Pilbara - Cossack June 9 2018
  The road into Cleaverville is well formed.

However, there is one cambered corner that retains water, which churns to mud, so the road is closed to all but 4wd less than 3 tonne.

After a couple of days we make our escape.

  Approaching Roebourne we cross the rail line from Newman to Cape Lambert on a very large bridge.
  Then turn north for about 13km to Cossack.

The first significant European settlement in the north west of WA.

A port, supporting the gold rush.

Complete with renovated school house.

  Did they have blackboards in 1890?

For some reason I'm a bit amused by the fireplace in the corner.

Its winter and I'm still in shorts and tee-shirt.

  The Customs House, and presumably bonded warehouse.

Now a cafe and venue for events.

  Opposite is the wharf, which was originally wood but remade with stone at a later date.
  The jail was operated by the police.
  We were happier on the upstairs deck of the post office.
  Of course if one is going to have a jail then one must also have a court house.

Yes m'lud!

This one doubles as a museum, principally about the Hall family.

  We are happy to be outside, having escaped the clutches of the (albeit absent for the moment) purveyors of law and, hopefully, order.

There's a fireplace and chimney at this end of the building. But nowhere else. While there are wide eaves/verandahs for shade there are also gutters to catch rain. Old habits die hard.

The buildings are made either of local bluestone (ironstone) or "shell limestone", which we think is a conglomerate with shells in it.

We remain however in our constant state of confusion as we have passed some operations of "WA Limestone". Perhaps the company has diversified.

The schoolhouse, customs house and courthouse are dressed bluestone. I'm not sure what the corners are. The post office is a partly dressed softer, unidentifiable to us, stone. There were a couple of other buildings of partly dressed conglomerate faced with cement.

Renovation has been helped by local mining companies.

  Looking north from Reader Head Lookout.

I could imagine being a lighthouse keeper ...... looks like the house is still there ....

or is it an old leprasarium? There was one near that the police managed.

  Then looking west, to the jetty at Cape Lambert.

We can see iron ore being loaded by conveyor belt.

  Then Settlers Beach from the lookout.

No camping.

But applications for a 48 hr camp at Cossack have been repeatedly made.

  Surely I didn't do so much damage to the Roebourne Pub in 1978 that its taken until now to rebuild it?

A memorable pub, but for all the wrong reasons. A dysfunctional and violent clientele. And way back then the caravan park was a bit iffy.

Roebourne is a very different place 40 years on.

  There's a new jail, outside the town on the Cossack/Wickham road.

This is the old jail ... lean head to left to see it as it really is.

  Heading east, towards Port Hedland, we cross the George River.

We camped about 70km upstream. And of course we are quietly pleased we moved from George Gorge before the rain arrived.

We didn't stop to see if water was still flowing here. Suffice to know there's lots of it.

  We are driving on the North West Coastal Highway.

This is where the Great Northern Highway joins from the south.

There is a steady merry-go-round of road trains carrying ore to Port Hedland. This one is empty, headed south.

We've been toddling along at about 80 km/hr. The trains travel around 85-90 km/hr. We thought it was easier, and more sensible, to travel faster than argue .... we just joined the traffic stream at a suitable distance.

  Presumably a gas fired "combined heat and power" power station. Port Hedland.

No cooling towers.

  In 1978 I remember the salt stockpiles at Dampier. Here they are at Port Hedland.

And of course we are reminded of salt mines in China and the taxation of salt.

We also cross another iron ore rail line. This time its the Roy Hill line. The mine is about 300km SE of Port Hedland.


  But we don't stop. We turn right (south east) about 35 km east of Port Hedland.

The road junction is illuminated at night.

We are headed towards Marble Bar. And a bit further south to a geological site.

Just a small detour before we continue towards Broome.

If we keep going past Marble Bar we would reach Nullagine, which is where we joined this road on our journey from the east.

Just two days short of seven weeks meandering around the Pilbara. Longer than we intended, it must be interesting.

  Having started late, and done some site seeing, after a bit more than 350 km for the day we decided to stop and camp.

Shaw River.

Nothing particularly special, apart from lots of birds and a pool left from the recent rain.

This is really a white necked heron. Its neck is in shadow.

Two of them took flight from the pool when I disturbed them .... as I'm unfortunately wont to do.

We are camped about 2.5km west of the turnoff to the North Pole. Not the real one (obviously). North Pole, and nearby Panorama, are in the Gorge Range, which is separated from the Hamersley Range by the Fortescue River.

In the North Pole part of the Strelley Pool (geological) Formation there are older stromatolite fossils than we have previously seen. Heavily protected by law so we are headed to a publicly accessible, documented, site about 60km south of Marble Bar. 

  The white-faced heron arrived later.
  The black-fronted dotterels were next to the pool all the time, it just took me a while to catch the movement from the corner of my eye and recognise what was moving.
  The causeway (road) is not far away. About 300m. Periodic ore carrying road trains.

Heard a few during the night but not too intrusive.

  The white-necked herons are hiding from me. They are very shy.

There are also honey-eaters, a couple of blue-winged kookaburras, and a few calls we don't recognise.

Pilbara - Marble Bar June 10 2018

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