Pilbara - Millstream Chichester National Park - Python Pool and George Gorge June 1 - 4 2018
  The source of the bore field noise.

We saw three. All with large diesel tanks.

A water treatment site included. With chlorine, and an office.

The "beat" is possibly interference between diesel engines, or exhausts that resonate.

No wonder the leaseholders at Millstream sold out!

  The pipeline is significant.

The snappy gum drive around the homestead and pools on the Fortescue is closed after storm damage.

Possible thunder storms today.

  We set off towards the Python Pool.

Gently rolling hills.

  The results of prescribed burns in the last few days.

The fires didn't travel far. No sign of smoke.

  Mt Herbert is not the highest mountain we've climbed, at 367m. We reckon the car park was at about 300m.

Its near the northern edge of the Chichester Range.

This is looking east.

  We weren't prepared for the range to have an edge, and gorges, but since its tilted in the same alignment as the Hamersley Range perhaps we shouldn't have been surprised.
  We descended towards the coastal plain.

And complain that the geology isn't as easy to recognise as we thought it would be.

There's a couple of layers of basalt (from volcanic activity) in there somewhere, sandwiching dolomite.

  At Python Pool a single Sturt Desert Pea. We are used to them lying flat, in a carpet.

They are distinctive, and instantly recognisable.

  A quick look at Python Pool.

Rumour has it there are permanent pools above the waterfall - seen from a helicopter .....

  Black Hill Pool was more interesting to us.


We knew there were some near, just that they were hard to see as the rock is very broken.

There are at least 7 separate artworks in this pic.

A small sign informing us its an Aboriginal Site.

  We tried climbing up a bit but all that did was get us a better view of broken rock.

We are thinking about what sort of rock it may be.

  And a view of the coastal plain.
  Basalt or dolomite?

Add a tinge of green which may suggest a hint of copper.

I thought basalt was dark. But I don't expect dolomite.


  Slowly we glimpse more petroglyphs as we get our eye in.

Encouraged we walked upstream a bit where the rock was less broken.

  A number of people with more fingers and toes than I have.

Very different to the "stick people" in the first pic.

  It wasn't until we looked at our photos we wondered if this depicted a hunt.

Filled in figures but not the many fingers and toes.

  We absolutely can't imagine what the "four legged" (???) animal with ears and tail (?) is. Though it could be a poorly drawn kangaroo.
  We've become used to concentric circles carved on top of.

We wonder if its a bird.

  More fingers and toes. We wondered if they were "original" but it seems so to us.
  Perhaps a turtle?

Each petroglyph site we've visited challenges us in different ways.

  There are probably some in the pool if we look for long enough.
  But onward.

Towards George Gorge.

About 10 km of stony track across the plain.

The National Park identifies it in their pamphlet as "remote camping". No facilities, no fees. The track is not marked and is not on any of our maps. We asked.

Our sort of place.

  Around the edge of the hills.

Mt Montagu is on our right.

  Definitely stony. Almost rocky.

Very slow. Some interesting dry creek crossings.

Rounded river worn rocks, boulders even, but nothing sharp (we hope).

  Nearly at the pool. We think.

Crossing a loop in the George River.

  Shortly after we found a pool.

A little tired, we stopped.

But struggling a bit with the map. The track isn't marked but a pool is. Though not here. About 700m to the west.

At which point Ranger Kate drove past. Month end procedures say take a water sample. Kate also told us of people who had become "stuck".

Saved me a walk to the pool on the map. A much better pool (there's always one somewhere). And lots of other useful info.

  So we upped camp (stepped out of the back, folded the steps, closed the door, and got in the cab) and drove another km.

The new improved pool is under those cliffs.

  Exactly where the map(s) said there's a pool.

My sense of direction is way off. Excuse is the sun is behind clouds.

I thought I'd parked with the cab facing west. Its actually facing east. Some brain maintenance required.

Not to worry, it doesn't matter. And big surprise the satphone has a signal.

