Having explored the Pilbara coast it was time to head inland and see what the interior of the Pilbara had to offer. To say we were impressed would be an understatement. If the Pilbara in Western Australia isn’t on your radar or bucket list then it should be.
After leaving Port Hedland and the coast behind we pulled up for the night at a rather delightful roadside rest area, Albert Tognolini with astonishing views just off the Great Northern Highway.
Next morning it was into one of our all time favourite spots in the country, the amazing Karijini National Park. If you only ever get to Western Australia once in your lifetime make it to Karijini. It is a place full of jaw dropping sights, amazing scenery and magical places to explore. Be sure to bring your hiking boots though as to really soak up the beauty of this place you need to hike into its awe inspiring chasms. You will be forever changed, we know we were. In all we spent 5 wonderful nights camped in Karijini and could have spent much longer if time had permitted visiting sites such as Fern Pool, Fortesque Falls, Circular Pool, Hamersley Gorge, Hancock Gorge, Waeno Gorge, Hand Rail Pool, Joffre Gorge and Falls, Knox Gorge, Kalamina Gorge and Falls and Arch Rock to name but a few. It is definitely on our return to list.
Tearing ourselves away it was time to head into the nearby town of Tom Price for the night to stock up on supplies. This is a great friendly little town with all the amenities the traveler requires from food supplies to mechanical repairs. We also had a tyre replaced here from an earlier incident.
After spending a night in the caravan park at Tom Price to clean up and catch up on washing etc. it was time to head north west in a somewhat circuitous route via Millstream – Chichester National Park. We had planned on visiting here on our way to Karijini from the coast however our inclement weather whilst at Karratha changed our plans slightly due to access issues during and following wet weather. The scenery between Karijini and Millstream- Chichester National Parks is beautiful and makes up part of the Hamersley Range.
After checking out the historic Millstream Homestead we set up camp for the night at the aptly named Stargazers Campground in the national park, and yes it certainly was a star studded night. Dinner tonight consisted of Thai coconut stir fry with cous cous.
Next day it was time to explore a few more treasures of Millstream- Chichester taking in Deep Reach and Python Pools along with the majestic Chichester Range as we made our way back out to the North West Coastal Highway and what turned out to be a wild night at a roadside rest area at Rolex River.
Pulling up with a myriad of other travelers and grey nomads just before sunset we thought we were in for a relaxing night. However just after dark the rumbling sounds of Harleys and other two wheeled machines broke the silence. Pulling into the rest area over the next hour or so turned out to be a whole bikie club complete with generator, sound system that would put an ACDC concert to shame and enough alcohol for a reasonable sized pub. It goes without saying not much sleep was had that night.
We were on the road early the next morning and whilst fueling up just down the road we were met by a couple with a caravan asking if we had spent the night at the same rest area as we appeared to be the only other travelers on the road this early and probably looked as well rested as they did. “Wild night last night” they exclaimed and we had to agree but at the end of the day it all adds to the adventure and keeps things interesting. After taking this rather circuitous route we ended up back at Albert Tognolini Rest Area again for night and after relaxing watching another stunning Western Australian sunset over the range, enjoying a feed of vegetables and pork chops cooked to perfection on our biji over the campfire we slept very soundly that night.
Jump on board the trusty hilux next time as we continue to explore the amazing interior of the Pilbara ending up back on the coast before returning to Perth and then embarking on the long journey home with many more adventures along the way.