Just a little excited as we land in Karratha, although nervous about having our very own paparazzi. First thing we notice as we get off the plane is the very expected heat, with my skin it’s a miracle I didn’t get burnt just walking from the plane to the airport. A slightly awkward glance at the camera as and meet our crew and Tangiora. We had a few photos taken before heading to our cars, attaching the giant My Pilbara Adventure (MPA) magnet and the adventure begins.
As we drove from the airport airport we had a guided tour through Karratha. Originally Karratha was built with a 40 year life span so it’s interesting to see the old and new developments and hear the plans for the future. A visit to the newly built Karratha Leisureplex called for a quick game of glow in the dark mini golf. Probably shouldn’t have mentioned our love for mini golf because our game was terrible. A lot of laughs but definitely no skills, from me anyway.
Lunch at Jamaica Blue was delicious and a great place to get to know everyone, thank you Janine! It was here we met another of our crew who will host us for the first leg of our trip. We were also given a gift bag which included our itinerary, a copy of the red dog movie which was filmed here in the Pilbara and best of all two Red Dog toys which Karratha Visitor Centre provided with tags engraved by Keyspot with our children’s names. She must have known we would be missing them a lot and this way their little fill-ins can join us on the trip, plus I am sure they will be a big hit when we get home.
Next, the 3 ½ drive to Onslow. A few stops along the way to stretch our legs and to check out the large termite mounds beside the road, which, let’s be honest, look like giant dinosaur droppings. So it called for a funny photo opportunity – check out the My Pilbara Adventure Facebook page!
Once at Onslow it’s onto the boat with Brad our driver and about a half an hour ride to Thevenard Island. A bit of swell which certainly made the ride interesting and a bit of fun added when Tangiora misheard Brad point out ‘Direction Island’ as Erection Island.
Thevenard Island, which is one of 12 islands that make up what is known as Mackeral Islands, is beautiful and unique. The opportunity to stay on the island started in the late 60’s and around 30 years ago Chevron WA Oil set up three large storage silos as well as housing for approximately 40 workers that manned the 9 surrounding rigs. The original plan was to be here for 5 years and they ceased production in 2014, 26 years later. The plant is now set to be decommissioned. Their presence changes your perspective of the island get away but not in the way you would think. We are still very much surrounded by beauty and serenity with an added interesting history.
After settling into our room and a chance to relax we all joined Island Caretakers Jade and Art up at their cabin for dinner. It soon feels like we with old friends as we share stories, have a few drinks and enjoy an absolutely awesome dinner prepared by Jade and Art. The parmesan crusted barramundi and a range of salads could have easily been served in a restaurant and there were a few jokes about them trying out for a reality cooking show.