The new pool is a bit brown rather than a bit green. An improvement.

We'll go for a walk further up the gorge tomorrow morning then contemplate swimming.

  We see plenty flitting past, and hear more. But it usually takes time for the birds to accept us. A day or two.

In the meantime we look at the rocks reflected in the pool as the sun sinks.

  We are in shade early due to the cliff.

The west side of the valley is still lit.

  Still a little suspicious of the coordinates and the map, we weren't quite where the blue dot is, we investigated further.

Where the tributary enters on the river bend there's an even bigger pool.

A couple of hundred meters away, if it wasn't quite so dry it would probably be the same pool as we are camped at.

But no need to move ........ probably not possible to be happier.

  We strolled (rock hopped) further up the valley. There's another pool marked in about 5km. We go just a km or so. The valley gradually becomes shallower and rises towards the plateau.
  We are camped about 200m to the right of the cliff in the distance.

We've discovered (by listening to to the radio) that its a long weekend. Our remote campsite has been invaded by a couple of locals who are intrigued as to how we found their little known location - but of course no magic involved.

The birds are beginning to get used to us.

We'll move again on Tuesday as we will be travelling along the coast, which will be more or less busy. Note to self - remember to find out when school holidays happen.

  After hearing it occasionally yesterday and today we finally saw the blue-winged kookaburra in the tree next to us.

After the cormorant landed near it.

  A quick trip up the end of the cliff.

Slowly warming to the idea that its basalt. Fast cooled with small crystals and gas bubbles.

  Don't get too close to the edge .......

Our morning walk following the creek upstream .... "just around the corner".

The last camping spot with a track to it is shortly before the corner.

Turn left to exit to the north.

  Looking north towards the coast. About 70 km for crows.

How big must the river have been to carve such a valley.

  A visitor.

Dwarfed by the enormity.

Turn right at every junction until all options are exhausted then last turn to return to campsite further down the valley.

  Our campsite from the end of the cliff.
  Halfway up the end of the cliff. We have a 3G internet signal.

Not sure if its usable, we'll perhaps try the laptop tomorrow.

  The bottom layer of the cliff is shale.

It ends "just around the corner".

Or at least is covered by rocks eroded from further up.

  Hopefully visible in the pic, the layers are as fascinating as those in Karijini but very different.

We think the top is basalt.

  Sunday morning's entertainment was provided by a black kite.

A fleeting glimpse of something flashing past a window, but nothing on the other side.

A bit of a flurry as it grappled with whatever it caught in the grass.

Something we hadn't seen.

  It spent about 10 minutes carefully checking the surroundings. Moved less than a meter a couple of times.

But totally ignored the four and a half tonnes of bright white truck sat within 3m containing two people desperately trying to maintain a low profile with only occasional whispered "ooh"s and "aah"s. A working mobile bird hide.

With only the seemingly thunderous "ker ching" of the artificial electronic shutter to break the mood.

  The kite then set about picking at the prey held down in yellow talons.

While still taking care with the surroundings.

It doesn't need eyes in the back of its head as it can turn its head in almost any direction.

  Eventually disturbed, it flew off with its prey, leaving a bit of evidence.

The bird book is not much help!

We think there's something quite special about close up wild life. Perhaps as we see episodes like this so rarely.

And as long as we aren't the prey.

  After all the excitement, a stroll up the creek to disturb a solitary white-faced heron
  Monday morning there's a gale blowing.

We decided it was time to move on.

  Some high cloud.

Behind us some lower cloud moving in.

We hear on the radio mention of rain sometime soon, though there's not been much for a long time.

  We still haven't worked out when the spinifex is green and when its yellow.
  A few km from water.

Another red-backed kingfisher beside the track.

I'm getting used to the idea they don't spend all their time next to water.

  Nearly out. The 15km took about an hour.

Somewhere quiet to camp, we'll reach Karratha on Tuesday morning.

Pilbara - Burrup Peninsula and Cleaverville June 5 - 8 2018

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