The Pilbara - Historic Cossack, Wickam, Point Sampson and Beirut by the sea (Roebourne)

Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 00:00


Saturday 10th June
Karratha WA

With a leisure day there was no need to get out of bed too early hence it was 8:30 a.m. when I arose. Again the wind was howling out of the east starting at exactly 5:00 a.m. A snappy breakfast, a load of washing and a catch up with John and Julie and we were on our way east to Roebourne, Wickham, Cossack and Point Sampson. Managed to get onto Paul Varasdi at South Hedland and we’ll meet up with he and Katie tomorrow.

Roebourne was a war torn place with signs of its recent discontent and rioting all to evident in its burnt out houses, smashed windows and closed businesses. Needless to say we didn’t get out of the car. Historic Cossack situated on Tsien Tien bay has largely disappeared from the thriving little pearling and service port that it was at the turn of the century. Several severe cyclones up to 1898 sealed it’s fate but what old buildings remain have been painstakingly restored with assistance of the nearby Roebourne Correctional Facility. The social and cultural museum in the old courthouse was particularly interesting providing a good outline of the history of the surrounding area, it’s early pioneers and its indigenous and Asian associations as well. The wind whipped the murky red coloured waters of the bay into a choppy frenzy. I’d have hated to be trying to get a wind-powered ship into the bay in these conditions!

Point Sampson is a little seaside town obviously well supported by the many retirees who have settled here or who have holiday homes in its few streets. Why you’d have that way out here in the middle of now where stupefies me but…! I think the fishing must be a major attraction. It also supports the main Pilbara Iron loading facility as evident by the 10 bulk ore carriers waiting at anchor off shore. We’d had ‘Moby’s Restaurant at the Sampson Tavern recommended to us so we sat on the wind swept balcony and had prawns, fish and chips. Not bad but pretty exxy.

We returned to Karratha via Wickham and spent an hour or two on the bed having a nana nap. The wind died away as expected. Did the exciting things later in the afternoon like a freezer inventory. Whoo hoo! A simple dinner after the afternoon’s big lunch. A lovely evening spent chatting with a few new people in the park plus some we’d run into at other locations.
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903
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