Karijin is the second largest National Park in Western Australia. It is just north of Tom Price and depending on what part of the park you are heading into, it is around an hour's drive. We decided to head into the eastern side of the park and stay at Dales Campground. This and Savannah Camp Ground are the only camp grounds in the park. Both cost to stay, again you need a day pass or yearly park pass to get in. Then it will cost you to stay which is unpowered only, but you have little choice if you want to see what is on offer here. That afternoon we did a few small walks and viewed Fern Pool, Fortescue Falls and Circular Pool that are all in a gorge called Dales Gorge. The views from the top of the gorge are spectacular. The water through this gorge flows all year round. Fern Pool in Dales Gorge is known as the best swimming hole in the National Park. It has a flowing waterfall all year round. The walks in the park are all categorised and many and too advanced for young kids. However we thought in the morning we would try to get down to Fortescue Falls and Fern Pool. We had a nice quiet evening getting the kids in bed early for a big day tomorrow.
We were all up early on the 4th of June to pack up and go exploring the National Park. About 9:30am we were ready to do our first walk. It was about a nice 24 degrees already. Armed with drinks, snacks, kids wetsuits and towels we headed off, steeply descending several hundred meters down large rocky steps into the gorge. 20 minutes later we were at Fortescue Falls. Wow! What an awesome sight this is. At the bottom of the falls is a beautiful swimming hole, water flows into it from a water fall. It looked very tempting for a swim. However the steep and slippery rocks to get to the pool looked a bit too difficult for the kids to negotiate. We spent some time there admiring the views before pressing on to Fern Pool. The walk to Fern Pool is narrow and takes you through damp almost rain forest. It takes about 20 minutes and then all of a sudden you pop out and there is a perfect swimming hole with a waterfall at the end of it. There is timber decking and a ladder down into the water. The kids were very excited. It didn't take long for us all to get ready and start swimming over to the waterfall. It was the first time any of us had swum and played under a waterfall. It was fantastic. We spent ages here, I think we were the envy of many grey nomads and onlookers who would have loved to jump in but didn't. After making our way back to the car and caravan we headed toward Port Headland, stopping for the night in a free camp 261km south of Port Headland called Albert Tognolini Rest Area & Lookout. Albert Tognolini was an engineer who facilitated the construction of the mining highway that runs between Newman and Port Headland.