We are firmly into the zone of big drives between destinations now. We follow the WA coast to the north-east, across the Tropic of Capricorn, with a couple of free overnight camps on the way. The skies are big and full of kites and eagles. Supply stop at Karratha, which is a minerals town (mining, gas plant). It seems modern and nicely kept, with a good shopping centre, a great library and a fantastic brunch in a Asian themed cafe. Drinking water costs money though.
Millstream National Park is another old pastoral station. WA government seem to be slowly buying up unprofitable pastoral leases, and converting then to NPs or reserves. The camp kitchen is good, and volunteer camp hosts are friendly, as usual. At dusk, T spots a very large Mulga snake soaking up last of the warmth from the toilet doorstep. We wander around the old station homestead, which has some fascinating family history. In the next campsite over, we meet up with friends from Mt Augustus, who are also recovering from the same COVID outbreak. The landscapes here are beautiful, but stark and hard. Coach bolts are better than tent pegs (good tip Dan!).
The quickest way to the town of Tom Price (more of which later) is down the access track for the iron ore railway. I have to complete a very dull on-line corporate training course to get permission to drive on it. On to Karijini National Park for a few days. This is the mecca for lovers of geology, has exciting hiking through epic gorges, and lots of chilly swimming in rock pools. An amazing location, definitely worth the trip. Avoid the blue asbestos though!