Exploring the greater Karratha area and Millstream Chichester National Park

We explore the greater Karratha region and the beautiful Millstream Chichester National Park to find potential paddle board locations.

When you’re leaving Port Hedland there’s really only 2 ways to go, north or south. The Hedland is surrounded by vast expanses of flat red earth which slowly gives way to distant hills and ranges the further south you travel. We take our paddle boards along with us. Even thought it’s the hottest part of the year, we are hopeful that we might find some great spots to SUP.

Exploring around the Karratha Region – Town of Cossack

Today we are heading down the coast towards the town of Karratha stopping to explore along the way.  Our first stop is the historic town of Cossack.  Cossack was re-named after the vessel that bought the Western Australia governor to WA. The region is also known by the name of Bajinhurrba in Ngarluma language. Established in 1863 it was a hub for the pearling industry and early gold prospecting in the region.  The wealth that these industries attracted is reflected in the beautiful stone buildings. Built in the 1880’s they are still well preserved.  Less obvious is the tragic and unwilling involvement of local indigenous people in the dangerous pearling industry.   A commemorative plaque reads ‘Next time you gaze in wonder at the beauty of a Western Australian pearl, spare a thought for the Aboriginal people who suffered so appallingly during the industry’s darkest days’ 

Today the town is a ‘living Ghost town’. It was abandoned in 1910 with the opening of the new jetty in nearby Point Samson. Harding River which the town is set upon is a great location to explore by paddle board. Also worth checking out is the adjacent Sherlock bay with it’s beautiful sandy beach. Both of these locations would be great to go paddle boarding in the cooler months from May to September.

A campsite with a view – Point Samson

Point Samson

Point Samson is a great spot for an overnight stop. The camp ground is right across from the beach, a sheltered shallow bay. There are places to hire paddle boards in the cooler months. We imagine that as a good sign that it’s safe to SUP. We are still getting used to the potential threat of the aquatic wildlife in these parts. So far it seems that sharks are a lot more prevalent than on the east coast. There are also the odd crocodile and stinger. We’ve also been warned of stone fish which is a new one for us. The historic jetty is a nice shady place to enjoy the coastal breeze on a hot day.


We make our way out to Dampier, home of Red Dog the Pilbara wanderer.  There are a couple of beaches worth exploring along the Burrup Peninsular for potential places to paddle board.  My hot tip would be to check out Dampiers main beach and Hearson’s Cove.  Both of these are fairly protected although can be windy.

Exploring Millstream Chichester National Park

If you are visiting the Karratha region a trip to Millstream Chichester National Park is a must. Heading south we travel along Warlu Road into the national park. This is a mining road and to travel it you need to purchase a permit. The camp ground is on the site of they historic Millstream homestead. The homestead was built in 1919 on the existing sheep station.  It now houses a tourist information centre and a display about the properties history.

Heading out to Python Pool we discover some of the roads are more suitable for four wheel drives. With deep corrugations they are more comfortable to drive on if you lower your tyre pressure.
Python Pool is one of the most visited places in the National Park. It is  probably a bit small for paddle boarding on especially in the busy tourist season. The pool is worth coming to have a look at and a swim if you can deal with the flies!

The enigmatically named Python Pool in the Millstream Chichester National Park

Watch our Video Explore Greater Karratha Region and Millstream Chichester National Park here

If you have some extra time in the area be sure to visit Karrijini National Park with its stunning gorges.

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If you haven’t yet watched part one of our SUP Safari Scotland Travel Video Series  check it out here.


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