs in the sand and re-entering the ocean. No pictures captured for this as no cameras allowed, a truly awesome moment just sitting on the warm sand, listening to the crashing waves and watching the turtles by moonlight.Read more

  • Day371

    Port Hedland

    September 13, 2014 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 36 °C

    Just a quick stop on the way to the "Karijini" NP.
    On the whole 600km from "Broome" to "Port Hedland". We only stopped over at the 80 mile beach and had a beautiful sunset, again. And from time to time a Roadtrain busted passed us! Otherwise we saw maybe 15 other cars on the hole 8h drive! We are getting pretty excited for the Karijini NP!

    Nur ein kurzer Boxenstopp auf dem weg in Den Karijini NP.
    Wir sind auf den knapp 600km, am "80 Mile Beach" stehengeblieben. Ein sehr langer Strand und wieder ein wundervoller Sonnenuntergang.
    Eine andere komische Weisheit ist, dass die Sonne immer im Meer untergeht! Auf jeden Fall haben wir nicht viele auf der Straße getroffen, hin und wieder donnerte mal ein Roadtrain vorbei, das war es dann auch schon fast. In den 8 Stunden Fahrt haben wir vielleicht 15 Autos gesehen!
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  • Day245

    (leider immernoch) Port Hedland

    June 10, 2018 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 20 °C

    Am Montagmorgen fuhren wir dann noch einmal los, um eine Werkstatt zu suchen und landeten schließlich bei "Repco". Das ist so eine Art Werkstattkette hier in Australien und ich hatte mit denen bei meinem Ölwechsel in Victoria sehr gute Erfahrungen gemacht.
    Das sollte dieses Mal jedoch etwas anders aussehen. Als der Mechaniker sich das Problem ansah und dabei gleich den kompletten Schlauch abriss, meinte er, dieser und die Verbindungsstelle zum Kühler seien porös gewesen und ich bräuchte einen neuen Kühler. Alleine das Schlauchabreißen hat mich schon über 160$ gekostet, das Wechseln des Kühlers sollte dann noch einmal mit weiteren 700$ zu Buche schlagen. Das Auto könnte ich jetzt nicht mehr bewegen. Da wir jawohl kaum eine andere Wahl hatten ließen wir das Auto also dort und buchten uns für die nächsten Tage eine Cabin auf dem Campingplatz. Am Mittwoch wollte der Mechaniker mich darüber in Kenntnis setzen, wie es aussieht. Nachdem ich ihm natürlich den ganzen Tag hinterher telefonieren konnte, teilte er mir am Abend mit, dass sie jetzt zudem festgestellt hätten, dass der Motor im Eimer wäre - ja nee, ist klar. Ich sollte mir bis zum nächsten Morgen überlegen, was ich machen wolle und sollte mir das Problem vor Ort selbst einmal ansehen. Da das Auto vorher nie Probleme bereitet hat, war mein Entschluss bereits nach dem Telefonat gefasst: Das Auto muss da weg!!! Um 8 wollte der Mechaniker mich abholen, um viertel nach rief ich dann einmal an und fragte, ob sie mich vergessen haben, halb 9 kam seine Frau dann mit einer totalen Schrottkarre vorbei um mich zur Werkstatt zu fahren. Das Innenleben meines Autos lag da noch in 100 Einzelteilen vor mir und ein jüngerer Mechaniker wollte mir erklären, was da kaputt gegangen sei. Schon vor der Reparatur, als ich den genauen Kostenvoranschlag haben wollte, wurde erwähnt, dass es schon einmal passieren kann bei so einem alten Auto, dass da noch mehr kaputt geht bei der Reparatur. Und das war dann wohl auch so. Mir wurde wiederholt gesagt, dass ich mit dem Auto so nicht mehr fahren könnte, aber man machte mir einen Vorschlag: wenige Wochen zuvor haben Backpacker ihr Auto mit dem gleichen Problem in die Werkstatt gebracht und daraufhin nicht abgeholt. Das könnte ich haben, wenn ich mein Auto da lasse. Das würde dann einfach mir gehören. Als ob das in Australien mit dem Umschreiben so einfach wäre. Zumal mein Auto bisweilen noch in einem anderen Bundesstaat registriert war und ist. Verbrecherbande!!! Ich hab dem Möchtegern-Mechaniker dann mehrfach gesagt, dass er mein Auto wieder zusammen bauen möge, da ich es weder hier lassen, noch eine weitere Reparatur bezahlen werde. Wer weiß, was sie als nächstes kaputt gemacht hätten. Nach ewigen Diskussionen und 900$ weniger verließ ich dann diese Idioten MIT MEINEM AUTO!!! Zu der Rechnung muss ich noch anfügen, dass ich 25$ davon zahlen musste für eine Übernachtung in meinem Auto auf dem Werkstattgelände, die ich überhaupt nicht in Anspruch genommen habe! Geht es eigentlich noch unseriöser?? :D
    Auf unserem Campingplatz arbeitete dann zufällig auch ein Mechaniker, welcher sich das Auto ansah und das Problem gleich erkannte. Auch er machte mir nicht die größten Hoffnungen, so noch weit zu kommen, wollte sich aber um ein entsprechendes Ersatzteil kümmern und uns dann eine Rückmeldung geben. Wir verlängerten also unseren Aufenthalt erneut und hofften auf das Beste. Am nächsten Nachmittag dann die Nachricht: er könnte ein Ersatzteil bestellen. Dies würde aber 2700$ kosten. Niemals! Er empfahl uns mit maximal 70km/h weiter zu fahren, regelmäßig den Kühlwasserstand zu kontrollieren, viele Pausen zu machen und die Temperaturanzeige nicht aus den Augen zu lassen. Dann könnten wir mit etwas Glück noch ein Stück weiter kommen. Wir versuchten dann noch einen weiteren Mechaniker im Ort zu finden, aber die waren entweder bis Ende der Folgewoche ausgebucht oder nur auf bestimmte Fahrzeuge spezialisiert. Ein 4WD-Mechaniker unterstützte den Vorschlag, dass wir langsam weiter fahren und viele Pausen machen, damit sich das Auto immer wieder abkühlen kann, und dann kann es sein dass das Auto noch einen Tag oder, mit etwas Glück, auch noch ein Jahr hält.
    Wir entschieden uns am Montag weiter zu fahren, damit wir im Falle der Fälle auch schnell einen Abschleppdienst erreicht kriegen und nicht ein Wochenende am Straßenrand campen müssen. ´
    In unserer Cabin (oder auch Knastzelle) fiel uns langsam die Decke auf den Kopf. Und da Port Headland so nichts weiter zu bieten hat, war es höchste Zeit für uns hier zu verschwinden! Viel schlimmer konnte es ja nicht mehr werden. . . :(
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  • Day67

