A Travellerspoint blog

Wepia

Tipity Tip Top

sunny 30 °C

Weipa: We stayed in Weipa for three nights which was the first stop at the Cape York Peninsula. We set up camp and went fishing on the jetty where we were getting massive bites but snapping off the line.
The next day we woke up and went to the bait and tackle shop and purchased bigger line, hooks and sinkers and went for a full day of fishing, we caught two GT’s but dad left them in the fridge for too long which stunk out the fridge and wasted the fish.

On our last day at Weipa we took a tour of Rio Tinto’s mine and the town ship of Weipa. Weipa has an estimated population of three thousand of which nine hundred of them are kids enrolled at the local school. The town was built by Comalco and the Queensland government as a mining town in the early 1960’s. Later Comalco was bought out by Rio Tinto and today seven hundred and fifty residents work for the mine. Weipa also has the longest single lane bridge in the southern hemisphere, which was built by the mine for their train to transport minerals from the mine to the shipping Warf. The bridge was built to only last 30 years but has lasted 40 years but needs a lot of maintenance that includes the use of divers. Bull sharks, stingers and crocodiles make it some of the most dangerous diving in Australia.

The mine has haul roads that was built for the haulage trucks and authorised vehicles only. A few years back there was an elderly couple they took a wrong turn onto the haul road and the mine did what they call a one stop all stop which shut down the mine for more than an hour.

We learned that the mining equipment made it a very expensive business with tyres costing between ten and forty thousand dollars. The machines are serviced on site by mechanics and the mine runs two locomotives with 36 carriages that hold 1000 ton per carriage. The trains run 24 hours a day, transporting bauxite to the Weipa shipping Warf before being shipped to Gladstone, Each front end loader holds 10 cubic metres and each haul truck can hold 160 ton. 25% of the truck drivers are women, they prefer to employ women because they are easier on the controls which reduces break downs and therefore reduces down time.

In the early 60’s Comalco/Rio Tinto started mining bauxite and pull out 20 million ton each year. They believe that they still have 40 years mining left at this site. The Rio mine is an open cut shallow mine, it’s shallow because the layers are soil, bauxite, iron stone, clay and then sand. They cannot dig too deep because when the iron stone will contaminate the bauxite and make refining the mineral more expensive.
The process to make aluminium is bauxite rocks are crushed to make a fine white powder called alumina, then the powder is melted down to make aluminium. It takes 4 tonne of bauxite to make 2 tonne of alumina and 2 tonne of alumina to make 1 tonne of aluminium. Rio Tinto mine 6 thousand tonne per hour and 20 million per year from the site.

The mine is operated around the clock running 24/7 and has day and night shifts each person working 2 days 2 nights 4 days off. Rio Tinto is also replanting and rejuvenating the areas they have mined trying to get it back to its original state. As you drive through the mine you’ll see chunks that have been dug around which are aboriginal place of significance that the mine will not dig up.

I thought that Rio Tinto was very good for the community of Weipa. They look after the people of Weipa by providing infrastructure including, hospitals, schooling and sporting facilities and are conscious of returning the environment to its original state.

By Josh

Posted by josh52 14:38 Archived in Australia Tagged family_travel Comments (1)

Wepia

sunny 28 °C

fishing at Wepia

fishing at Wepia

Weipa has been better than I thought it would be it even has a safeway supermarket. The people up here are really friendly especially the Torre strait Islanders. Jordan was chatting them up yesterday getting info out of them of where to catch fish and what bait they use. The lady in the photo was so nice we fished with her for ages and she told us heaps of stories. Jord had her baiting his hooks and everything. What a special experience for him it was so nice to watch them laughing and chatting. She was catching heaps of fish about every 5 mins she would catch something it was grouse to watch.

Well the fish are biting big time up here and we have seen lots of crocs. Don’t worry they are a long way on the bank, well they could get to us in no time but it adds to the adventure of this trip. The kids are having a ball. We have been going croc hunting nearly every day and we have seen heaps. It was funny yesterday I spotted a croc coming down the river towards us. The boys were all fishing and it got too close for comfort, even Josh screamed as he and I ran to the car, but nothing happened we are still here to tell the story. Today we saw two crocs have a fight on the bank that was cool to watch but scary. They were about 100 meters away from us. Craig, Scotty and Will have been losing their bait a lot especially when they use live catfish that they caught. Whatever it is, it chewed through a 50 pound braided line. They reckon it was a shark. Should have seen their faces Scotty and Will are on a mission and aren’t going to let this thing get away but they have no gear left because it has taken it. Lol

Never smile at a crocodile....

Never smile at a crocodile....

We went on a Mine tour of Rio Tinto today which was good. It was like Tonka truck city out there but interesting how it’s all done. Craig was on the lookout for a blue winged kookaburra and we saw one today at the pub. We are starting the telegraph track tomorrow so we will be out of range till Friday. That’s if we can get internet up in Seisia.
Bye for now
Lisa ,Craig, Josh and Jordy
xoxoxox

Posted by cljj2010 23:07 Archived in Australia Tagged family_travel Comments (2)

Along the road to Wepia

sunny 28 °C

blog_15.jpg

As we were packing up our camp from Charlies mine, poor Craigie got a reaction to a caterpillar that he brushed off the car. His arm blew up and was stinging, all he could think of was to take a photo so he could use it in his first aid teaching. He was in a lot of pain but Bren, came to his aid with a mozzie zapping thing and after a few hours it slowly went away. We found out later that it was a caterpillar with poison fury things and to leave them alone and don’t touch them.
At one of the Roadhouses they had a water tank with everyone’s stickers on it. Craig has put a staying alive sticker on it ....see if you can find it.

As we were travelling to Weipa we came across this goanna it was in the middle of the road, we nearly hit him. We have also seen a few snakes on the road as well.
Bye for now
The yuks
xoxox

Posted by cljj2010 21:59 Archived in Australia Tagged family_travel Comments (2)

Coen

semi-overcast 28 °C

Charlies Mine

Charlies Mine

We arrived at Coen and we stayed at Charlies Mine which was just like Crocodile Harrys at Coober Pedy. Charlie has built everything from junk from the tip. There were lots of sculptures and quirky signs around the place. He was a funny and interesting character which made our stay worthwhile. We have now left Coen and heading for Weipa.
cheers
The Yuks
xoxo

Posted by cljj2010 21:14 Archived in Australia Tagged family_travel Comments (4)

Lakeland To Coen

overcast 28 °C

Lakeland to Coen

Lakeland to Coen

Along the dusty roads you come across lots of things to see. At Hann roadhouse we meet Chook the emu she was grouse. she had just had a bath and was very friendly. We had to stop at each roadhouse and have a beer. They were all different in their own way. The roads are pretty good so far. The worst was between Laura and Coen which was very corragated but there was a side track you could take which was good.
cheers
lisa
xoxox

Posted by cljj2010 22:52 Archived in Australia Tagged family_travel Comments (2)

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