Thursday, July 5, 2012

Camping in the W.A. outback

 Cockburn Rest Area, WA
We continued along the Great Northern Highway and decided to stop at the Cockburn rest area which is at the intersection and a choice has to be made to go to either Wyndham or Kununurra.  We intended to go to Wyndham.  At this point there is also a quarantine dump – no fruit or vegetables can be carried further.  The rest area is a popular stop and overnight there were about ten vehicles.  Perhaps others were like us and having a cook up.  The apples soon became apple pie (thank goodness we had pastry in the freezer), muffins and a cake were made, and then a large home style chicken casserole with heaps of vegetables.  We had a lovely dinner and I won’t have to cook much over the next couple of days as we enjoy the leftovers.

Crocodile Hole Aborigional Community

On the way today we passed a number of Aboriginal communities.  These are signposted but there is always a sign saying that there is no access.  The only small town on the highway was Warnum (also known as Turkey Creek) but again this was an Aboriginal community and the stop sign was up saying that there was no entry to anyone other than locals.  I have never seen a “European” township with a stop sign stopping entry to anyone but locals but this is very common in this part of the world with Aboriginal communities.  I am happy to be corrected.

The sunset was again pretty amazing and it was interesting watching the road trains with their lights against the orange of the sunset. 
 Sunset in the outback, WA
There were lots of road trains!  There are a number of mines in the area including the Argyle Diamond Mine and also a large nickel mine.  They transport their loads on four trailer road trains through to the export wharf at Wyndham which is a trip of close to 200 kilometres.  The road trains continued all night but I didn’t hear them when I went to bed – not too sure about others as anyone who was a light sleeper would have heard them all night.

We had travelled less than 250 kilometres between our overnight stops.  The temperatures overnight near The Bungle Bungles were very cold and we had had to pull out extra bedding.  We expected the same temperatures at Cockburn but the extra bedding wasn’t required and it was much warmer.  It is hard to understand how it can be so different in such a short distance.

Next stop Wyndham, the Top Town of the West (geographically).
 Sunset in the outback,
 Roadtrain passing in the outback, WA

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