21 May

We’ve hit the Pilbara now and everything is RED!  Mainly the car, the van, the cutlery and all the kids clothes. Mining is not the highest priority on our list of things to see this year, so we drove from Exmouth to Point Samson with minimal expectations. But, the drive was much prettier than expected with lovely spinifex covered mountains and impressive rock formations of the Hammersley Range.  And with mining comes some really cool construction toys.



We stopped in Karratha for supplies then headed out to Point Samson. We used this seaside town as a base to explore the area. This included the historic town of Cossack and the town of Dampier (of Red Dog fame).


Unfortunately, the weather had turned quite bad and it rained for 3 days. Luckily, Mardi had a nice big cabin which we could all hang out in, and the nearby town of Wickham had a good library. Point Samson itself sported a good pub, decent park and some really fun live bait fishing for estuary Cod! (1 – 0 to Miff or 6 – 1 to the cod as she lost quite a few)

The weather cleared and so we turned inland to spend a few days in Millstream Chichester and Karijini National Parks. We were interested to see how the rape and pillage approach of Riotinto, Fortescue and BHP were progressing. Millstream is a sleepy little National Park South of Karratha. We were told not to go by some locals but we were glad we did. Right near the campsite was a great walk that led to a Lily filled natural spring. Rosie was the only one not interested in this walk. Very funny actually.






Karijini is the most beautiful National Park in the middle of this mining mecca. We had to get a Permit to travel on the mining access road, 200+ k’s of corrugations and dust but the van and the car held up.. sort of! We travelled right beside to train line and it was impressive to see 230 carriages full of iron-ore trundle past.


We made a quick stop at Hammersley Gorge on our way to Dales campground. The first of many amazing gorges. This one had Banded Iron Formations! after 15 Years of teaching about these structures in rocks and their significance Darren now knows what they actually are!






We also visited Oxer and Junction Pool Lookouts – The meeting place of four gorges and we went for a stroll along the bottom of the Hancock Gorge. We doubt these photos do the Gorges justice.



 There were no showers in Karijini so our afternoons were spent swimming in Fortescue Falls and Fern Pool, walking distance (but we rode) from the Dales Gorge campsite.



fern pool 1


Karijini was a difficult place to get to but was definitely worth the visit. We are now packing up to head to 80 Mile Beach tomorrow, then on to Broome. Unfortunately we have to drop Mardi at the Airport on the way. We will all be sad as we say goodbye as she has been with us for three weeks. She has braved it in the tent and even squashed in the van at times!






9 Responses to “Red”

  1. Matt May 22, 2013 at 1:33 am #

    Sensational. Looks superb. Amazing scenery and great pics. But what’s with the 80’s silver shoulder padded top Mif?

    • shakeandmif May 22, 2013 at 11:55 am #

      Cracked me up this morning trying to work out what shoulder pad outfit I had. Yep spot on that’s my delux spray jacket. Might try not to wear it too much. Good point well made

      Sent from my iPhone

  2. Melanie Louth May 22, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Woot woo Miff- looking hot in the waterfall!
    Who know such a red part of the country is really so beautiful. The gorges looked really great too.
    My absolute fav is the unimpressed Rosie though- brilliant!!

    • shakeandmif May 22, 2013 at 11:54 am #

      How funny is Rosie’s face. Miss u guys

      Sent from my iPhone

  3. Ulladulla Children's Centre May 22, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

    Hi Archie and Rosie, WOW we can’t believe the size of the enormous truck and huge wheels. That is no ordinary tonka truck!! Do you think it would fit in our sandpit at daycare? If so can you bring us home one???? We miss you and love reading the post cards you send. P.S. Happy 5th Birthday Archie. We can tell that is a big 5 year old’s bike you got for your birthday.

  4. Karen Lissa May 22, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

    Some amazing photos. Beautiful places. I’ve seen those trucks on “monster trucks”. Quite daunting in size. Looks like you still have warm weather. Quite cold back here. Just had the 2 day athletics carnival. All went well.

  5. Lissa Bingham May 25, 2013 at 8:41 am #

    Your right you just cant impress with photos how spectacular the gorges are, loving the blog but jealous as hell !!!!!!

  6. The Roses May 27, 2013 at 6:42 am #

    love it, wish we were there. Missing you guys but really enjoying the blog.
    xxx Kel, Steve, Ben, Binka and Bob.

  7. aussietnt June 10, 2013 at 10:48 am #

    Love the expression and the folded rocks! Beautiful place! Thanks for sharing….

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