Millstream Chichester National Park

The Chichester Ranges in WA’s Pilbara region are a series of low hills and mesas that dip gently into the Fortescue Valley to the south. Covering an area of approximately 200,000 hectares around the Fortescue River – the heartland of the Yindjibarndi people – this National Park contains Millstream, a lush oasis of deep gorges and palm-fringed rock pools provides a stark contrast to the surrounding landscape of rocky escarpments and rolling spinifex-covered hills. One of the most scenic attractions in the Park is Python Pool, which is easily accessible by road. Deeper within the park are camping areas at the beautiful Crossing Pool and Deep Reach, accessible only by unsealed roads.

Millstream Chichester National Park is made up of the old Millstream station which is on the Millstream Creek, just before it joins Fortescue River one of the few permanent watercourses in the area and the Chichester Range.

Millstream

An enchanting tropical oasis amongst the red dust of the Pilbara, on the road between the Hamersley Ranges and the coast. Thousands of birds flock to this delightful spot, where ferns, palms and rushes grow in abundance. Clear, soft water from an underground aquifer creates a lush freshwater swimming spot at Chinderwarriner Pool, with over 36 million litres of water produced daily. The adjacent Chichester Ranges contain sediment-capped basalt ranges. It has rolling hills, hummocks of spinifex, white barked snappy gums on the uplands, and pale coolabahs along the water course.

The area is homeland of the Yinjibarndi people. Millstream Creek was named by the explorer Francis Thomas Gregory in 1861. He reported the favourable grazing prospects. The first pastoral lease was taken up on 1865. The present Millstream Homestead was built in 1920. The homestead was a tavern between 1975 and 1986. In 1970, the Chichester Range National Park was set aside and officially named. In 1975, the Conservation through Reserves Committee made recommendations for reserves in the Pilbara region, and subsequently, the Millstream region was integrated into the park in 1982.

The Yinjibarndi people work as Rangers and contractors in the Park. The visitors’ centre is in the old Homestead, and camping grounds with a gas barbecue and pit toilets are located at Snake Creek, Crossing Pool and Deep Reach Pool.


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Python Pool

The Chichester Range rises sharply from the Pilbara coastal plain before plunging into tranquil gorges and hidden rock pools, including the picturesque Python Pool which is easily accessible by road and holds fresh water year round. Being just a short detour off the main road between Karijini National Park and the Pilbara coast, Python Pool is a perennial waterhole at the base of towering rocks and overhanging gum trees to the south-east of Mt. Herbert. A waterfall flows over the rocks during the wet season. It’s a great place to stop for a break and a swim on the way to the Hamersley Ranges.


Best Time to Visit

Being situated just north of the Tropic of Capricorn, the climate here can best be described as tropical semi-desert. A highly variable, mainly summer rainfall of 250-350 mm, often associated with thunderstorms and cyclones, is accompanied by temperatures frequently topping 40 degrees Celsius. Winter days are warm and clear, but nights are cold and sometimes frosty. The ideal times to visit the park is between July and October.

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