Arriving in Port Hedland after travelling along coastal and country roads was a bit of a shock to the system! It’s an industrial and mining city with the busiest port in Australia, witnessed by the number of ships waiting to dock and load to take their cargo around the world stocked with, mainly, iron ore.
This is my trip since leaving Broome and taking me through Port Hedland and on the way to Exmouth.
This link to Wikipedia will give you some history and facts and figures about the Port of Hedland. And the Port of Hedland website is also full of great information. It was interesting to find that in February this year, 2015, ….. the largest single shipment of iron ore has left the port of Port Hedland with 263,989 tonnes onboard the vessel Abigail N. Source Mining Australia
Although the Turf Club free camp had closed there were 8 motorhomes that crept in to stay a couple of nights, only to be sprung by the Ranger who asked us to move on. They were very considerate though, and gave us until 6.30 the following morning to make sure we were gone. This suited us fine as we were attending a Trivia Night that night at the historic Esplanade Hotel and then booked to go on a tour of the port with the Seafarer’s Mission the next day.
Our Trivia results are best left alone – our table of grey nomads came last! – but the tour of the port was a highlight. We met at the Seafarer’s Mission and were loaded on to a bus and taken to a launch that would ferry us around the harbour and pick up seamen that had shore leave from the visiting ships. All along the way we were given information about the ships, the port, the mining companies and the people who work in the port, so it was a fascinating couple of hours. The size of the ships was mind boggling and I hope you can get a good idea from the following photos.
Our group of friendly travellers split up at Port Hedland, most going inland to Karijini National Park while I continued to hug the coastline on my way south. I’m sure it won’t be long before we link up again.