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Your guide to Karijini, WA - Not to be missed!!

September 25, 2018

Karijini National Park is not a place that is just around the corner for most people.  It is a trip that requires planning and long drives, but a trip worth every minute of it. There are several ways in which you can travel to Karijini, and not one of them is a short drive.  However, there are a number of free camps, along the routes, to help break the trip up if needed.  

 

The Gorges

 

Weano Gorge

This Gorge is an easy walk, and gives you a great introduction into Karijini and its surrounds.  You can walk the top of the gorge, and this leads you to the Oxer Lookout.  The Oxer Lookout gives you a great view of where four of the gorges meet – being the Weano, Red, Hancock and Joffre Gorge.

 

 Weano Gorge also has a challenging walk that means climbing down rock steps, over boulders and through freezing cold water and narrow passage ways to experience the wonders of Handrail Pool.  The rocks can be slippery, and the best advice if doing this walk, is to ensure that you hold onto the handrail when the opportunity presents itself, and that you are sure of your footing before taking the next step.

 

It is a location that has a large number of rescues, so follow the instructions, make sure your partner is with you at all times and it is okay to decide it is too risky and to not climb down to the pool itself.  After all, your safety is more important than a photo.

 

Hancock Gorge

This is situated near Waeno Gorge, and shares the same parking/day use area within the National Park. There are many warnings about Hancock Gorge, as it requires the intrepid site-seer to climb down a ladder into what is often described as the centre of the earth. 

 

The gorge is known for its narrow chambers and spider walk wall, and is one that requires extreme caution when navigating.  The reward at the end of the spider walk is Kermit’s pool.  Another stunning body of water, hidden from the viewing platforms, but there for you to enjoy if you take on the walk.

 

Hamersley Gorge

Hamersley Gorge is located at the north-west edge of Karijini National Park, and the furthest one to drive to from Dales Camp ground and the Eco Lodge.  It is corrugated the entire way, so be prepared to let the tyres down and to take it easy.

 

This is one gorge that the whole family can access and enjoy.  It is a climb up and down rock steps, and is easily accessible.  There is no long walk and water crossings to get to the gorge – it is right there.

 

 The gorge is full of natural unusual colours and spectacular rock formations.  For us, it made for some great photography and some very cold swimming.  We explored the waterfall and swam a part of the gorge after jumping off a rock ledge into the freezing water.    

 

 

Dales Gorge

Located near the Dales Gorge Camp ground, on the eastern side of the National Park, you will find three of Karijini’s best highlights.  These are three of the most visited and photographed locations within the national park, and therefore are familiar to most prior to visiting.

 

Fortescue Falls, Circular Pool and Fern Pool are all joined with a 3-hour gorge walk, however there is also an awesome lookout that will allow you to view Circular Pool without having to enter the gorge.  

 

Walking down 282 metal steps, you will come to the spectacular Fortescue Falls, follow the markers on the rocks and you can sit by the running water as they cascade over the rocks, or follow them down to the pool at the bottom for a well-earned swim.

 

Follow the rock markers past the falls, and a short walk later you will be greeted with the stunning scenery of Fern Pool.  This is one of the warmest pools to swim in, and the water coming over the waterfall into this pool is warmer than the pool water.  Sitting under the waterfall is one of the highlights of this pool.

 

 

Accommodation:

 

Karijini Eco Retreat and Savanah Camp Ground

 

The retreat is made up of upmarket, quality eco tents, that are made to feel as luxurious as a hotel room, but still allowing you to feel that you are among the natural beauty of the park.  With hotel style bedding, a private en-suite, your own wooden deck to sit and relax on, it is truly built to give the resident the true Karijini experience of tranquillity.  

 

The retreat also offers dorm style eco tents and cabins.  While these do not have the same standard of luxury, they still mean that you can experience Karijini without having the big price tag.  The road in is a corrugated, red dirt road for about 6km, so be prepared to let the tyres down.

 

The Savanah camp ground is located within the ground of the Karijini Eco Retreat.  There are about 80 unpowered camp sites, and It allows the use of generators to be used between 4pm and 8pm.  So, if generators are going to annoy you, it is probably not the place to stay!

 

The camp ground does give campers access to amenities that include flushing toilets and hot showers, as well as a covered bush kitchen with gas BBQ, sink with running water, food prep area and seating.  

 

Staying here allows easy access, driving further along the corrugated dirt road, to Hancock Gorge and Waeno Gorge.  Waeno Gorge gives access to Handrail Pool.  Hancock George will take you along the challenging spider wall and into Kermit Pool.

 

Dales Camp Ground

 

Getting to this camp is 2WD friendly as it is bitumen for the entire drive in there.  You cannot book prior to arriving, and there are fees associated with your stay.  Pop into the Information centre to book your stay upon arrival.  

 

The Dales Camp Ground is within easy walking distance to explore Fortescue Falls and Circular Pools.  This means that you can take the time to explore the gorge, possibly allowing for some stunning sunsets shots over the top of the gorges.

 

The camp ground has 140 unpowered sites, drop toilets, gas BBQ’s and a few picnic tables.  It is all set up for the self-contained camper to enjoy a few days of the Karijini landscape, and no generators can be used.  

 

Image Credit HERE

 

 

Tom Price

 

Tom Price Caravan Park is a Top Parks member and a TAWK supporter, and is located just outside of the township of Tom Price.  There are several options within the caravan park, from powered and unpowered sites to cabins and backpacker style accommodation.  The caravan park is pet friendly for campers only.

 

The caravan park is within easy driving distance to all areas of the National Park, as well as to the top of Mount Nameless and to the township of Tom Price, where you will find Coles, coffee shops, an information centre and numerous other stores.

 

 

Albert Tognolini Rest Area

 

Located at the Eastern Side of Karijini, on the Great Northern Highway is where you will find this gem of a spot.  With no facilities, it is for fully self-contained campers only.  The camp is pet friendly as well.

 

You can leave the van and day trip it into Karijini, much like you would if coming from Tom Price.  It is closest to Dales, and affords you the opportunity to drive the loop that takes you past Wittenoom and through the Hamersley Gorge and through Karijini.  If you left early enough, you could do all the gorges in one day by doing this loop.

 

We absolutely loved our time at Karijini and it is truly one of those places that is a wonder.  A place, that we all need to make sure is well protected and there for generations to come to explore and enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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