    The home of the white Hilux

    September 1, 2021 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 23 °C

    We awoke to fog and high humidity. The RV overflow park was busy quite early with departures. The service it provides to short term travellers is outstanding. It's a safe haven and supplies nothing but rubbish and recycling and a flat sandy site. It's all we need and everyone watches out for each other.

    After a walk to admire the beach view (fog) we headed to town for the seafarers centre harbour tour. We chanced our luck getting an urgent oil change for the ute and Pilbara Toyota gladly did the work for us with no notice. Well done to those guys. They washed the ute too! The seafarers tour took us through the history of the organisation, how it began as a Christian based society and now is a massive non profit organisation supporting seafarers world wide when they land in foreign ports. They usually have full contact with the seafarers but due to covid the seamen aren't allowed off the ships at all.

    Pilbara Port has 19 berths and takes Panamax and Cape class ships. Suggest you research these behemoths. They are the biggest ships around. The ships come in on low tide and leave full on full tide about 36 hours later. The port is dredged and some of these ships have less than 25cm of gap between the sea floor and their bottom. It's all electronically monitored as well. A fleet of tugs help maneuever the ships in and out of the Port. The main players (BHP and FMG) each have their own tugs. 98% of exports from Pilbara is iron ore. By far the largest ore export port. This place has kept Australia from recession with well over 500 million tonnes shipped annually.

