Millstream National Park, Karijini and Marble Bar - the hottest town in Australia

Link to pictures here:

After our bad nights sleep listening to the very powerful but noisy locomotives of the Rio Tinto Iron Ore railway we made our way to Millstream National Park. It was only a short drive to our first location, the Python Pool, where there were no Pythons to be found or any explanation to the naming of the place. We walked into the small gorge and pool, the girls were brave enough for a paddle but none of us managed a swim.

We also walked up an old Cameleers track to a nearby lookout for sweeping views over the Pilbara Ranges and incredible scenery. The country is looking nice and green after the recent rains, lots of new growth around and small pools of water in the normally dry river beds. We found a few Sturt's Desert Peas in flower, enough to brighten even the greyest of English summer days.

Onward to our camping spot at Millstream only a further 50kms up the road near the site of the old station homestead, Millstream had been a working cattle station until the mid-1980’s and there were still a few stray [now feral] cattle wandering around. We had one stroll by the tent at midnight on a quest for fresh grass, certainly a bit bigger than the possums we had seen and heard at previous campsites 😊.

We stayed a couple of days, explored the old homestead, doing a few short walks and swimming in one of the deep permanent river pools nearby but I think we were all looking forward to our return to Karijini National Park after a fantastic visit in 2016.

So, on Sunday we headed off to Tom Price to top up water, fuel and to buy a birthday cake for Sophie for her 8th birthday on Monday 18th June. Sophie was thrilled to be celebrating in Karijini, probably her favourite National Park so far.

And so here we are, in Karijini, having spent the past few days revisiting some amazing walks in ancient, incredible gorges and exploring a few new areas too.

We have swum in a couple of places, waded through chilly waters to get to the Spider Walk and Kermit’s Pool in Hancock’s Gorge and hang on tight while clambering down into the Handrail Pool in Weano Gorge. Fantastic adventures and seriously, Karijini, should be on every Australian’s bucket list of places to visit.

We are pretty much covered in the rich red dust of the Pilbara and will head off to Marble Bar, we hope to find a good shower to rinse some of the dirt and dust out of our systems 😊.

Marble Bar is officially Australia’s hottest town on a regular basis, so we are hoping for a little sunshine to charge the batteries [via the solar panel] and to help dry the laundry [pragmatic if not romantic]

Or maybe not - I think we are on "Plan B" again. We found a small side diversion and ended up camping a little short of Marble Bar near Glen Herring Gorge, another scenic wonder in a landscape that needs to be seen to be believed. The Pilbara region of West Australia may just have won over our hearts all over again.

Or could be "Plan C", today we managed to move about 50 kms, from one side of Marble Bar to the other 😊 [Glen Herring Gorge to Dooleena Gorge].

In between, we managed to stop at a Jasper fossicking site and collect another bag of rocks, sneak over to the inappropriately named Marble Bar crossing, (it is a massive Jasper outcrop across the Coongan River) and then visit the old Comet Gold Mine Museum for a quick rundown of how some people made a fortune out here in the hottest town in Australia.

We left town just after midday, aiming for Port Hedland and made it about 20kms before finding this place (Dooleena Gorge) and after a quick walk along the river bed admiring the view we decided not to go any further today 😊.

Tomorrow we will get up at the crack of dawn and head for Port Hedland to shop for luxuries like food and fuel, then venture a little further north to Pardoo Station.

Regards Roy, Helen, Sophie and Zoe

PS - we made it to Pardoo. We have power, internet and coffee plus the promise of some fishing in the coming days, what more could you ask for?

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