Our driver contacted the fire authority and received confirmation that the road south was open. We all leapt into the coach. The original plan was to look around historic parts of Carnarvon, but because of the road conditions we headed south straight away. We had a quick look at the Overseas Telecommunications Company (Australia) Satellite Earth Station, which was originally a Government listening post, but is now defunct. Quite an impressive dish for the 1960s. It tracked the Apollo moon landing and provided live coverage to the Perth area and also tracked Halley's comet. The dish is 30m across and apparently has parabolic and hyperbolic reflectors (whatever they are!). It is the only remaining satellite dish in the world that still has both of these.
|Defunct satellite station at Carnarvon|
|And a suitably defunct looking sign.|
|"Local area closed due to rain"|
|Imagine how quickly this would churn up if people drove on it in the wet|
We were shown the Gasgoyne River, which surprisingly for this time of year, had some water in it. Apparently the rivers here spend large parts of the year appearing to have a dry bed. But in reality, they only have flowing water during heavy rain. For the rest of the year, the water is flowing under the sand. You can tell that the river is healthy and contains underground water by the condition of the River Gum trees that grow all the way along the riverbank. They were a bright, healthy green, indicative that their heads were in full sun, but not under stress because their roots were in water.