Millstream National Park
Directions - Located an hour’s drive south of Karratha, Millstream Chichester National Park is located on the south side of Roebourne-Wittenoom Rd. Take Millstream Rd until you reach the entrance signs for Kanjenjie-Millstream Rd and follow this road until you reach the car park for the Homestead.
The Hike - With our short stay at Millstream Chichester National Park coming to a close, we had one afternoon left and I wasn't going to miss out on the opportunity to take in one last hike. With our adventures on the Camel Trail in the morning leaving us hungry we enjoyed a spot of lunch in the sunshine at Mulla Mulla Camp before making plans on how we were going to tackle the Warrungunha Trail in the afternoon. This wasn't on our original itinerary as it was thought we wouldn't have time but we were keen to experience everything and thought it was best if we took in one last walk.
Looking at the brochure for Millstream while we were in Karijini, I noticed this trail listed and at 8.5km it peaked my interest. Even if it meant getting up super early or walking back to the homestead (adding a good distance to the walk), I was determined to do it. Luckily Ben was also keen and we were once again offered a lift to the end point by the campground hosts at Mulla Mulla. With the Landcruiser parked up at Deep Reach Pool we were transported back to the campsite and began the walk around 3pm. Starting at a familiar location with the enjoyable Wetlands Walk taken in the previous day, we departed onto a new trail leading along the edge of the wetlands. The native cadjeput tree lines this part of the trail with a very similar appearance to paper bark, these examples are clearly quite old with some boasting massive trunks. The grassy fringes of the trail had me thinking I was back in Perth on a warm spring day walking Kitty's Gorge or Noble Falls and was very different to the endless spinifex normally found everywhere in the Pilbara. A few smoothed barked snappy gums also livened up this part of the walk as it skirted the edge of the Miliyana Campground. Having already visited a few points along this trail in our travels over the past few days I knew what to expect at the start, middle and end and really hoped that the trail would not be an uninteresting walk through the spinifex plains to connect the dots.
My fears were not put to rest when we exited the walk along the wetlands to open land dotted with scraggly bushes and a small red hill that looked like it was building rubble. Thankfully though this lasted a very short while and I was thrown into some very unexpected forest. We had seen the non-native date palms on our wetlands walk and they dominated the native Millstream Palm so I was looking forward to seeing the native palms in a more natural setting. The red dirt trail entered an area like this and it was a very surreal experience wondering through a native eucalyptus forest of white trunked snappy gums mixed in with tropical looking palm trees. Not all the palms were of the Millstream variety but I enjoyed this out of the ordinary scene and began snapping away with my camera. The ranger had mentioned that there is a resident bull that lives in this area and you can see evidence of his trampling around the place but I did not encounter him this afternoon. One thing I did encounter was a lovely patch of Mulla Mulla, something that had been advertised as everywhere in the Pilbara this time of year but something we had not spotted so far. I thought it was a bit odd that our camp was named after this purple cone-shaped wildflower but didn't seem to have any about (we would later find a lot of it hidden away behind one of the buildings).