We have been on the road for six days to get to Kununurra and once again took the Marble Bar road from Newman which bypasses Port Hedland. The main reason for taking this route was because we were craving some isolation and really enjoy passing through this spectacular iron ore country. Whilst it takes 100km off the main Highway One route, avoiding the many road trains on this stretch, what you gain in kilometres is more than lost with the extra time driving on gravel roads. The predominantly dirt road is in quite good condition, but by the time you reach the bitumen back on the highway near Pardoo, you can expect that pindan dust to be in every corner of the camper, boat and your own personal space. But with plenty of quiet pullover spots to light a fire, crack a red and take in the night sky, it is well worth the diversion.
Following this, a night amongst the travellers at the Roebuck Plains Roadhouse near Broome for a decent shower and to top up the water tanks was more than enough of civilisation, especially with this being a regular road train refuelling depot, so we were off again early the next morning. All the talk about the Broome late wet season was obvious by the flowers on the boabs and damaged road verges at the floodways. At one stage the police raced past with flashing lights so we were pre warned about something up ahead. Unfortunatelty, it seems not everyone was driving to the conditions as we soon came across a caravan rollover, with both landcruiser and caravan demolished and a road train parked nearby. From the CB chatter, appears the driver of the landcruiser tried to pass the road train without enough room and when he pulled in tight the swinging caravan went past the point of no return. Amazingly, no-one was seriously hurt, but the stunned looks on the driver and passengers sitting under a tree said it all.
Before arriving in Kununurra we decided to stop for two days at a favorite station called Larrawa Nature Stay, which is midway between Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek. When we first started calling in here about five years ago, there were no more than five campers, as there is no power, you have to take your own rubbish out, but the showers/toilets are good and being a working station there is something to see. Apparently, the good reviews on camping internet sites has worked for Larrawa, because on our second night there, they reached a record of twenty two sites utilised, although it was school holidays.
Seems like we are always searching for great new locations, whether it be for camping, fishing, overnight stays or just living in general, because as we know, once the word is out, there is sure to be a crowd there sooner or later and that’s part of life. As one lady messaged on the Margaret River Community facebook page a few weeks ago, posting a photo of the Margaret River main street in years gone by. She was pining for the old shops, quiet main street and laid back country lifestyle. But just remember, in another thirty or so years, people will be reminiscing about the good ol’ days that we are having right now, so enjoy while you can!