Due to Wi-Fi issues aboard the ship, there are numerous paragraph spacing errors we're unable to correct. We apologize for the inconvenience.
|Most major resource areas and populated cities in Australia are close to the sea.|
"Sighting on the Ship in Australia"Yesterday, when the ship docked at Port Hedland we were enthused to get off the ship to check out the world renowned port, the largest bulk tonnage export port in the world.As appealing as the port itself is, tourists aren't allowed to wander about to explore. All of our photos were taken from the bus we rode into town.
With little for sightseeing in the mining town, we decided to take the free shuttle bus to the last stop, along with many other passengers to stop at a shopping mall to see what the town has to offer.
Port Hedland is a mining town. The mall was comparable to that found in many small towns; market, pharmacy, salon, computer store and hardware and appliance shop. We'd hoped to find a men's and women's clothing store to purchase a few items since after unpacking I began to realize I just don't have quite enough of the right clothes needed for the second leg of the cruise. Tom needs a few shirts as well.
Having tossed a number of old and worn items, we're both getting down to the barest of bones in our wardrobes which became more evident during this cruise, especially unable to freely wash our clothing. Every evening its a "social event" and we just don't have enough variety for this lengthy 33 night cruise.
The shipyard. There wasn't a clothing store in Port Hedland so tomorrow when we disembark in Geraldton to head to town, it appears we may have a more luck in finding a few stores there with a population of twice the size of Port Hedland. After an online search, we found two shopping malls.
Once down the steep ramp we walked toward the buses.
As for Port Hedland, we were surprised we'd never heard of this large tonnage export port. Here are a few fact about Port Hedland, Australia:As much as we're enjoying each day aboard the ship, it felt good to find ourselves on land. Many passengers were commenting about how hot it was but we found it only noticeable while standing in the sun as we waited to make our way down the very steep gangplanks to the waiting area for the buses. Have we actually become used to the heat after all these years?
- Known as Marapikurrinya by the local Indigenous people
- Has a population of approximately 20,000, with a growth rate of 5.5%
- Is the world's largest bulk tonnage export port, exporting 372.3 million tonnes per annum, an increase of 29% from last year's throughput
- contributes 14% or $4 billion to the Pilbara's Gross Regional Product
- Is a melting pot of over an estimated 72 nationalities and cultures
As it turned out we spent more time getting into and out of the buses than we spent on the bus or in the town. We'd shopped in the Woolworth's market for baking soda and coconut oil which were hard to find in Bali, both of which we use for dental maintenance. Once we arrive in Tasmania, we won't have trouble finding any products we use regularly.
Returning to the ship by 1 pm and with no movie playing we wanted to see, we languished in the coffee shop, chatting with our shipmates while browsing for future travels with the good Wi-Fi connection we've had on this ship.
Last night, after happy hour and dinner with our friends, we played pool once again. Now, Tom is ahead by one game. Both highly competitive I can't wait to try to beat him tonight. His learning curve seems to be much more advanced than mine. I'd better pick up the pace.
It was obvious we were docked in a very busy and important port.
After playing pool we found good seats in the Centrum area for the evening's dance party. Since we both prefer "dance" music as opposed to loud rock and roll, we didn't dance.
Neither of us hesitates to get out on the dance floor when our favorite types of dance music is playing. It seems the Aussies are more prone to dance to rock and roll. By midnight we wandered back to our cabin where we both had a decent night's sleep.
There are a number of modest mobile home buildings near the port.
Just as we were about to upload this post, we heard about a huge earthquake in New Zealand, where we're headed on the next leg of this cruise. We're scheduled to sail to Wellington, NZ where two people were killed in a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Our prayers for the families of the lost souls and the safety of our New Zealand friends. Click here for details.
Most likely, today, we'll hear from the captain on a possible change of itinerary when we doubt we'll be heading to Wellington after this devastating event. We'll keep our readers updated.
A flea market type area set up for cruise passengers where trinkets are sold. With no interest in these types of items, we didn't get off the bus at this stop.
Photo from one year ago today, November 14, 2015:
In Fiji, a creek with hand made rafts used for transporting locally grown produce and for fishing. For more photos, please click here.