Tuesday, 8 February 2011

A Trip North

Yesterday I had an interesting business trip north to the city of Port Pirie.  It’s a 2.5 hour drive north of Adelaide but as it’s quite a good road I always enjoy the journey.  The first third of the road is dual carriageway and the latter portion has numerous passing lanes.  By departing at 6.30am I missed much of the morning traffic and was only delayed once by two huge sections of a wind turbine tower moving in the same direction on massive low loaders under police escort.  Despite their size the vehicles were travelling at 80km/h.  The number of wind farms in the area has increased significantly in the last decade.  They looks so small in the distance and yet you realise how massive they are when under one.

Although the road runs parallel to the coast there are very few portions where you can actually see the water.  My favourite spot is the crest of a hill 25km before Port Pirie.  At the crest the land opens before you with panoramic views of the upper gulf and the surrounding plains.  In the middle stands the Port Pirie smelter “stack” at 205 metres high.  Port Pirie has the largest lead smelter in the southern hemisphere.  It was established in 1889 when ore from Broken Hill started to be carried by rail down to Port Pirie where it was smelted and the lead then exported by sea.  There is reputably another 200 years of ore waiting to be mined.

After competing my business it was back on the road for the return journey.  With the road being relatively empty it was possible to get the vehicle up to the legal limit of 110km/h and set the cruise control for a relaxing drive home.

If you would like to know more about Port Pirie <click here>

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