It was a 3 hour drive to Millstream Chichester NP on deserted gravel roads (no traffic, no stations, just a few cows) and a very different place to Karijini NP. Millstream was once a 400,000 hectare station running 55,000 sheep and the homestead built in 1920 is now the Visitor Centre/Homestead museum for the Millstream Chichester NP, and it has a pleasant wetlands walk through what was once the garden/tennis court/yards of the property. Millstream Palms abound on the property and its a bit of an oasis. We did a 7.5 km walk to a Cliff Lookout in the midday sun without much shade so were very glad to go to Deep Reach Pool in the Fortescue River (and fed by an aquifer) for an aftenoon swim. We also did a 30km drive through an area of Snappy Gums with nice vistas and a scenic lookout. The next day we visited the Chichester end of the NP and were really taken with all the Sturt Desert Peas growing at the side of the road. We climbed Mt Herbert and then went to Python Pool for a swim. Had the place to ourselves, had a lovely swim and a bit of a shock after I got out of the water. Dick said he saw a crocodile swimming across the other side of the pool. I was quite shaken! As we left other people arrived and said it was probably a water monitor/lizard since there were no crocs in the area.
On our one hour drive to Karratha we saw over 10 huge, very, very long iron ore trains; either going to the mines to be loaded up or going over to the port for shipment. Learned later that the trains are each 2.4kms long with 234 iron ore cars. Lots of the infrastructure in the area is good and well maintained thanks to the mining companies. Got a pleasant surprise in Karratha when we rang Toyota re our Monday appointment and they did our repair work on the Friday afternoon, and they reduced the price for us also. Fabulous service!
Covered errands and phone calls in Karratha, checked out a beach and some aboriginal etchings on the Burrup Peninsula (quite disappointing) and drove through Dampier so I could see the Red Dog statute (because I liked the movie so much), before having dinner with our new friends George and Kylie in Karratha. With no reason to stay there any longer we went to Exmouth via a free camp stop on the way. That drive took us out of the Pilbara region.
PS – Disclosure – We have been down to one phone/camera since Cape Leveque, where I took my phone for a swim. This may mean fewer photos or just fewer photos of Dick!