Warning on Port Headland-Karijini road

Submitted: Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 08:04
ThreadID: 133239 Views:4568 Replies:4 FollowUps:7
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At the beginning of the road from Port Headland to Karijini National Park there should be a sign big enough to be read by anybody attempting to cross it, saying:
1-This road belongs to mine companies
2-You are on your own, we do not accept complaints
3-Thousands of road trains carrying material 24 hrs per day from mine sites
Then they should add:
4-Most of them overspeeding
5-If you go on on the opposite direction you have to slow down to 60 Kph every time you see one (30 secs or so) otherwise you run the risk of being hit by pebbles on the front, bonnet or windshield of your vehicle.
6-If you stop for the night on one P site, never do it but on a side out of the way because they can go thru it at any speed, park there, you have to breath the sulphur fumes of their exhaust system while they do their necessities, some 10-15 minutes. You might find toilet paper everywhere...
Unless other parts in WA where there are P sites for trucks and P sites for tourists, here there are no signs.
Writing to politicians is a waste of time, I've done it in the past regarding how backpackers fool the system entering National Parks (and council's camping sites without caretakers) after sunset and leaving at sunrise to avoid paying the fees as we responsible citizens do.
Just a warning to fellow caravanners, never felt so helpless in any other paved road in Australia, this road remembered me some old movies of the US far west, the biggest or strongest always wins.
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Reply By: Ron N - Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 10:48

Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 10:48
Carlo - You have shot yourself in the foot with your statement, that "Most of them are overspeeding".

All heavy vehicles over 15 tonnes GVM, are obligated by law to be either mechanically geared, or fitted with a speed limiter, so they cannot exceed the 100kmh speed limit by any more than about 8-10kmh.

W.A. Road Traffic Regulations - Speed Limiting

The penalties for interfering with speed limiting devices or altering gearing are steep.

W.A. Road Traffic Regulations - penalties - speed limiter tampering

"Thousands of road trains". Really?? Maybe 50 to 100, perhaps?

Truck owners pay tens of thousands annually in registration fees for prime movers and trailers. I guess this entitles them to use the road?

I could gripe about the tens of thousands of 4WD's and caravanners who regularly clog our highways, overtake all the roadside facilities, and slow everyone up, too - but I don't.

Trucks carry Australia. I don't know of any highway in Australia that isn't filled with road trains - and that includes the highways of many central parts of our cities.

If they annoy you, find a different route and out-of-the-way camp sites.

Have a nice day.

P.S. - The correct spelling is Port Hedland, too.
AnswerID: 603488

Follow Up By: garrycol - Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 11:01

Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 11:01
Oh dear Ron :-(
FollowupID: 873114

Follow Up By: Dave(NSW) - Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 13:42

Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 13:42
If the road belongs to the mine
(1-This road belongs to mine companies
2-You are on your own, we do not accept complaints )
It must be a privet road & that means the trucks can do what ever speed they want & dont need to be speed limited as long as they are not using public roads.

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FollowupID: 873116

Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 14:45

Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 14:45
G'day Dave (NSW)

I trust you won't mind me saying, but the so called "Karijini ~ Port Hedland road" is in actual fact the Great Northern Highway or highway 95, a public road.

The resource industry, in this instance the iron ore companies FMG and Rio Tinto have several satellite mines in operation along the eastern end of the Hammersley Range, these road trains are hauling ore to the port facilities ~ around the clock 24/7. most are triple trailer units but there are Quads plying the road too.

The highway is often closed to the general public for the passage of 'super loads' ~ I guess you could say the road belongs to the mining/resource industry.

It's not just the iron ore miners but healthy a mix of general freight along with gold, chromite and cattle trucks, it really is a road trip that should only be done in the day light hours by mere mortals, only because you have little chance of using the high beam/driving lights on your vehicle and the chance of clobbering stray cattle is very real.

Safe travels : Joe Fury

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Follow Up By: garrycol - Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 15:06

Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 15:06
I thought the original post was a bit of satire.
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Follow Up By: wendys - Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 19:32

Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 19:32
I thought FMG had a railway from their mine to their port at Hedland?
Likewise BHP.
Does Rio Tinto send ore out of Port Hedland these days? I thought they trained ore to the west?
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Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Friday, Aug 19, 2016 at 10:53

Friday, Aug 19, 2016 at 10:53
G'day wendys

FMG's ~ Cloudbreak, Christmas Creek, Iron Bridge and Solomon mining operations have major rail corridors on which ore is railed to their Herb Elliot port facilities, these are just a few of their principal mining operations. There are several other pilot iron ore mines throughout the inland Pilbara that road their ore to port.

Rio Tinto have 'pilot or satellite' mining operations in the east Hammersley Range, they also road their ore to port, possibly to Hedland in a resource infrastructure sharing deal with another miner who has port facilities, Rio's export ~ port facilities are at Cape Lambert and Dampier.

If you want the glossy side of FMG, Rio Tinto, BHP-Billiton, BCIron, Atlas Iron or Hancock Prospecting, Roy Hill (Gina Rinehart) do a Google search there's plenty of nice warm fuzzy feeling information to wade through.

If you want to see and experience the reality of all the above miners, come and visit the region before it is shipped to China.

Safe travels : Joe Fury

FollowupID: 873139

Follow Up By: wendys - Friday, Aug 19, 2016 at 14:38

Friday, Aug 19, 2016 at 14:38
Joe, I have spent a bit of time in the Pilbara, first visit 1993, last one 2007. I had brother and sister in law who lived at Paraburdoo from 1970's on. On my 1993 trip, I couldn't forgive them for never saying how absolutely beautiful the country was. Since then have camped at Karijini & Millstream, walked many of the Karijini and Milllstream area walks, visited Wittenoom Gorge, etc. Explored some beautiful out-of-the-way places around Newman. Didn't have much exposure to the mining side of things until 2006-7, when spent 6 months working on putting up the camps for the constructions workers on FMG's railway. That was an eye opener. Such a superb and so ancient part of our country is being destroyed.
FollowupID: 873150

Reply By: Joe Fury - Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 10:50

Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 10:50
G'day Carlo F

Welcome to the Pilbara ~ I can't disagree with you and I share your angst regarding the road train route into the Eastern Hammersley Range, sadly this section of the Great Northern Highway has been handed over to the resources industry, absolutely nothing illegal about it, simply because it's sanctioned by government and their allies.

The inland Pilbara is being systematically dismembered ~ this is an absolute fact and nothing can be done about it, again sanctioned by every level of government and they call this 'Nation Building'.

Enjoy your journey, take as many images as you possibly can because you at the time will be witnessing a slice of history be that good ~ bad or down right ugly.

Safe travels : Joe Fury

AnswerID: 603489

Reply By: Sigmund - Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 18:45

Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 18:45
There's actually 3 roads needed to get from PH to Karijini.

But let's not let the facts get in the way of a good whinge.

When I did that section of the Great Northern there wasn't one stone flung up at me. That's discrimination against Mexicans.

There was one road-train driver though I was wanting to overtake. He ignored my radio calls and my flashing lights (it was daytime) and behaved like an A-grade plick when I made my move.
AnswerID: 603507

Reply By: gbc - Friday, Aug 19, 2016 at 08:47

Friday, Aug 19, 2016 at 08:47
Cruise down to Whim creek and head out through Millstream on the dirt and there isn't a mine truck in sight. Plenty of other options are available for those who can't handle the reality shock of what actually happens in the Pilbara.

AnswerID: 603522

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