The Pilbara…home to the reddest red dirt, stunning scenery, amazing wildlife, that big Aussie sky and, of course, Red Dog. This region ticked all the boxes for us…historical towns to wander around, amazing landscapes to hike, climb and explore, friendly locals and a perfect climate for van living. Here are some of our favourite photos from our travels around this beautiful part of WA.
Leaving behind the Gascoyne region and heading into the Pilbara.
We stayed at the Discovery Park on Balmoral Road in Karratha for a week. It was a great park which backed on to open land with miles of tracks where we were able to go walking and running with Bobby each day. It was a perfect area for watching the sunrises and sunsets too.
Plenty of roos to spot. That’s Karratha town in the background.
Bobby doing his Scrappy-Do impression when he saw a roo.
Shadows. Taken on one of our evening strolls in Karratha.
Red Dog’s statue at the entrance to Dampier.
Bobby hanging out with Red Dog.
The Pilbara Wanderer, Red Dog, is a legend of the region and one of Australia’s most famous dogs. The film, Red Dog, which was inspired by stories of the real dog’s adventures, is a real tear-jerker but it’s also a funny and heart-warming look at Pilbara life back in the 70’s.
The view from the lookout in Dampier. The patch of white that looks like surf is actually salt from the Dampier Salt Mines.
Tiger had a trip out to the vet in Karratha for her annual check-up and vaccinations. Red Dog’s collar and tag are hanging in reception.
Tiger back in the van after her annual check-up and vaccinations. Our old girl charmed the vet with her chat and attitude, despite being told that she is still several kilos overweight!
The Pilbara treated us to some amazing sunsets.
We celebrated Ali’s birthday in Karratha with a bottle of bubbles and Black Pepper Tofu, our favourite recipe from Ottolenghi’s Plenty book.
The historic town of Cossack where you can wander around the restored buildings and learn about the town’s interesting past as a major port with a thriving pearl industry.
Leaving Cossack, we visited the old cemetery and then drove up to the lookout which has stunning views over Settlers Beach. A perfect picnic spot.
We spent a couple of days in Point Samson, a popular little holiday and fishing town. Lots of great walks to be done near Honeymoon Cove and through the town. On the down side, the fish and chips, which we had been told were amazing, turned out to be average and the caravan park was the most expensive we stayed at – $49 per night!
The rocky coastline and little coves around Point Samson were beautiful and very different to the miles of sandy beaches that you get used to in WA. We felt like we were on a Mediterranean island.
Point Samson sunset.
Another beautiful morning…
We saw lots of wildlife in the Pilbara. Some of the birds of prey are huge!
This one was keeping a close eye on us, especially Bobby, and making sure we didn’t go anywhere near the nest.
Back on Highway One, the traffic got pretty heavy around Port Hedland. There seemed to be an endless convoy of road trains and there is nothing pleasant about driving along with one of them sitting on your tail! Shortly after Port Hedland, we turned off the highway and headed inland to Marble Bar, Australia’s hottest town.
A view of Marble Bar taken from the lookout above the town. This was a really interesting little town with a great heritage trail, a lookout to catch the spectacular sunsets from and a friendly caravan park full of interesting characters.
The Jasper deposits at Marble Bar.
From Marble Bar, we headed back to Port Hedland and then started our journey down the Great Northern Highway. From here, most people would be heading into Karijini, WA’s most famous national park, but we decided not to as it would have meant putting our pets into the boarding kennels at Tom Price. Instead, we stayed for a few nights at the Mt Robinson Campsite. It turned out to be our own little animal friendly Karijini with a mountain to hike up and a gorge to explore.
Walking through the gorge at Mt Robinson just after the rain. Just beautiful!
Bobby definitely enjoyed his gorge adventure.
Clambering over rocks and under trees…all part of the adventure.
A beautiful evening to end our Pilbara travels.