Touring Australia

Follow me as I blog my way around Australia.

The motorcycle leg of this journey started in Darwin. I had the bike trucked there and flew to meet it from Sydney. I rode solo through The Kimberley, The Pilbara, Shark Bay, Monkey Mia, Kalbarri, New Norcia, Perth, Fremantle, Margaret River, Esperance, The Nullarbor Plain and back to Sydney via the Adelaide Region and The Great Ocean Road.

As you might imagine the whole trip was an incredible experience .... I'm ready to do it again!

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Monday, September 7, 2009

It seems like everything in Port Hedland is super sized. Every other vehicle is a road train, there are mountainous piles of salt or iron ore and everything just everything is covered in red dust.

The ore transport system is amazing. There are enormous trains that stretch for close to 4 KM that travel along a 426 KM network of BHP Billiton owned rail system. Each of the ore carrier cars are gigantic measuring about the size of a small office building!

There are turbo helicopters flying over head and just about every vehicle that is not a road train is a company owned and tagged work vehicle.

I passed a road train that was carrying a single tractor type continuous tread... the type you might find on an armoured tank. The remarkable thing... it was the size of the whole flat bed it was on! I can't imagine the size of the vehicle it came from.

The main road into Port Hedland from Broome is also the main industrial track of some of the processing equipment used for both Ore and salt. I also learned that WA supplies 5% of the worlds demand for salt!

I stayed in a camp ground at the end of Cook Point and was fortunate enough to be there on one of the few nights each month that the 'stairway to the moon' phenomenon occurs. Visible only on super low tides and is the reflection of the moon on the water gives the appearance dues to the curvature of the earth, of lighted steps raising up to the moon itself. It only lasts a few minutes as the moon rises higher than the water surface not long after rising.

Port Hedland is not a natural attraction, it's not a crisp cool rock pool surrounded by ferns and tropical birds in a gorge. It is however an incredible example of man's ingenuity in using the resources available to him and a valuable part of Australia's economy. The locals tell me that for Port Hedland there is no, and has been no recession.

This all has to be seen to be believed.