Wildflowers in the Pilbarra

Our eagerness to get back to Perth after having been away for nearly two and a half years has trumped our desire to travel slowly through the Pilbarra on our last leg of this trip.

Iron-ore rich, red Pilbara country.
Iron-ore rich, red Pilbara country.
Balancing Rocks.
Balancing Rocks.

Our planned four day trip has been condensed into two days. We left Broome, travelled through Port Hedland and took the Great Northern Highway via Newman towards Perth. First stop was a roadside stop approximately 280kms north of Newman.

Tonight, our second night, we’re in Cue, 1582kms south of Broome. Tomorrow we’ll travel the remaining 646kms and will be back in Perth at our favourite Perth caravan Park – Karrinyup Waters.

Those distances no doubt sound horrendous to both my overseas readers, and to some of my interstate readers. BUT – in WA, those distances aren’t difficult, even with a fifth wheeler trailing along behind. Since leaving Broome we haven’t been through any traffic lights, and we’ve only been through a couple of intersections ( both in Hedland). We’ve only had two road turns, the first as we left Broome and turned onto the Great Northern Highway, and then again as same Highway turns south just after Hedland.

Being a mining area, the superb roads are maintained to a high standard for the huge road trains. The road train drivers travel at a good speed on the flat or down hill, and are very courteous when they’re on an uphill grind. We have a CB radio which we keep tuned into the truckie’s channel. The truck drivers have a long, clear view of the road ahead, and give us the all clear when it’s safe to overtake. A constant speed of around 95kms an hour is easy to maintain.

A road train with three carriages, (some have four carriages and can be up to 53metres long.)
A road train with three carriages, (some have four carriages and can be up to 53metres long.)

Before we depart in the morning (at around 7am) we fill our thermos for coffee, and we pack our snack and lunch cooler bag to keep in the car between us. Paul drives, and it’s my job to keep him fed, watered, and entertained. A good supply of fresh fruit, nuts, and crackers with cheese, between sips of iced water keeps us sustained throughout the day. The iP0d provides entertainment with a good selection of our preferred music.

We usually have one fuel stop a day, and perhaps a couple of loo stops, at which times we fill our travel mugs with coffee, and on the road again.

So, that’s how we manage the long travel days – easy.

A sea of pink bursts from the red earth.
A sea of pink bursts from the red earth.

Not so easy, bi-passing Karijini National Park, and only snapping all the gorgeous wild flowers from inside the car as we zip past. Promise to ourselves – a slow trip next year over the same route taking time to enjoy all the pleasures whizzing past us this time round.

4 thoughts on “Wildflowers in the Pilbarra

  1. Yes Marie, the wild flowers are gorgeous. We didn’t stop though to get good photos, and photos through a travel dirtied wind screen aren’t so good. It’s amazing that anything at all will grow in the red earth. It looks so barren. There’s wild flowers as far as the eye can see, but I’m sure if we’d parked up and went walking we would have seen even better than what was to be seen whizzing past a car window. Next year perhaps…


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