Departing Exmouth we took in several sights on the journey back out to the North West Coastal Highway. First diversion not far out of town we took a right turn and were soon meandering over vivid red and green hills with the stunning azure waters of Exmouth Gulf as our backdrop. Negotiating the range along Charles Knife Road we were rewarded with views of steep, sheer sided gullies and canyons of this eastern section of Cape Range National Park.
We came upon a nice secluded picnic area for morning tea with the views heading back out being even more stunning making it difficult to keep the eyes on the steep road ahead.
Back out on the main road we called into the Pot Shot Memorial right on the edge of the bay before finding another stunning secluded beachfront lunch spot, we certainly were getting accustomed to the beautiful Western Australian coast
Tearing ourselves away from our stunning lunch spot it was time to put some miles behind us as we made our way further up the coast to the remote and historic hamlet of Onslow. We opted for a night at the Onslow Caravan Park and after a rather wild, blustery night on the coast we headed off to explore the remains of Old Onslow, a must stop for any history buff or avid photographer such as us. The old town of Onslow was moved to its current location in 1925 in search of a better port location. There are still some crumbling remains of its original buildings at the old town site to explore.
With the weather closing in we made the decision to start heading further north aiming for the town of Karratha and possibly accommodation depending on what the weather was likely to do. This turned out to be our best decision of the trip, not that we knew it yet. As the rain set in we pulled into Karratha and booked the last remaining cabin at the local caravan park. That night we received over 60mm of rain with the following day the area receiving another whopping 209mm. Roads were cut in all directions from town and many travelers were stranded for days due to the unseasonal deluge. In all we ended up spending 5 nights in Karratha waiting for things to dry out and the roads to reopen. Life on the road can certainly be interesting. This did however give us a chance to explore the Dampier Peninsula, beautiful Hearsons Cove where we did almost get to see the well known “Stairway to the Moon” as the moon rises over the mud flats, discover historic Aboriginal Petroglyphs and of course visit the Red Dog Memorial.
Once the roads had reopened we also did a day trip to the historic and fascinating locales of Roebourne including the historic Roebourne Jail, Cossack, Point Samson, Wickham and the Burrup Peninsula. A stunning and fascinating part of Western Australia.
Once we finally left Karratha we ventured a little further up the coast to Port Hedland before turning south, heading inland towards what would be the highlight of our Pilbara Adventure. Jump onboard with us next time as, after drying out our poor sodden rooftop tent we explore a myriad of national parks including the wonders of Karijini, Millstream Chichester and beyond, it just keeps on getting better and better in the Pilbara.