Friday, July 23, 2010

Week 30/52 - Millstream oasis

Hi everyone, welcome to week 30 of my 52 week tour Downunder Western Australia.

Tonight we continue on from our last camp site - Munjina Gorge, camp with a view - and travel to the beautiful oasis of Millstream.

Located in the 200,000 hectare Millstream-Chichester National Park, Millstream stuns the senses. Rich and green, it is a beautiful tropical oasis whose lush wetlands and tree-lined watercourses spring magically from the surrounding dry, rocky Spinifex plains and rocky escarpments of the Park. Its tree lined watercourses are an inviting cool retreat from the searing heat of the Australian outback and the hot dry dusty road to get there.

The Park features two distinctly different and contrasting regions. The Chichester Ranges rise sharply from the surrounding dry stony Spinifex studded plateau, and slopes down to the bed of the Fortescue River, with its hidden gorges and rock pools. Along the river lies the Millstream oasis, Chinderwariner Pool, its waters springing from a natural underground water reserve fed by the Fortescue River catchment.

Here is morning at Deep Reach Pool where we camped.

From Life Images by Jill
Originally the home of the Yinjibarndi people who called it Ngarrari, Chinderwarriner Pool was an important camp site for inter-tribal meetings. A walk trail meanders through groves of date and native Millstream palms and past beautiful waterlily ponds. The Date palms which were originally introduced by Afghan camel drivers, who built camel trails over the Ranges to carry bales of wool to ports on the coast, are gradually being removed so the area around the pool can return to native vegetation.

The pool in reflection.......

From Life Images by Jill
Millstream was a pastoral station from 1865 to 1964. The national park is now managed by the Department Environment and Conservation, and is recognised for its significant natural, recreational and cultural values.

Here is the Visitor Centre - originally the homestead for the Millstream Pastoral Station.

From Life Images by Jill
While at Millstream you should also explore two of the main attractions of the Chichester Range, Mount Herbert and Python Pool, which are 52 kilometres from Millstream via a gravel road. The view from Mount Herbert is spectacular and gives a 360 degree view of the Park. Here is a view - yep that is spinifex in the foreground!

From Life Images by Jill
Another view from Mount Herbert...

From Life Images by Jill
and another........all the green you see in this photo, except for the trees, is spinifex.

From Life Images by Jill
and this is the view from Mr Shiela. There was a camp site up here and I would have loved to camp overnight and watch the sun set and rise. The photo really doesn't do it justice.

From Life Images by Jill
and this is what I hope NOT to happen on our trip - but flat tyres do happen - so it is wise to carry two spares when travelling remote "out back"..

From Life Images by Jill

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Thank you for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this tour around Western Australia. I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for taking the time to comment.