Round Millstream Chichester – Day 2

Thursday 22nd August 2013

Millstream is noted for its water; the Chichester part of the Park is rather drier and so you walk farther to see water – at least Australians do! And as we did the same I suppose we were honorary Australians for the duration of our stay!

It was quite a long drive to Mount Hubert (where you park for the walk to MacKenzie’s Spring) and on the way we were impressed by the vastness of the bush. Big things seem to shrink. Look at the next two photos. They are both taken from the same spot. The first is a wide angle; the next is a telephoto. A cursory glance at the first suggests it is a picture of a not very interesting bit of bush; the telephoto shot shows that it is a siding on the Tom Price – Dampier iron ore railway with several millions of dollars of stuff, parked.

Train in the bush
Spot the multi billion dollar investment!

Seeing this shows the difficulty in being against developments in WA. It is such a big place that huge projects “disappear” and have a minimal footprint.

Train in the bush

Several millions of dollars of ore waiting to be moved on one of the biggest railways in the world.

 From Mount Hubert it was 5 km walk to MacKenzie’s Spring and back. But it was an easy walk along a good path.

MacKenzies Spring and around
Chris on the path to MacKenzie’s Spring

The rocks of the area are Archean and members of the Fortescue Group, 2.7 billion years old. There are lots of basalts and dolerites but even the sediments contain lots of volcanic material. When we got to the Spring we found it to be in a sandstone, just below a small dolerite sill.

MacKenzies Spring and around
MacKenzie’s Spring

Apparently the spring was very important to the camel convoys which were a mainstay of transport in days gone by.  We met an Australian couple at the spring who were very enthusiastic about the beauty of their country.

Back at the Mount Hubert car park we ascended the not very difficult Mount and admired the view.

MacKenzies Spring and around
View Northward from Mount Hubert. This would be our route the next day, past the Pyramid.

We then drove a few miles further to Python Pool. This is a plunge pool at the base of a waterfall. The waterfall was not flowing at this time of year, but it must be spectacular in the wet as it comes over a massive dolerite dyke.

Near Python Pool
Python Pool and its (dry) waterfall

Here we had lunch and then headed back to Millstream. After another swim at Deep Reach we wandered round the old Homestead and looked at some of the pools, including the Jirndawurranha Pool which is sacred to the local Aborigines.

Round the Millstream Homestead
Chris at the Jirndawurranha Pool. No swimming allowed.

At our camp we found that the site had filled up compared to the previous nights. Our tent looked very humble next to the huge and sophisticated camper vans and trailers which had appeared! We dined and went to bed knowing that we had a long day in front of us.