The Big Lap - De Grey River, 80 Mile Beach, Barn Hill



We had just come from Marble Bar and had to change the itinerary due to having to wait for the car to be serviced in Port Hedland.  Tip – book 2 weeks in advance if you require a car service in Port Hedland. 

We decided that the best course of action would be to camp about 30k’s north of the Marble Bar turn-off at a free camp site called De Grey River.  On the way in between the turn-off and De Grey River we could see a major fire with billowing black smoke and huge fire front on its way south to Port Hedland.  That did not look good.

We were soon to find out that the road into Marble Bar had been cut off and road to Port Hedland cut too.  Therefore, De Grey River camp was filling up quick.  Soon we were surrounded by vans, RV’s and campers.  Wonderful!...   We still had another day before hubby was due to drive in to Port Hedland early in the morning to get the service done.  Fingers crossed.

Thank goodness it went without a hitch.  However, the only thing that was a downer was that hubby could not wait for BWS to open at 12 as he had to get back to our camp before the fire did.  Wind had changed direction and now the fire was heading north towards us.

Van hitched and we were outta there!




Quick pit stop at Pardoo Roadhouse for fuel.  We needed to ensure our fuel was topped up as petrol stations are few and far between up the northern end.  Don’t buy a burger here.  It was crap!  At least we could buy a 6pack which is something that we couldn’t do at a lot of other roadhouses.  We would be limiting ourselves on grog for the next 4 days lol.

The road into 80 Mile Beach Caravan Park had not been graded for a while.  Thank goodness I don’t have fillings as I reckon I would have swallowed them on the way.  Had to do repairs on a couple of drawer handles and I had a cooking oil spillage in the cupboard and chutney spillage in the fridge.

The Caravan Park was just like a normal caravan park with small sites and everyone was on top of each other.  You could hear the neighbours snoring at night.  Thank goodness the sites all had trees so no problem with shade.  No long walks to the beach as the park is right behind the dunes.  They also have a fish cleaning area and car wash bay for those that want to take their 4x4’s onto the beach.

The tide was out when we arrived.  Comes in about midday.  We got up early in the morning to check out the beach and the tide was way out.  Big stretch of white sand beach with nothing else.  Not really a photographer’s dream.  So different from the last pretty beach we were at in Coral Bay which was absolutely stunning. 

Hubby tried his hand at fishing but it’s obviously fished out here.  You would do better in a boat or by driving way up the beach near the headland up the end.

All in all, 80 Mile Beach to us was just ok.  We reckon the people that have made videos that bang on about it being awesome have not visited many beaches in Australia.  80 Mile Beach is overrated and in hind-site I would have driven past.



Tookie was becoming a well travelled bird and getting quite used to the competition.

He couldn't give a toss what bird came to check him out.  So not interested lol.

Check out the video.  😁




Quick pit stop at Sandfire Roadhouse to fuel up.  It looked better here than Pardoo Roadhouse.  Lots of shade and road signs/caps to look at and a couple of resident peacocks that weren't afraid to pose for a photo.


I had planned to have a night or 2 at Anna Plains Station as I had seen YouTube videos by Trip in a Van and others banging on about how good it is.  On doing more research, it didn’t seem like Anna Plains was open to the public any more.  Don’t take my word for it, but we did pass the turn off and there was a big sign saying Private Property and do not enter or something like that.

Luckily we decided to head to Barn Hill under the recommendation by a few travellers.  Barn Hill was further up the road and closer to Broome so that was good.  The road in however was the same as 80 mile beach.  More loose screws in the van and probably some of my tooth implant screws as well lol.  The bird complained the whole trip in.

Luckily though, the camp sites are well spaced apart unlike 80 mile beach.  More privacy coupled with a stunning view over the ocean and glorious red cliffs. 


We were told on arrival that this was pizza and entertainment night being a Saturday.­

Great!  Except we were out of grog.  😩

Anyway, we booked our pizza and arrived just before it would be delivered.  A nice lady said we could take their 2 spare chairs ­­so that was nice.  Hubby parked us up the back and I wasn’t too happy about that, so I moved my chair to get a better view of the entertainment.  Unfortunately, the shop was not opened so I couldn’t buy a can of lemonade which was all they had left.­­ Not happy radar was going up. 😞

Then a group of people arrived with chairs and table and parked themselves slightly in front of us causing another lady to move her table and chairs over and right in front of me.  Floggin' wonderful!  Do people not look?  By this time, my hairs were standing up on my neck and my claws were coming out!  😡

Said to hubby as he arrived with the pizzas, that’s it…. We are going back to camp.  Not impressed!  Took a photo of the rude lady in front, see below, and marched out of there!



Turns out that the entertainment wasn’t real good anyway.  He sang some old-fashioned numbers by Willie Nelson etc.  Nothing I would think a crowd of holidaymakers plus kids would be remotely interested in.  

So it seems that even though I was disappointed at not having to see live entertainment.  I love to listen to a live singer or band at a pub/hotel etc.  This time, it didn’t matter.  

Hubby had 1 beer left and we shared it and our pizza back at camp overlooking the most gorgeous sunset over the Indian Ocean with stunning red cliffs.  Doesn’t get any better 😊



Next morning we were woken by birds singing.  I would have to say that this is one of my retirement happy moments.  There are so many different bird sounds out there.  I wish I knew what they are.  There was a bird that sounded like it was saying “jumping”.  Hubby and I were copying it and laughing ourselves silly 😊

Nothing like having coffee in our chairs with a view over the cliffs and ocean painted golden by the morning sun rays.


The toilets and showers were really rustic here.  No roof whatsoever.  Hubby was singing the Feral Williams happy song -  I’m crappy….  With a room without a roof.   Lol.  

How to ruin my favourite song! 😝


Last couple of photos on the way out.  I recommend Barn Hill Station, however don’t run out of grog and make sure that if you are there on Saturday, get a seat early and cross your fingers and hope that the entertainment is a bit better and some idiot doesn't park themselves right in front of you. 

Oh, and be ready to rattle your false teeth out on the way in and out.  And if that is not what rocks your boat lol……   just drive on past and stay at one of the free 24hour P stops beside the highway which are pretty good.  They have toilets, dump point, shady spots and covered table and chairs.





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