Backpackers Millstream NP

Millstream-Chichester National Park


Most of the 200,000 hectare Millstream-Chichester National Park is a landscape of rolling hills, spectacular escarpments and winding tree-lined watercourses.

The Chichester Range rises sharply from the coastal plain and includes rocky peaks, tranquil gorges, and hidden rock pools such as Python Pool. Scattered white-barked gums and spiky spinifex clumps cover the stony plateau, which gradually slopes down to the bed of the Fortescue River.

In the midst of this landscape is the remarkable oasis of Millstream, where fresh water springs from an aquifer to create the lushly tropical Chinderwarriner Pool. Paperbark and palm trees surround this deep pool on the Fortescue River.
 
The park's shady camping areas near deep pools at Crossing Pool and Deep Reach attract tourists and locals all year round, but winter is the best time to visit. The cool season between May and August, experiences little rain, with day time temperatures around 26º Celcius.

The area has an interesting cultural history. It has long been a focal point for the Yinjibarndi people and was an active pastoral station for more than 100 years. Previously two separate parks, the area was expanded into one park in 1982, and it has significant natural, recreational and cultural values.

The broad area of land straddling the Fortescue River, from the Hamersley Range through to the Chichester escarpment is the homeland of the Yinjibarndi people. Ngarrari (Millstream) was an important camp site for inter-tribal meetings. Visitors camped beside Chinderwarriner Pool, where they feasted on fresh fish and edible plant roots, harvested wood for spears and collected rocks for ritual purposes. Today the Yinjibarndi people maintain close ties with their land and have been trained and employed as rangers and contract workers.

Millstream was named in 1861 by the explorer F T Gregory, who reported its favourable grazing prospects. The pastoral lease, first taken up in 1865 changed hands several times before Les Gordon assumed management of the property in 1923. In its heyday the station covered more than 400,000 hectares and ran 55,000 sheep. The homestead which now houses the visitor centre, was built in 1919 and was home to the Gordon family until 1964.

Plants and Animals
Plants flower after rain, when blankets of mulla-mulla and Sturt pea cover the landscape. The soft yellow flowers of the wattles and the orange cockroach bush provide a dramatic contrast to the hard red earth. Generally, the winter months, from June to August, are the best time to see the Pilbara wildflowers.

Plants more typical of the tropical north grow near permanent water pools. Of special interest is the Millstream palm, with its fanned, greyish-green leaves and smooth bark. Exotic date palms and cotton palms introduced by pioneers have now spread throughout the Millstream Delta.

The common kangaroo of the rocky country is the euro and on the plains you can see red kangaroos. Black flying foxes are easily seen at Millstream and a variety of birds can be seen during the cooler hours of the day, especially near water. Fourteen species of dragonfly and damselfly have been recorded in the Millstream wetlands.

The historic town of Roebourne and the ghost town of Cossack are amongst the oldest settlements in
Western Australia

  • ROEBOURNE: Situated on North West Coastal Highway, Roebourne is a central base for touring the are to see such places as Cossack, Point Samson, Harding River Dam, Millstream, Python Pool, Karratha, Wittenoom and Tom Price. The many well preserved and restored historic attractions around Roeboume are a must for the history buffs.

  • COSSACK: The pioneering town of Cossack is nestled at the mouth of the Harding River, 12km from Roeboume. With the cry of "gold" in the 1880's, hundreds of prospectors streamed through the port to seek their fortunes in the Pilbara fields. Today the historic town of Cossack features restored, fine old stone buildings from the past Settlers Beach and Lookout, are a must for beach lovers. A safe, sandy beach ideal for families and for a leisurely stroll. The Lookout gives a beautiful view of the area, Roeboume, Wickham and Point Samson.
  • POINT SAMSON: Today, this extremely attractive setting has become the most popular beach resort for the locals from the surrounding mining towns. During spring tides it becomes an island connected to the mainland by a causeway over Pope's Nose Creek. Nearby Honeymoon Cove is a great spot to enjoy a secluded picnic.
    The beautiful sandy beach at Point Samson is protected by a coral reef, making it perfect for swimming, game fishing and skindiving. The tidal rivers contain an immense variety of fish, from barramundi to mud crabs. Sam's Creek is also good fishing.
    Offshore waters contain some of the best game fishing along the entire West Coast. John's Harbour, located past Honeymoon Cove, has a boat ramp and jetty.  
  • Accommodation: Those interested in visiting Millstream-Chichester National Park should consider booking a reservation at the Pilbara Holiday Park as well. This beautiful natural park is also located in Western Australia and it is a must-see location. Researching online makes it easy to book a room in both locations, which is an excellent move for any potential tourists who want to get the full Western Australia experience. Tourist or not, the online method of booking a room is excellent for anyone who wants to quickly set up a memorable vacation.
  

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