The Wandering Tops

The Wandering Tops

12 June, 2017

Great Northern Hwy

After lunch we continued onto Mt Magnet then towards Meekatharra on the Great Northern Hwy - we are now out of the area known as the Northern Goldfields. Heading north has made me smile with antisipation of warmer weather and less layers of clothing.  Had a stop at Cue (gold discovered in 1892) to stretch the legs and "water the horse" and was facinated by the grand buildings in the town. Built in the main street between 1895 and 1897 from locally quarried limestone, the buildings were and are still among the most impressive in the region. Approx 20kms north of Cue we stopped and camped at Lake Nallan where we witnessed a stunning sunset. I was happy taking heaps of sunset photos!

Sunset at Lake Nallan

And the sunset continues its display 

An example of the limestone buildings in Cue - Post Office, Courthouse and Police Station

The next day was pretty much a day of travel and watching the scenery change. We stopped at Meekatharra for fuel and lunch. It was cold and overcast not what I had expected at all! I thought I would have been out of the jeans and into the sorts by now, how wrong was I! That night found a bush camp about 60km from Newman. I'd run the generator that night as I had suspect batteries and wanted to have them fully charged before hopping into bed. My suspicions were correct and about 3am the power in the van shut down.

We stayed in Newman the next night on power to keep the batteries on charge. This also gave me the opportunity to ring around for prices on some new batteries and do some shopping in Newman.  We decided that we would get new batteries in Port Hedland, but this meant we needed to stay on powered sites overnight to keep the batteries on charge. Rather than stay in Karajini NP we opted to stay at the Auski Roadhouse CP, Munjina and do day trips into Karajini.

As we travelled into the Hamersley Range the scenery changed as only the Pilbera offers, deep red cliffs and escarpments against the yellowish green of the spinifex, which covers most of the landscape, and the white bark of the snappy gums.

One other thing that we noticed about the Great Northern Hwy as we entered into the Pilbera area was the number of road trains taking iron ore from various mines into Port Hedland, they all seemed to stop at Auski roadhouse which made it quite a dust bowl in the front parking area. Surprising enough staying behind the roadhouse proved better than expected - we had green grass, power and water and although the generator ran constantly the noise did not interfere with our sleep.

Great Northern Highway heading into Hamersley Range

Munjina east gorge

Roadtrain travelling into the sunrise (mulla mulla bush in foreground)

Roadtrain in Auski roadhouse at sunrise 

After two days of touring Karijini, we continued on the Great Northern Highway to Pt Headland, picking up 3 new batteries before booking into Port Tourist Park where we'll stay for 2 nights. This will enable me to replace the batteries before we continue on our journey.

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