Home' Traveller : Scoop Traveller WA 019 Contents 160 Scoop Traveller December-June 2011
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You could fill several books with
the fishing options off the Pilbara
Coast. Those keen to flick a rod
stand a good chance of catching
dinner at any of the local beaches
or creeks. Near Karratha, head
to the Dampier Jetty and Point
Samson beach for flathead,
bream, snapper and squid. Cape
Lambert near Cossack has great
fishing from the wharf or among
the mangroves. On the river or
beaches, jag mackerel, salmon,
bream, mangrove jack and
barramundi. Try for mud crabs and
blue swimmer crabs here too.
The bluewater fishing is nothing
short of amazing around the
Dampier Archipelago. On a charter
fishing boat, expect to catch red
emperor, coral trout, bluebone
and barramundi, with the possible
bonus of whale, dolphin, turtle and
Further offshore around the
Mackerel and Montebello Islands,
Spanish mackerel, snapper, red and
spangled emperor, queenfish, coral
trout, yellow fin tuna, cod, sailfish
and marlin could all be in the catch.
There are literally hundreds of
camping spots and secluded sites
GUIDE the pilbara
with great fishing and marine
wildlife, though the extreme
temperatures and threat of cyclones
during the summer months are
deterrents. Inland, the national
parks both have well maintained
camping facilities that remain open
all year. Heading further east,
Kalgans Pool near Newman is an
excellent camping spot. There’s a
beautiful, tall cliff face with a large
deep pool at the bottom. Access is
by 4WD only.
Flora and fauna
The arid climate of the Pilbara
supports some rare plants and
animals. The bird life, most active
in the spring, is abundant – there’s
over 25 species including the
rare fairy and bridled terns. Five
of the six turtle species found in
Australia call the Pilbara coastline
home, including the green,
hawksbill, loggerhead, flatback
and leatherback turtles. One
of the highlights in the wildlife
calendar is to witness their nesting
between October and February.
Around Port Hedland they can be
seen on Cemetery Beach, Cooke
Point, Munda Beach, Pretty Pool
and Bell’s Beach near Wickham.
Nesting sites of green and hawksbill
turtles are common along the
islands of the Dampier Archipelago
and Montebello Islands, mainly
during December and January.
snorkelling and diving
Experienced local divers will
tell you the Pilbara coast rivals
Ningaloo and the Great Barrier
Reef. The isolation and relative
anonymity have protected it from
overcrowding. There are many
dive sites still unexplored, with a
staggering diversity of marine life.
The best time to go is from autumn
until early spring.
Snappy gum in Spinefex
The Bird flower
Fiona Gordon is the Manager at Karijini Eco Retreat and has spent much of her
working life in the hospitality industry in Asia. She says she still wakes up every
morning thinking ‘How lucky am I!’ Here are her suggestions for summer.
Handrail Pool | There’s a tiny pool just before Handrail Pool
that you can sit in all day – it’s just like a spa.
Electrical storms | I love sitting on my verandah at the retreat
with a glass of sparkling and watching the drama.
Hamersley Gorge | A great camping spot, with easy access. It’s rarely
busy and it has the most beautiful rock formations. You can go for nice
long walks and swim for miles.
Fern Pool | The pool is full of tiny little fish that kids love swimming
with. There’s easy access, it’s safe and it has a lovely decked area.
Hiking trail | Close to the retreat there is a little-known hiking trail
that leads to a 100-year old shepherd’s cottage. Beyond that it travels
along the top of Joffre Creek and Joffre Falls, where you can swim in
the pool below.
Mt Bruce | The view from the top is great – for those who are fit
enough to climb it!
To u r | Do an adventure tour through West Oz Active to access places
most people can’t go.
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