Karlamilyi National Park

Karlamilyi National Park, Jiri Lochman / Australian Geographic
Wildlife Aboriginal site Camping area Four-wheel drive touring Walking

Introduction

Karlamilyi National Park, formerly Rudall River, is the largest national park in Western Australia (over 1.2 million hectares) and also one of the most remote. It lies in the eastern Pilbara region, a landscape of red sand dunes, stony hills, salt lakes and vast spinifex plains. Hidden away in an ancient gorge in the centre of the park is a chain of scenic rock holes, where rugged red cliffs cast perfect reflections in still waters.

Bloodwoods, spinifex and shrubby acacias grow on the red-sand plains and dunes; elsewhere are clumps of mallee and groves of desert oak. The graceful, white-trunked western coolibah grows along the watercourses and flood plains. Animals include small mammals, such as the lesser hairy-footed dunnart and native mice, as well as dingoes, wild camels, geckoes, skinks, goannas and snakes. The river and waterholes are a haven for frogs and more than 90 bird species.

Activities include photography, bushwalking, 4WD touring and swimming. Desert Queen Baths, an 18-kilometre detour off the main track, is a series of picturesque rock pools within a gorge. Allow an hour’s drive each way on a rough bush track, then a 40-minute scramble over rocks to reach the main pool.

This remote destination is for only the most experienced of travellers, as it is accessible by rough 4WD tracks only and you need to bring all supplies with you – there is no fuel, food or water available between Newman and Marble Bar. Check road conditions before travelling. The Western Desert Puntukunupanu Aboriginal Corporation must be advised before travelling through their traditional lands in the park; call (08) 9172 3299.

Fact file

Camping

Bush camping; no facilities

Location and access

420 km from Marble Bar via Ripon Hills Rd then Telfer Mine Rd – permission required to use this track, contact (08) 9158 6200; 260 km from Newman via Talawana Track; 4WD only, tracks are extremely rough

Park information

DEC Karratha (08) 9182 2000

Size

1 283 706 ha

Visitor information

Marble Bar (08) 9176 1008

Newman (08) 9175 2888

Featured Activities in the National Park

  • Camp by one of the scenic waterholes

    Swim at pictresque Desert Queen Baths

Introduction

In addition to photography, bush camping, bushwalking and 4WD touring, visitors can swim in the creeks and waterholes. Desert Queen Baths, an 18-kilometre detour off the main track, is a series of rock pools within a gorge. This is a particularly scenic spot but you need to allow an hour’s drive each way over a rough bush track then a 40-minute scramble over rocks to reach the main pool. 

Campsites

Desert Queen Baths camping area (bush camping)

Desert Queen Baths camping area is reached via Marble Bar. Take the Ripon Hills and Telfer rds, then turn south on Telfer Mine Rd, which becomes the main north–south track through the park. The campsite is 18.2 km... Find out more


Tjingkulatjatjarra Pool camping area (bush camping)

Tjingkulatjatjarra camping area is 21 km south off the Desert Queen Baths track and 7.2 km west of the main Karlamilyi National Park track. The campsite is on the southern side of the Rudall River, 38.7 km north of the... Find out more


White Gum Bore camping area (bush camping)

Water is available from the bore at White Gum, but you need to boil or treat it before use. The camping area is 100 m east of the main park track and 9 km north of the Talawana Track off  Marble Bar Rd, 325 km... Find out more


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