Sunday, 14 September 2014

Karratha, Cleaverville Beach, Dampier, Roebourne & Point Samson

On the 2nd of September 2014 we made our way towards Karratha. We had heard of a couple of places that you can camp that are run by the shire & are cheap, but still close to town & right on the beach. We did a quick drive into Karratha itself for a look around to see what facilities there were, it had everything including a Woolies & Coles, so we knew we could restock. After a quick lunch we headed out to our camping spot, Cleaverville Beach. It is between Karratha & Roebourne, right on the coast & only about 30km from Karratha. The dirt road in is good quality & we were soon greeted with sweeping blue views of the ocean, what a great spot. We pulled into see the caretaker & paid them our $10 a night & went off in search of a campsite. We found one right on the sand dunes, looking out over the water, that was a long way from any neighbours, heaven. 

Cleaverville beach 3 photos above & 1 below

We had soon set up & went down to the beach for a look. It was a sandy beach, but as soon as you got to the water it was more rocky & with some coral. We explored until it was time for a beer. We enjoyed the night & were quite chuffed with ourselves for finding  a great spot for cheap. 

Camp at Cleaverville beach

The next day we headed into Karratha. We went to the visitor centre first to get some water, we also used their free WiFi & they also have computers, so I backed up my photos. We then went for a drive around & picked up a few things from the shops. There was a Tyrepower who was a Cooper dealer in town & we decided to take one of our tyres in to see if we could get a warranty on it. One of our rear tyres on the car had developed a split in it, we noticed it first at Langi Crossing, & just kept an eye on it, but it had continued to split. It looked strange & didn't appear to be from stone or rock damage. I was pretty dubious that we would get it under warranty, couldn't be that lucky, but the guy came out, looked at it & said yep, definitely a warranty job. As it was worn, they gave us a 50% discount on a new tyre pro rata, so we were very happy with that. They couldn't do the job until 3pm so we went for a drive to Dampier for a look. As you drive towards Dampier you go past some huge salt lakes, where they dry & then process the salt in the salt mines, it was pretty impressive. Further out we took the turn off towards the port, which is a huge gas port. There is an information centre there that is really worth a look, it explains the gas process really well in a 15 minute video & it has many models & other information about the size of the offshore gas operations. 

Going towards the salt lakes

After that we headed into Dampier. There isn't much there to be honest, although it does have a nice little bay & the water is really green & pretty. Most importantly the do have a pub, so we decided to go for some lunch & they did a great feed. We then went back to Karratha to get our tyre done & by the time that was done, we were ready to head back to camp after being away all day. 

Dampier water front

The next day was a quiet in camp day, so not much to report. 
Birds around camp

The day after we explored towards Roebourne. We had a look at the visitor information centre, which also has the old goal attached. It was a great way to spend an hour & there is some interesting history there, especially the treatment of indigenous prisoners. We then headed towards Wickham, it is really just a mining town, it even had a Woolies & was pretty flash. We think they do it big in mining back home in QLD, but it has nothing on WA. We  moved on towards Point Samson, a beach holiday town. Very beautiful & if you lived in the area, you would spend a lot of time there. The beaches were just beautiful especially Honeymoon Cove & it looked good for a fish. 

Honeymoon Cove

There was a creek on the way in that we decided to have a fish at. We were getting all the gear ready & setting up the lines, when a gust of wind blew the car door shut & snapped Mat's fishing rod in half. It was pretty much brand new & he had only bought it at Christmas time (yes family, the one he want supposed to buy!) so he was not happy to say the least, as it had happened to one of the other rods a few weeks ago as well. So we had to go to the tackle shop & some how Mat managed to walk out with 2 new fishing rods!  It was then time to head back to camp & start to pack up ready for our next move. Cleaverville beach is a great spot to camp. The cost was $10 per night, $60 per week or $280 a month. There are no facilities, but there are toilets down at the boat launching area, that are supposed to be day use only, so you are supposed to be self sufficient. There is water at Karratha visitor centre for $1 per 50L, they also have free WiFi. We ended up staying for 4 nights, definitely a good spot either to chill out & relax or as a base to explore the area, or both.