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Millstream-Chichester National Park in the Pilbara, Western Australia

Millstream-Chichester National Park.

 

This joint park totalling 200,000 hectares was created in 1982, with two very different adjacent experiences. National Park entry and camping fees apply in this park. Both sections are favourites of mine, and can be visited in an easy day trip from Roebourne by dirt station roads or from Karratha by the new sealed road.

 

Millstream is on a spring fed pool by the Fortescue River. These springs were the water supply for Roebourne and Port Sampson plus the growing mining towns of Karratha, Dampier and Wickham prior to the Harding Dam being built on the Harding River after which time Millstream still supplemented the supply. It was again being used exclusively due to low levels at Harding Dam during our 2008 visit. The aquifer has an estimated area of 2,000 square kilometres and is believed to contain 1,700 million cubic metres of water.

 

The former Millstream station homestead is now on display and acts as the Millstream visitor centre. In addition to native palms including the unique Millstream Palm, the family planted a variety of other palms near the water, and had an extensive vegetable garden. Walks through this wetlands area are lovely with palm lined water lily filled streams a beautiful oasis in a dry rocky country. There are campsites in the park with pit toilet on pools of the river, and a loop drive which can be taken subject to river levels.

 

Camping at Millstream 

 

Chichester is a beautiful stark red rock and spinifex range. Long walks can be taken on former camel transport trails. There are views to the coast from the hills. Python Pool is a perennial pool at the base of a rock face. The green water does not look inviting for swimming, but the green is not slime but a floating four leafed edible plant Nardoo, which was once sought by Aboriginal women. The seeds were ground and cooked as cakes. Nearby Snake Creek has a campground, but we did not drive into this so cannot say if it is suitable for caravans or larger rigs.

 

We visited Millstream and Chichester after spending a few days in Karijini National Park, but direct access is by dirt roads. The Wittenoom Roebourne Road is stony and did damage to the caravan we had at the time, including shattering the water tank.

 

This area of the Pilbara is one of the premium destinations in Western Australia and has the highest altitude of WA.

 

Sorry, no digital photos.

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