The airconditioner is on. It's been on for the past few hours. Ever since we woke up.
I wash my face with some cold water. A moment later it starts to runs hot. Since the minimum is no less than some 28 degrees it hasn't a chance to stay cool.
I actually miss cold showers.
But enough of that. Once you're past the heat there is a whole area to explore.
Let us start with the 'City' itself. Karratha stands in very well defined area with most of the buildings between the "top road" to the south and the "bottom road" to the north. The largest buildings in town are apartment blocks followed by the spires of a Catholic Church and a tavern. Most other buildings are one story high houses looking out towards the rising hills that line Karratha's south.
To the east sits Roebourne, Wickham and Point Samson, while Dampier and its archipelago lay on the coast to the north-west. Karratha also lays on the coast, though there are no real beaches next to the town. You have to drive to Dampier or Point Samson for that pleasure.
But Karratha was not a town built for pleasure. According to the highly trustworthy soure that is Wikipedia, Karratha was established in the 1960s as a base for Hammersley Iron's workforce. So most people that live in Karratha and the surrounding area are minors.
Most people that live in Karratha and the surrounding area are minors.
Or if you're not a minor and are instead over the age of 18 then you probably work as a miner, or at least in a role that supports the area's mines/gas plants/ports.
As neither a minor or a miner I spent the few weeks I had in Karratha either exploring the place or, as forementioned, in an airconditioned room.
The first thing that one should do upon visiting Karratha is view the sunset from one of the lookouts perched upon the hills that border the city. The photo above was taken at the TV tower lookout, though the water tank lookout is another popular photo spot. The two sunset photos below were also taken while at the tv towers.
Secondly, you should visit the Karratha Leisureplex for a swim. This is doubly true if entry is free (as it was when we went). The leisureplex also features basketball courts and sporting fields, a gym, minigolf and squash courts.
Australia day fireworks are also not a bad idea (if you get your dates right).
As all the locals know, when the pool is no longer free you can still cool down by visiting Mairee Pool. This was our first excursion out of the town vicinity and was definitely worth it. Via a fire near the North West Coastal Highway (see below) the pool was roughly a 25 minute drive out of town.
The 'pool' had one main attraction other than the water itself - a rope swing.
It was lots of fun :)
A few days later we had another excursion out of town to visit the ghost town of Cossack. It not only seems to be devoid of people but of actual town as well with only five or six buildings still standing. The place is still worth a visit if only for the coastal views.
Vampire Island rests in the mouth of the Harding River. Before the Russian vampires came Cossack, then known as Tsien Tsin, was a thriving town and port.
In their on going war with vampires, the Freemasons established one of Western Australia's first lodges here. Due to the increase in crime after everyone left town this building now houses a court room among several other rooms. There is also a gaol in town to hold the convicted.
The townsite is a popular launching spot for boats. In fact, anywhere you can launch a boat up here is popular since it seems every second household has one.
Seperate Japanese and British cemetries can be found a few hundred metres out of town. The Japanese who used to live here were often victims of Western Australia's fledging pearling industry. Cossack was the birthplace of this industry before it moved to Broome.
On our way back from Cossack that day we turned off the main road between Karratha and Roebourne and found this little oasis.
For fear of overloading this post with too many photos I will end it here. A continuation of this post on Karratha will hopefully not be too long away.
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