    We toured by boat right around the harbour getting close to the ships while the kilometres of conveyors feed the ore into their hulls. The automated trains bring the ore from the mines. The trains are 2.9km long and have 4 locomotives and 268 ore carrying trucks. The trains and the ore loaders for the boats are all remotely operated from Perth. No drivers or operators as such anymore. Still a lot of people doing maintenance I would imagine. In a week or so we will be inland near the mines so hope to tour at that end as well. Salt and lithium are also exported. Lithium is presently 700USD/ tonne and iron ore is 200USD/tonne.

    After lunch we watched a ship leaving also. There are about 20 ships waiting to enter the port.
    Back to our free camp after shopping and fuel. We have found Port Hedland most interesting and well worth visiting such a dynamic working town. Tomorrow we are back on the road south along the coast to Dampier.
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  • Day66

    Port Hedland

    August 31, 2021 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 23 °C

    As we only had 250km to drive today there was no hurry to pack up and get away. We enjoyed another beach walk before breakfast and were packed up and on the road by 9:30am. The dirt road out to the main road seemed much rougher than driving in. One quick stop on the way for bathroom and coffee break.

    We arrived in Port Hedland around midday. As we are only here for two nights we are taking advantage of some free camping on the edge of the race course. There are at least 30 other rigs and we all need to be self contained. Driving into Port Hedland you can really see the evidence of the mining industry everywhere. There was one of the giant automated trains heading back to the mine and you drive on past a massive salt mine on the edge of the town.

    In the afternoon we went into the tourist information to book a tour that will take us around the harbour by boat. We then walked around the corner smack into the port buildings - there is no escaping the main feature of the town. We then drove along the sea front which is really pretty and down to Pretty Pool. It’s an inlet where the sea comes in and you can swim, no crocodiles or sharks. Oh but wait make sure you wear shoes so you don’t stand on the stone fish as stated by the information. I mean …….seriously 😒.
    We then drive over to South Hedland that is a large town built in the 1960’s entirely as a new residential subdivision to service the large expansion of Port Hedland.

    Back to the van for a sundowner drink and dinner. The site could be a bit noisy as there are main roads close and we will potentially hear the trains.
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    Barbara Read

    Oh great memories!

    9/2/21Reply
     
  • Day43

    Port Hedland

    August 4 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    Arrived and got straight into touring the area, started with a twilight tour around the town and outskirts getting the information on the wharfs, mining companies, transport and associated facilities.

    Watched a bulk carrier being brought into port at sunset. Watching their precision skill in docking is amazing.

    It usually takes 45 minutes to dock a ship normally but they have the only vacuum docking system and it takes 45 seconds, wow.
    They can only leave on a high tide as they only have minimal bottom clearance when fully loaded.

    Enjoyed a cold beer and wine at sunset.

    Day 2
    Did a little self touring today and visited, Pretty pool park, Cemetery Beach park (both great places for BBQ’s or picnics), Koombana lookout and Redbank bridge lookout and Cooke point viewing platform (just outside our caravan park.

    We also did the Seafarers Harbour tour today and learnt the history and what they actually do, they provide a daily launch service for the crews of the ore carriers that brings them ashore do they can enjoy time off the the ships.

    Really amazing details on the amount of ore and minerals being transported into port by trains (each train has 2 locomotive engines then 134 ore cars, 2 more engines and 134 ore cars) that gets shipped out around the world.
    That is 37,500 tonnes of ore at a cost of $90,048,000 every day and that is just BHP only

    The photos show an update of all port movements ad the are happening and also who owns which wharves and where the are.

    Had a nice afternoon walk on the water front and spotted turtles, a nice surprise to end the day.
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    Kristen Mlynar

    Wow that’s cool 👏

    Lisa Philippa

    We stayed at the hotel opposite cemetery beach. You are right the parks are beautiful and the seafarers harbour tour was excellent. Miss you both 🥰

    Mark Sawyer

    🥰

     
  • Day177

    Port Headland and beyond.

