Gas and Boom

Trip Start Jul 08, 2008
Trip End Sep 11, 2008

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Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Tuesday, August 12, 2008

On Tuesday morning, it was interesting to see something of Karratha after hearing so much about it.  Besides a Visitors Centre situated just out of town in a lovely bush setting, the town itself seemed to consist of only an enormous modern shopping centre and various other business and shopping buildings. 

In the afternoon we drove the short distance to Dampier where beside the huge salt flats (anchovy flats the sign read!) the landscape is really interesting with great red rocks…some round and many quite square with a beautiful view over the ocean. From there we drove along the Burrup Peninsula to the Visitors Centre which is very interesting with well set out exhibits and videos explaining the workings of the offshore gas operations. The onshore towers have flames on top, burning constantly day and night.The information girl told us that as long as the flame was burning everything was ok, but if the flame went out then it would indicate a blockage that would need urgent attention.  From the Visitor Centre car park we could see the off limits impressive gas works and towers with all the employee cars in the yard.

From there we drove down various tracks on Burrup Peninsula to the different coves along the shore line, over rocks and sand in four wheel drive….great scenery and lot of fun.  In the evening while preparing the caravan to leave the next morning, we talked to our NSW neighbours Yvonne and Keith and the Tasmanians on the other side, Gina and Graham. 

We planned to leave early the next morning as we expected that we would be woken by the workers anyway, but didn't realize how far west we had traveled.  The sun didn’t rise till 6.30am, which was very late when compared with Kununurra situated so much further east and close to the Northern Territory!  No wonder they don’t want daylight saving up there.

We waited till the sun had risen before setting off as dawn and dusk are the most likely times to hit kangaroos.  As we left the boom town of Karratha, we passed truck after truck loaded with prefab houses on their way up from Perth to try and ease the housing shortage there. 
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