Georgia Bore to Carawine Gorge and on to Port Hedland

Wednesday, Jul 22, 2009 at 19:13


Back to previous chapter - The Canning Stock Route

Day 30 - We left Georgia Bore with our broken spring bound tightly with steel plates and high tensile bolts and proceeded west on the Talawana Track, destination Newman, where we hoped to replace the broken spring. The first 60 km was very badly corrugated, which in fact suited us well, as the plan was to shake the broken spring into position, progressively tightening its “bandage” as we went. After about 50km, stopping every 5 km to tighten up the bandage, the broken spring relented and finally jumped into position. A final tightening and regular checking ensured that although Troopy’s normally enthusiastic operation had not been entirely restored, at least we could limp with reasonable confidence.

West of the Cotton Creek intersection the Talawana Track became a wide and fairly well maintained road which passed through some interesting country. We found a good camp among some piles of red rock having again bypassed Rudall River NP.

We arrived in Newman the following day to find that there were really no facilities for the repairs we wanted. Although all we spoke to were as helpful as they could be, this town is not concerned with fixing vehicles. Digging dirt and shipping it overseas takes precedence over virtually everything else. Our nearest option was probably Port Hedland, and after a few phone calls repairs were set in motion. Parts would take a week to arrive and the job would be expensive.

With a week to fill in we tightened Troopy’s bandage and headed north towards Nullagine, and then to Carawine Gorge via the scenic Skull Springs road. Carawine Gorge (and neighbouring water ways) had been on our original plan but been bypassed when the need for repairs took precedence.

The road north of Newman passes through typical Pilbara scenery of flat topped red hills, punctuated by the huge Fortesque River floodplain that is covered with a striking forest of white trunked gums. Around Nullagine there are many old and abandoned mines, and the scenery becomes, if anything more spectacular along the Skull Springs road. Under different circumstances it would be good to spend some time here exploring the area and its geology. There are plenty of good campsites on the many side tracks.

After a camp beside an imposing wall of red rock we went on to Running Waters . The track in is quite good but the final 500 metres was best done on foot. One group had driven in to set up their camp in an exquisite spot. Warm bluish-green clear water overhung by huge paperbarks certainly looked inviting.

Then to Carawine Gorge, an absolute gem in this desert area, but not before a quick look at the Woodie Woodie manganese mine with its big tailings dumps and substantial infrastructure. Around the mine the road was sealed, bliss after our earlier experiences with corrugations and dust.

During the school holidays Carawine had been packed with campers but as the holidays were nearly finished it was fairly quiet. Even so, good campsites were scarce. We spent our first night well back from the water but grabbed a good spot when its occupants departed the next morning.

For a few days here we will do what we enjoy doing most on trips – soaking up the local sights and sounds, catching up on routine maintenance and generally taking it easy. The water is cool but enjoyable for a quick dip, there are thousands of corellas that each morning and evening move between feeding and roosting sites in a noisy procession. And there is the fabulous scenery of the gorge to take in as the light changes throughout the day.

Then its time to head for Port Hedland and the hoped for replacement springs. So its up with the tyre pressures and onto the bitumen as west we go.

Forward to next chapter - Port Hedland to Carnarvon

Back to the very start

J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein
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