1st September, 2016.
Instead of taking the van down to the Millstream campground, we decided to make our visit a day trip from Dampier. It was around 100kms of good sealed road before we turned on to gravel to head along the Chichester Range to Python Pool, one of the main attractions in the park. As we began to climb through the hills the scenery was quite spectacular and as we got higher and the road more hilly and winding, the surface changed to bitumen. This road would be impassable after rain otherwise.
We stopped at a couple of opportune pull-off areas to take some photos.
Arriving at our destination, it was just a short walk along the rocky creek bed to Python Pool. Obviously there has not been much rain in recent times judging by how low the water was from the high water mark. It is a popular place to swim and it did look rather inviting but we had not come prepared.
We retraced our route back to the main road and continued on towards the camping areas making a circuit of the drive by taking the first turning we came to which looped around back to the other entrance. This was a pleasant drive along reasonable dirt roads and once again the scenery was lovely though different from the Python Pool drive.
These wildflowers have been everywhere for the last couple of weeks and I finally can identify them as Mulla Mulla.
Spinifex always adds a wonderful texture to the landscape but it’s not so nice if you brush up against it.
Prior to its acquisition for a National Park, Millstream had been an active pastoral station for more than 100 years. The original homestead has been preserved as a Visitor Centre along with the separate cookhouse.
There is a Geocache somewhere around here but unfortunately the coordinates were well off putting it in the middle of a patch of dirt. We were fairly sure it would have been in this piece of old machinery but we were unable to find it.
The Millstream precinct is a priority one water catchment area, surprising given how arid the surrounding countryside appears.
There is a lovely wetland area close to the homestead where a walking trail has been established.
There was a Geocache along this trail which was an easy find. Eventually the walk brought us back to the homestead.
We had a drive through the Miliyanha Campground which was well set out with large campsites, some sunny, some shaded but well separated from each other. It would have been a good place to camp. Further along the road we drove up to the cliff top with a view over the Fortescue River.
Further along we came to the second camping area, Stargazers Campground, which did not impress us very much as the sites were on the small side and close together. The only advantage this campground would have over the other is its reasonable proximity to the river, though it would still be quite a walk. It was also not too far to drive to Deep Reach Pool, a popular picnic and swimming area on the Fortescue River.
There were shaded picnic tables and two well built entry points into the river for swimming.
Here is a picture of the Cockroach Bush alluded to in an earlier post. It is easy to see the resemblance between the mature seed pods and cockroaches.