Di and Pete's 2014 Oz Adventure travel blog

Eighty Mile Beach - cooling off with water truck in 46+ degrees...

Eighty Mile Beach sunset

De Grey River - Pete had a paddle

De Grey River - one of the locals

De Grey River - locals returning from the river

De Grey River - Di trying to cool down

Pilbara Landscape


The day we left Barn Hill Station the temperature was rising, we called in at Sandfire Roadhouse and the heat hit us like a slap in the face, 48 degrees. We bought icy poles and they didn't last long. We went into Eighty Mile Beach which like Barnhill is about ten kilometres off the highway on dirt road. When we arrived at the caravan park we asked for a shaded site but ended up in the sun between a camper-van and a huge fifth wheeler both with very loud air conditioners blasting us.

It was so hot, I tried to take a cold shower in the amenities but when I turned on the cold water heaps of wasps started flying around me, I screamed and ran leaving the water running. Luckily I had my swimmers on at the time as I may have scared a lot of people if I had run out naked. I ended up using my battery operated shower and cooling off a bit with it.

The temperature there was around 46 degrees so I think I may have been heat affected because I was not a happy camper, I told Pete we had to move spots as the noise was driving me mad and it would be worse in the night. We ended up relocating to a very shady spot with no neighbours and it was great, we were both a lot happier and should have done that right at the beginning as the site allocated to us was crap.

Eighty Mile Beach is known as a fishing spot with lots of shells and a nice beach. They don't encourage swimming as they don't have life guards, that's a joke as nowhere up here has life guards, it's public liability. We went to look at the beach briefly and found the water out a bit, as it was so hot we decided to go for a walk later. When we did go back the water was out so far you needed a packed lunch to get there, we walked out a fare way but didn't make it to the water, the sand was like clay and in place you would sink, not actually that pleasant. We did however watch a very nice sunset whilst on the beach.

Luckily the temperature dropped in the night so we both could sleep. Before leaving the next day we again checked out the beach and the tide was out. We really had no luck and won't rush back.

We are now travelling right on the end of the dry season and that means hot, hot, hot. Our poor fridge is having a heart attack and we have to use our ice box and buy ice constantly.

Our next camp was De Grey River free camp, it's a well known spot and luckily the river had water. We had no trouble finding a good spot to camp as it's pretty empty. We had a family of four Brahmans visit us on their way to get a drink at the river. Then later in the afternoon sixty plus head of cattle ran through the camp ground, it was like a stampede of cattle heading somewhere in a real hurry, luckily our camp site was not in their path. They must have had a good reason for running and didn't rush back.

It was very relaxing at De Grey River and nice to enjoy a free camp again as its been a while. We heard some voices and laughter from the other side of the river, apparently there was a group of aboriginals trying to catch one of the black swans that happily lives there, not sure if the swan got away or ended up on the BBQ, but I hoped it escaped.



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