Day 6 – At Karijini National Park


Today was scheduled as a ‘free day’.

The 600,000+ hectares Karijini National Park in the Hamersley Range is the second largest park in Western Australia. It has a tropical semi-desert climate and a highly variable rainfall. The annual average of 250–350 mm falls mainly in the summer, often accompanied by thunderstorms, cyclones and temperatures topping 40 degrees Celsius.

The massive mountains, escarpments, gorges, and stony, tree-lined watercourses in Karijini are more than 2,500 million years old. It is world class, and the most stunning National Park in Australia.

As we were camped only a few hundred metres from Dales Gorge the first activity was a walk from the campsite to Fern Pool and Fortescue Falls. Note that Fortescue Falls are not on the Fortescue River nor is Dales Gorge formed by that river. The walk along the floor of the Gorge to Circular Pool is a highlight of any visit to Karijini. The trek back to camp is not much more than a kilometre.

Dales Gorge was named in 1948 after a well sinker who worked on Mulga Downs Station.

Most took the opportunity to swim at Fern Pool and Circular Pool.

In the afternoon some of the group drove further into the Park to visit Hancock and other gorges.  As with so many tourist destinations where visitors are unable to easily deflate tyres, the corrugations were horrendous. Given the status of Karijini as a world class destination and the intense promotion of it as a major tourist destination, the  condition of the Park’s internal tracks are a disgrace and an embarrassment.

The cloud cover dissipated and our pre-booked session at Remtrek Astronomy went ahead. This 2½ hour presentation under the stars at Dales Gorge, Karijini, hosted by Phil Witt, with three massive telescopes, is excellent value at $30 per head. Highly recommended 0409 087 677.

The 5000+ photos of our activities at Karijini have yet to be sorted.  There are some great photos here from when I visited Karijini in 2010 and also a great variety of images here from another visit in 2014.

Go to Day 7 – Karijini to Mount Augustus