GET YOUR HEAD AROUND HEDLAND
After five weeks in Port Hedland, I must say I have really enjoyed this part of the North West for many reasons, not the least being the people who live and work here. I was set up at Cooke Pt Caravan Park with a great view across what is known as Pretty Pool on one side and the ocean only 100 metres the other side. Most travellers pull in here for only one night as a stopover to head further north or when returning south, just as I have done many times before. As ‘Smirky’, the long term owner of the South Hedland sports and fishing store said when I was buying some jigs the other day, Port Hedland is one of WA’s best keep secrets and the locals don’t mind it that way.
A perfect example were some friends from the eastern states who were keen to catch up with us and were travelling with a dog. They could not find any caravan parks that would allow pets, so rang to say they would have to miss us this time. I then told them about caravans being permitted at the local racecourse for only $10 a night, right in the centre of Port Hedland, supermarket down the road, view of the harbor two minutes away and beach within walking distance. They ended up staying three nights and enjoyed their stay immensely. Great tip for anyone with an RV or caravan if you are self sufficient and do not require power.
So what to do, you ask? Well anyone who likes boats has to be impressed by the sight of massive bulk carriers eerily passing in and out of the port on a regular basis and you can watch it all while having a coffee at the nearby Dome, if that’s your style. Better still book a tour of the port facility and get a real insight into how the whole operation works. If you have a four wheel drive, then the options are endless and include driving out to the spoil bank for some beach fishing or swimming, out to Finucane Island where you can shore base fish the creeks or launch a small boat and chase the muddies, queenies or GT’s off the rock bar near the mouth. Then there is six mile creek, just out of Port Hedland, where you only need a two wheel drive and the tip here is to go on the low tide, walk across the rock bar and fish the holes nearby. Anyone with a boat over four metres will obviously be enticed by the offshore bottom fishing either side of the channel markers and with so much ground to explore, simply set the sounder to read only the bottom 5-10 metres and you will have no problems finding some country. For the more adventurous, you could head down to Boudarie Landing and try your hand at hooking mud crabs out of the mangroves on low tide, but be prepared for the midgies in droves and real soft mud. Finally there is the races, which are a huge event in all country towns. I had a radio course on during last Saturday’s meeting, but planned to make the last race and put the house on ‘Poppacorka’, only because my dad was a keen punter and a corker of a bloke! Great betting strategy I know and had to write this article before the meeting, so will let you know how it went!
To answer last week’s question, a spanish mackerel can live for more than 20 years. This week’s question is, ‘Where does Port Hedland rank in Australia with regard to port tonnage?’
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