|Travelling Australia - Journal 2006
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30 June 2006 - day trip Pt Smith-Broome-Pt Smith
Today we left the A-liner set up at Port Smith and drove 166 kilometres into Broome to do some shopping and to buy a new long awning pole to replace one bent by wind at South Hedland. We also needed to restock the freezer and larder after the stay at Eighty Mile Beach and in preparation for more than a week at Port Smith.
The drive out to the Highway was as expected on the red sandy dirt road. About half way along we met the truck delivering gas to the caravan park; fortunately it was on one of the wider parts of the road and the sides were not too sloped so we passed easily (but slowly). The tanker driver had wisely left the trailer part of his road train beside the highway near the Port Smith road while he drove into the caravan park with a single tanker section.
Driving into Broome was pleasant. The road is flat with a good surface, passing through the never-ending grassland and scrub; about fifty kilometres from Broome we crossed the low-lying Roebuck plans which were entirely grassland. Weather was good. By about ten o'clock there was a noticeable number of caravans going in the opposite direction with about a dozen passing us; this was more caravans together than we had seen on the road during this trip.
In Broome we first went to the camping shop to buy the replacement awning pole. Broome was busy and bubbling with vehicles and people; it was so busy that I was glad we'd been there before and generally knew our way around. We bought an extendable pole, then went to the Paspaly shopping centre for shopping. The upper level undercover carpark had limited height access discouraging higher 4WD vehicles (especially with roof racks) which parked outside in the sun leaving undercover parking for ordinary height vehicles such as ours.
Our time in Broome was limited by my wish to be off the roads before dusk when kangaroos and wallabies are most likely to be encountered. Having done the main things we needed to do in Broome we left at a quarter past two and reached Port Smith at twenty past four.