The Millstream Homestead was built in 1919 on the pastoral station established in the late 1800s.
The name comes from explorer Francis Thomas Gregory when he named Millstream Creek in 1861, noting it had enough water to operate a large mill.
A lease in 1865 started with sheep and the station continued with sheep for many years. The Cookson Brothers owned Millstream from 1912 until 1950 but was operated by others. Claude Irvine managed the station when Millstream Homestead was built and invited his grandson Les Gordon to become the manager in 1923.
Les Gordon lived and managed Millstream until he died, however, he purchased the property shortly before passing in 1950. His sons Doug and Stewart continued with the property until they sold it in 1964. Millstream was later bought by the Public Works Department.
From 1975, the homestead operated as a tavern and was updated with a new roof, suspended ceiling, and timber trusses were replaced with steel.
In the 1980s, the Millstream Homestead was taken over by CALM (Conservation And Land Management). CALM renovated the homestead and it now operates as the visitor centre for the Millstream Chichester National Park in Western Australia.
Unfortunately for us, the homestead was closed for renovations for its 100th anniversary. The shearer’s kitchen was still open for us to have a look through.
There are things to learn about the homestead, including outside of the homestead building. For example, follow the Homestead Trail to learn what life was like in the 1930s from the perspective of a 12-year-old boy at Millstream. The walk is an easy 750m return.
The Murlamunyjunha Trail leads from the Homestead to the Crossing Pool and the Fortescue River. It is a moderate 6km return walk taking about 2 hours. The last part to and from Crossing Pool is typically closed between November and April during the wet season.
To get there:
From Karratha, head to the highway and turn right (west). Follow North-West Coastal Hwy for 9km from De Witt Rd (or 300m if coming out along Madigan Rd) and turn left into Warlu Rd. Follow Warlu Rd for 88km and continue straight ahead (passing a brown sign to Python Pools) for another 20km on Roebourne-Wittenoom Rd. Turn right into Millstream Rd and follow for about 14.5km and turn right into the entrance of Millstream Chichester National Park. The entrance station where you can pay for permits is 200m or so on the left.
From Python Pool (see Python Pool for directions from Roebourne), head out the track and turn right onto Roebourne-Wittenoon Rd. Follow Roebourne-Wittenoon Rd for 18km to a T intersection. Turn left to continue on Roebourne-Wittenoon Rd for another 20km on Roebourne-Wittenoom Rd. Turn right into Millstream Rd and follow for about 14.5km and turn right into the entrance of Millstream Chichester National Park. The entrance station where you can pay for permits is 200m or so on the left.
From the entrance station, continue straight on for another 6.5km or so to reach the parking area to access Millstream Homestead.