Chiefs Creek; free camping north of Newman

Our last stop before Nullagine and Skull Springs Road was at Chiefs Creek, a little spot Sarah found on Wikicamps, and locked in. We’d driven from Gascoyne River South Branch, grabbed fuel and some basic supplies in Newman, had lunch at the big dump truck and visitor centre before heading north again.

I was actually expecting the road from Newman to Nullagine to be gravel, but its great condition bitumen road and is used by hundreds of trucks, buses and light vehicles every single day.

You’ll find Chiefs Creek also on the Gascoyne River, right next to a big bridge that crosses it.

Chiefs creek camp site
Our spot at Chiefs Creek
Chiefs creek bridge
Camped fairly close to the big bridge

Where is Chiefs Creek?

You’ll find Chiefs Creek 98km north of Newman, and 98km south of Nullagine metres from the main road.

Getting to Chiefs Creek

If you are heading from the south, cross the bridge and pull over right after. The main camp ground is to the West, but there’s also some room on the East side. Pick your poison, but beware of the big trucks that use the road and give them plenty of notice of your intentions.

It’s a tiny gravel road that even 2WD vehicles would be OK doing, and you end up in a couple of small loops right near the river.

Chiefs Creek Bridge
You won’t miss the bridge!

How big is it?

There’s probably enough room to fit about 5 or 6 setups on one side, and a couple on the East side, but its quite small. On our stay only one other camper pulled in with his truck, and we had plenty of room to spread out.

Colours of the Pilbara
There’s enough room for a few campers


There’s zero amenities here. No toilet, no rubbish bins, no water or anything else. Leave no trace, and that means taking out all of your rubbish, unlike some people who left boxes of beer bottles and other bits and pieces.

Portable washing machine
You need to be completely self sufficient here

Dogs and fires

We had a nice fire here, in one of the existing fire pits, and there’s no issues with it as long as its done carefully and in season.

Chiefs Creek Sunset
A nice, small fire to finish the day off

Road noise

You are very close to the road. Even the furthest camp site would be lucky to be 50 – 100 metres away, and that means you hear the traffic going past. Fortunately, the road is much less busy than the Great Northern Highway, and once again at night time the noise dramatically dropped off. We heard a couple of trucks and cars go by, but hardly any compared to the Great Northern!

Camped near the river
Even the furthest away is only about 100 metres from the road

What does it cost?

Like a lot of these camps, you wont pay a cent to stay. Look after it, spend some money in the local towns to support them and enjoy the amazing freedom we have!

Marble Bar in town
We always try and support the small towns for their great camps and facilities

Rubbish at Chiefs Creek

One of the things I was less impressed about was the amount of rubbish left laying around. I actually got the kids picking up aluminium cans and squashing them to take home for the 10 cent refund, and we found more than 30 fairly quickly and easily. There were stubbies and other random bits of rubbish left too, which we couldn’t collect as we had no room.

It did prove however, that the easier to access spots have more rubbish. Once we headed along Skull Springs Road and got to more remote places we hardly saw any more rubbish, which was great.

Chief Creek River level

The bloke that camped near us said 4 days ago the river was basically empty, and during our stay it was comfortably 20 metres wide. We didn’t wade into it to see how deep it was, but it was an impressive sight and the river level will depend on the amount of rain that you get.

High water level
A seriously high water level with the recent rains

The bird life is pretty amazing, with a couple of kites flying around, and I’m positive we saw a rainbow bee eater, which are nothing short of spectacular.

Chiefs Creek Fence Line
The fence line which is as far as you can camp

It’s a great overnighter

We really enjoyed our stay here. Yep, it was much closer to the road than we would have liked, but it was fairly quiet (not too much traffic on this after dark) and it’s completely free. We’d stay again for sure.

Drying washing camping
Getting some washing done
Nachos at Chiefs Creek
We loved our overnight at Chiefs Creek, and had tasty Nachos for dinner

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