Karijini National Park…. Should be the 8th Wonder of the World!
Karijini, Western Australia
After an early start leaving Paraburdoo it was an 80km trip out to Tom Price for a quick food and fuel stop. After reading the sign to Karijini NP as only being 40kms away we thought we would be fine to get to Dales Campground in time… (it fills up very, very quickly!) We forgot that in WA when a sign says a distance it is usually to the turnoff or boundary of the National Park… So 110km later we arrived at Dales Campground.
Our first National Park stay for the trip. This meant the Aussie long drop dunnie… Tara did well-even if Tristan had to walk her to the toilet the first time!!! After a brisk set-up of Judy we thought we might as well explore Karijini and everything it had to offer.
First stop Dales Gorge- Circular Pool. From the lookout, the view of the deep red iron ore gorge walls down to the bright blue pool looked like something out of a book! The walk into the gorge was just breathtaking. Words cannot do what we saw any justice. With waterfalls filling the pool which was surrounded by maidenhair ferns and almost bright blue clear water- it was so inviting. But we still had the other end of the gorge to explore so didn't want to hike in wet clothes!! The trek to the Fortescue Falls was stunning as we made our way through the bright red walls and the running stream. We then reached the falls and a beautiful pool. The most refreshing swim we have had for the whole trip. Tristan thought he may have had to rescue a couple… the girl couldn't swim and thought by screaming and laughing whilst holding her partners head under water was okay. The poor guy was struggling, then someone else helped them out. 2 minutes later they were at it again… No hope and no idea!
We were told that the other gorges only get better… they weren't wrong.
One thing about Karijini is everything is big… including the drive to each gorge! We started our trek out to Hamersley Gorge at 7am as it was 55kms of rough dirt track. Once we started the drive out we thought about forgetting it and turning back but we were both so glad we didn't. The patterns and colours were like nothing else.
Every gorge was very different to the last. But our favourite and most challenging gorge was the Weano Gorge where we scaled rocks with our fingers and toes and where some openings were only 1-metre-wide! The 'Handrail Pool' was our reward at the end… where we literally had to straddle a handrail to get down to the water's edge.
Karijini-the most breathtaking and stunning place so far on our trip. You were worth every step, every ladder climb and every rock we scaled.