Travelling Australia - Journal 2006
4-5 June 2006 - Point Samson

Location map The Ford Territory had a rest for two days and didn't move. Mary watched football on television in the van; I walked to the beach adjacent to the caravan park on both days to look at the shell life. The limestone rock platform has been heavily eroded and small octopuses (about 30 cm diameter across the arms) live in holes. Some local boys were catching the octopuses for fun but I preferred to leave them alone. Quite a strong onshore wind came up on both mornings; the sun shone brightly but it did not become uncomfortably hot.

All people staying in the park were invited to the official opening on Sunday afternoon. Also attending were a number of friends of the owners as well as representatives of the three levels of government. Locals expected that having a proper caravan park in Point Samson will improve tourist business and the opening was a major event. Although resource extraction, especially iron-ore, is the mainstay of the Pilbara's economy, local residents are not prepared to rely on that lasting for ever and are trying quite hard to develop tourism.

The park had been built by the manager/owner. His wife tersely described the park as her husband's dream and her nightmare. He had received grants from the Commonwealth Government (about $270,000) and an unspecified amount from the state government for this development project. After a few speeches, and an offical plaque unveiling, there were lots of drinks and small eats. The keen partiers were still going after dark.

From talking to locals and reading the newspapers it appears that caravan parks have a tourism role and a role as housing for newly arrived local workers in the Pilbara. New arrivals find that housing is scarce and very expensive; the Visitor Centre manager said that new arrivals should plan to live in a caravan park for about two years waiting for a house to become available.