Story: Port Hedland Eco Salt Tours
Airdate: 22nd September 2019
Presenter: Chrissy Morrissy
1900kms north of Perth lies the town of Port Hedland. While it is mostly known for its resources industry, there are some interesting tours popping up around the town.
- If you’re curious about the giant salt mounds on the outskirts of town, the Eco Salt Tour will take you to spots usually off limits to the public – and you’ll be provided with some tasty scones as you tour.
- There are 31 different language groups in the Pilbara. The land around Port Hedland belongs to the Ngarla people, with its traditional name meaning ‘as far as your eye can see’.
- The concentration ponds are a must see on the tour, with the cloudy ocean water on the left side of the road being 3.5% salt, while the water on the right is extremely clear at 26% salt.
- The tour focuses on the Ngarla people and the local industry working together, with local tour guide Jeff dealing with culture while his tour partner Phil details the operations in the area.
- The ponds produce 3.2 million tonnes of salt a year, with all of the salt being extremely clear.
- You’ll be able to spot barramundi, cod, flatheads and milkfish in the ponds – they help to keep the water clean. Phil and Jeff are planning to start up a tour where you’ll be able to catch them.
- Water is taken and placed into salt crystalliser ponds, producing around 80,000 tonnes of salt. This is edible salt – it’s higher grade than food salt.
- The salt is headed offshore, with the port being the world’s largest bulk export port. Over 508 million tonnes of commodity are shipped out every year.
- This tour is a fantastic insight into our port towns and local culture, a must do experience on your next trip to Port Headland and the Pilbara.