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Home > Travelogues > 2009 Travelogues Index > Wickham to Carawine Gorge

From Wickham we continue through the Pilbara to Carawine Gorge east of Marble Bar 

The track on leaving was not as bad as we had expected following the rain, but it was closed later that day to avoid damage to the track.

 

The caravanners we parked near chose to go further south to visit features such as Skull Springs and Eel Pool, whereas we were heading east, so after both parties safely exiting the wet track we parted company and we headed back to the Telfer road.  

 

We visited a small beach near Wickham at low tide.  Coloured tide lines can be seen on the rocks at the other side of the beach.  

This cone shell was out on the edge of the water where we took his picture and let him stay. 
 
 

Overlooking the rail yard at the back of the Cape Lambert iron ore loading facility.  Three ships can be seen waiting to dock and load.   The dark red rocks are typical of the Karratha area.

 

Vivid red Sturt’s Desert Pea flowers were blooming. 

 

At Port Hedland, the salt works is a busy operation.  Someone has places ‘shark fins’ in the evaporation pond alongside the highway, and they are now encrusted with salt.  A constant stream of road trains loads and takes salt to the wharf for shipping. 

 

There is a good look-out to pull off the highway near the salt operation, which is mainly to get a good view of the very long iron ore trains as they come into town.  The iron ore is also taken to the port for export. 

 

These hills, one of which always reminds me of a cocky’s beak, mark the turn off to Marble Bar. 

 

The Des Streckfuss Rest Area is a pleasant picnic area between the highway turn off and Marble Bar.  Tracks run down to and along the nearby Gorge Creek which would be a very pleasant overnight stop. 

 

Approaching Marble Bar.  The cut out section on the map of Australia shows the extent of the Shire of East Pilbara which runs from the coast at Cape Keraudren to the Northern Territory border, covering an area of over 371,696 square kilometres, almost 15% of Western Australia. It is the largest Shire in the world. 

 

We had previously visisted Karratha, a modern town built to support the mining industry, and further north, the historic old town of Roebourne.  We made our way to Wickham, a neat town built by mining industry to accommodate workers.
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The drive east from Marble Bar along the Rippon Hills Road was lovely, with soft green spinifex and orange hills.  Much of this area is now the Meentheena Conservation Park, and was formerly a station. 

 

Shortly after crossing the Oakover River, we turned south onto the Woodie Woodie Road for a short distance before taking the dry weather station track in to Carawine Gorge. 

 

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In early 2004 Cyclone Faye took out many of the trees along this section of the river.  Remnants can be seen in the thick layer of stones which have been deposited well above the normal water line.  The stones are not as firm as they appear when driven on with a heavy rig, but that is another story.  Trees are re-growing along the water’s edge. 

The setting sun lit up the hills near our camp.

 

We woke in the morning to find it raining. 

 

After the rain passed, the walls of the gorge reflected in the still water.  

 

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See more about travelling the Gary Junction Road in our Question and Answer section.
 
Scroll to Option 8 in Question 30
 
 
See Chris and Valdis's visit to Carawine Gorge in 2015 and in 2016.