We had torrential rain nearly all night and we were relieved that we had decided not to stay at Mt Robinson Rest Area.
At about 7.20 am, I wandered down to the roadhouse “Dining“ area in time to watch the news and weather on the satellite flat screen TV. It seemed that the whole country was being subject to heavy rain. A lot of trucks and road trains had come in last night, I assume because of the wet weather, so while I was there, I had a chat to a couple of truckies who were tucking into a big cooked breakfast. They assured me that we would be OK if we were heading north as the roads are better able to cope with this sort of weather that the roads southbound. After a good laugh, we wished each other safe travel and I headed back to the van for my healthy muesli and fruit breakfast and to prepare the rig ready to move on.
Although it was wet, we were not cold and by 9.00 am it was 18 degrees and getting very humid. As we turned on to the Great Northern Highway, the mountains ahead of us were shrouded in fog. Amazing!
The road today was very busy with lots of trucks and road trains. As we progressed further up the highway we noticed more and more water and roads closed. The road to Marble Bar was closed. The first 2 rest areas that we had chosen to stop at were also closed. The scenery along the way is mountainous and breathtaking. It reminded Ann of the Hutt Valley north of Wellington in New Zealand. The Yule River was quite full and flowing.
As we got closer to Port Hedland, the amount of water in the rivers and creeks increased. We had a break at about 11.30 and after that the rain began again. We had planned to stay at Indee Station tonight but the 9 km dirt road was closed. Our next stop at Mundabullangana was completely full of trucks and road trains which we realized were stuck because the Coastal Highway was closed. We eventually managed to pull over and have a break but thought that we should make it a quick break and head to Port Hedland and find somewhere for the night.
That’s when the fun started. All of the free camps seemed to be under water and all Caravan Parks were full. We heard that the golf course would take any over flow but we had driven past and there was a lot of water there. Ann rang the Golf Club and they made room for us, so effectively we are free camping at a price. After a quick dash into town to top up supplies, we had happy hour with some other travelers who are also staying here and we all traded war stories from the last 24 hours. It seems that Port Hedland had the highest rainfall on record last night!
Anyway we are here and quite comfortable. It is currently about 27 degrees and about 75% humidity. Can’t wait to see what adventures we will face tomorrow. The road north is currently closed so we are here until that opens – hopefully tomorrow.
We have a sign in the van saying “It’s the journey, not the destination” and it has certainly been a fabulous journey so far!