    October 11, 2021 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    It’s really great that the coast line in the Pilbara is stunning because National Highway 1 in these parts is quite frankly, very dull - except - for the road trains. 53meters long, up to 200 tonnes or 181,500 kg, some configurations have 25 axles, with up to 4 wagons attached, they are usually going 90kph and do not slow down for anyone unless you are holding a stop/go lollipop. If I see one coming in the rear view, I park up the van and wait. With just one exception of the incident Regina had while crossing the causeway over the Nicholson River at Doomadgee, the R.T. drivers haven’t yet lived up to their Spawn of Satan reputation.
    After Cape Keraudren we detoured into Port Headland. An amazing industrialised place. Everything is BIG. Everything is also red and dusty. Very iron ore dusted. We saw it for ourselves but it was verified by some public toilet graffiti - “F#+k The Dust!” It must get you down when you step out in your best white jeans. By necessity, most folk have opted for High Vis.
    Watching the 2k long ore trains coming in loaded and leaving empty was awe inspiring. The train movements and ship loading is a 24x7 operation. There is a nice pic of one of Rio Tinto ore train on their home page: https://www.riotinto.com/en/operations/australi…. Plus some other oversized toys.
    There was 26 bulk carriers out at sea awaiting access to the loading facilities in the harbour. All the big players have their own loading facility and there are 4 more ports south along the coast that I know about. (Port Samson where we are headed shortly for one). Quiz: If a single train can cary 29,000 tons, how long will it take to send the Pilbara to Asia?
    Who knew that Rio Tinto also mines Salt? Right on the outskirts of the town centre they are producing > 3 million tons annually of high grade salt for export. https://www.westernaustralia.com/en/Tour/Salt_E…
    The salt purification ponds are bigger than the International Airport at Port Hedland
    https://goo.gl/maps/QvmbtZQ5o6JDse7M9

    Out of Port Headland we head to another amazing free camp on a farmers property. Yule River Camp is on the river plain and has sites tucked in amongst the Melaleuca and River Gums. Beautiful, as are numerous Forrest Kingfisher and flocks of Blue Winged Kookaburra. These guys are just a bit prettier than the Laughing Kookaburra that we know so well on the NSW Central Coast, but, their call is a little more staccato, less rollicking, less musical and not as quintessentially Aussie (in my opinion).
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  • Day49

    Lianne and Jeff

    August 14, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 21 °C

    We decided to stay at the golf club in South Hedland. We had only 130km to travel, after our big haul yesterday. We were the first of the day to arrive, apparently so we got the best spot! In among the gums, with plenty of shade. Our neighbour advised us to park in the middle, or they would try and squeeze someone else in too. So we did, and had a lovely big site with plenty of shade.
    We went to the Information center, and left with an itinerary: first we watched the pilots guide the big container ships into port, then we followed the coast around. The tide was out, so mud flats were the go around here. We ended up at Pretty Pool, and it was true to its name. A quick paddle, and back to the van for a shower before meeting Lianne and Jeff for tea.
    We paid $25 for water, power and the key to use the toilet and shower in the Golf Club. Bargain, as some the other CP were charging up to $50.
    We met Jeff waiting for us at the Lodge Motel, and I gave Lianne her injection for psoriasis. We had a huge meal at the smorgasbord in their canteen. All available for the miners, and Lianne charged it to the post office! It was good to see them both again.
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  • Day18

    Port Hedland

    April 30, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    Arrived at Split Rock camp site, just off the Gt Northern Highway late Sunday afternoon. Nothing there but evidence of past campers. It's not a bad spot, hidden from the road, private and flat. Good for the night. I climbed the rock and took a photo of the truck way down below.
    We were having problems with the freezer not freezing stuff properly so, after asking at the visitor info centre we went to see Stay Kool Refrigeration guys in Port Hedland. Brilliant people and they know their trade well. Freezer working well now.
    We enjoyed looking around Port Hedland. The fish burger and coffee from the Harbour Cafe was excellent. It was fascinating to see the huge ships in the harbour being loaded with ore, and the kilometres long trains coming and going 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The place doesn't sleep. On the way out of town we got held up at a train crossing and the train took just over 5 minutes to pass.
    We stayed in the grounds of the Turf Club for two nights. It serves as an overflow area to the caravan parks. We stocked up with food, fuel and water and left town on Wednesday heading for the De Grey River rest area, which was only about 65ks north of Hedland.
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    The Gypsies

    The photo I took from up near the top of the rock.

    5/5/17Reply
    The Gypsies

    Watching some of the shipping activity in the Port Hedland Harbour.

    5/5/17Reply
    The Gypsies

    Time to fill the water tanks.

    5/5/17Reply
    2 more comments
     

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