camel Trail
Chichester national park

Mount herbert or python pool

8.1km (one way)


2-4 hours

National Park Fees apply


Yindjibarndi People

Directions - Following the signs from Karratha take the turn-off for Roeburne-Wittenoom Rd and follow the signs all the way to either Mount Herbert or Pythons Pool.  The car park at Python Pool has some facilities and there are information boards to mark the trails in the area.

The Hike - Rated as one of the Top Trails by TrailsWA, the Camel Trail was marked on the itinerary as one to look forward to and we were treated to yet another perfect day of weather (can you ever tire of 29C and no wind?). The issue for us like many travellers trying to do this trail is how to get from the finish back to the start without doing the trail again. Luckily the Mulla Mulla Campsite hosts were happy to come out with us and collect us from Python Pool and deposit us and the field equipment at the starting point at Mount Herbert.

With that all organised we just had to make our way to Python Pool where we would leave the Landcruiser and wait to be picked up by the generous campground hosts. Our bush Uber was waiting for us but before we left Python Pool we had to sneak down and get a few shots of it in the morning light and more importantly, empty (I'll talk more about this amazing place later in the post). With the desired shots in the bag we piled into the car and headed back up towards Mount Herbert for the start of this Top Trail. The vistas you experience along Roeburne-Wittenoom Rd are breathtaking but kind of spoil what you experience on the trail.  Thanking our campground hosts for their kindness, we were left to our own devices and started the mostly downhill hike back to Python Pool.


Due to some issues with our field equipment Ben decided to bust out the trail as quickly as he could so I was left to explore at my own pace, which turned out to be quite slow for the first few kilometres. While the trail starts quite close to Mount Herbert, the hike up to the summit is a short side trail. Given I was only here once I followed the sign and began the short climb to the 359m peak. The summit is marked with a short but wide cairn, a bench to enjoy the views from and a lovely series of wildflowers including a healthy example of the Honey Hakea. Even better than the wildflowers are the views, taking in the great wilderness that seems to go on forever. I'll get back to the views later on but there is something about staring out into the limitless void of this ancient landscape that really makes you stop. If you've read some of my other posts from the Pilbara then you'll know I'm in love with panoramas for capturing this part of the world and this place was clearly made for this function.

With many shots taken I headed back down the hill and rejoined the main trail to continue on with enjoying this lovely hike. The next destination was a stop at McKenzie Spring but the terrain between Mount Herbert and there is simply stunning. Even just looking at the topographical maps of this place reveal an interesting landscape full of squiggly patterns shaped by water over the aeons. Experiencing it at ground level is even better with rolling hills of golden spinifex and snappy gums, the occasional termite mound and a complex visual stitched together leading off towards the deep blue horizon. It may be called the Camel Trail but the way it snakes around everywhere had me thinking it should have a name change. To go with the spectacular scenery was a fantastic array of wildflowers that we had not previously seen at Karijini. An assortment of purple, red and yellow flowers lined the trail in a variety of species including a golf ball sized white globe hanging just off a stem with spikes attached. I assume it was the early stage of a blooming wildflower but I would love to know what it turns in to so if you know (check the photo sliders for the picture of it) then please comment or send me an email. 


Arriving at McKenzie Spring after 40 minutes of gentle sauntering was a lovely surprise as I was not expecting as much water as there was. Being a very dry part of the country, water usually comes in the form of summer storms and cyclones so to have a natural spring in an open landscape like this with a creek like flow extending out from it was an unexpected delight. Photographing every angle I could I had to stop for a while to figure out where the trail goes as it isn't quite obvious you are meant to cross the rocky platform on to the other side of the creek. Finding my way eventually and taking a million photos, I continued on my way to try and catch up to Ben a little before he forgot I was out here and left. On the other side of McKenzie Creek I discovered my first group of Desert Pea in the wild after seeing a lot of them on the roadside near Karratha.