Millstream Chichester National Park lies inland from the Pilbara coast and is an oasis nestled within the ancient rocky plains of North West Australia. Water springs spontaneously from the underground channels of the Fortescue river, creating the Chindawarriner pool and its meandering offshoots which meet the river a few kilometers downstream.
After a couple of years in town the Karratha Enviro Group began taking groups of people out to Millstream National Park to help clear the streams of invasive weeds. Carpooling from Karratha with teams of 10-30 people we had some fun and exhausting days out.
With a constant temperature of 28 degrees these pools and streams are the perfect environment for invasive aquatic weeds, namely Indian Waterfern and water lillies. The extensive growth of such species can block channels and compromise the health of the pools. For a quiet oasis hidden within miles and miles and miles of arid desert lands, it is surprising that so many weeds can cluster in such a small place. Clearly, water is life: for both native plants and weeds alike.
With the help of the WA Department of Parks and Wildlife, and approval from the traditional custodians of the land, the Yindjibarndi People, many weeding trips to the park were organised, where an enthusiastic group of volunteers helped clear out the streams and bring back oxygen to this unique aquatic ecosystem. We waded through the streams and pulled out the water weeds, stepped along the edges to remove other invasive weeds and just generally enjoyed the beautiful and tranquil environment of Millstream. This is a jewel in the crown of the Pilbara aridlands, and we are very pleased to have had the opportunity to help conserve and protect it.