Spectacular Karijini

Trip Start Mar 02, 2010
Trip End Oct 29, 2011

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Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Saturday, June 12, 2010

After our nice three days of chilling out in Exmouth we got on the road to Karratha. However, we didn't get too far before blowing a tire (by the way, tire is spelled 'tyre' here, weird?). The shredded tire had then done a number on the mud flap before we could stop, so it took about 2 hours to fix it all and change the tire. We made it to Karratha the next day, where the car got two new tires and we got groceries for the trip to Karijini National Park. We headed off down a road comprised solely of red dust. Have we mentioned that the back door of the car doesn't latch properly? And that we sit right next to it? Thus began five days of being utterly and completely coated in red dirt, us and everything in the car. Although it wasn't ideal the national parks made up for it. That first night we camped beside the road high up in the hills, where we watched a beautiful sunset, had a campfire, then watched a gorgeous sunrise in the morning.

We ducked in to Millstream-Chicester NP, which was just a small one but we did a very nice walk and enjoyed the surroundings. At a place called Crossing Pool we saw about a million white parrots. We couldn't believe people could sleep there, they were so noisy! They seemed to be sitting in pairs and then there would be a third bird, looking extremely upset, squawking in their faces. We think the boys were all stealing each other's ladies.

From there we moved on to the first stop in Karijini NP, Hamersley Gorge. It turned out to be one of our favourites. The colours in the gorge were amazing - red, orange, and purple rock layers and blue and green water. It was a bit late so we camped nearby and went back the next day and had a refreshing swim in a pool aptly named Spa Pool, with a small waterfall and tall rock walls all around.

From there we headed down to the town of Tom Price before driving up Mt. Nameless, the tallest mountain in WA you can drive up. The views of the mine were pretty cool. There is tons of iron ore mining in the Pilbara (the name of the region comprising the north west corner of the state).

The next day we hiked Mt. Bruce, the second highest peak in WA. It was a pretty rough trail and very windy, so we didn't actually make it all the way, but almost! The views again were very nice, with a mine on one side (not really a nice view per say, but interesting) and the hills on the other side as far as you can see.

We spent the next 3 days exploring Karijini gorges. A favourite was Hancock Gorge and the Spider Walk, where the gorge was so narrow you had to walk with your arms and legs on opposite walls. That walk ended at Kermit's Pool (green water), where Nick was almost persuaded to swim but ultimately decided against it - the water was frigid! Another favourite was Oxers Lookout, which towered 100m above the junction of 4 gorges. We also really enjoyed the last day, when we went to Dales Gorge. I had a refreshing swim in Circular Pool, where there were little waterfalls that were warm like a shower! Nick and I both swam at the bottom of Fortescue Falls down the gorge a ways. Overall, despite the layer of grime on our skin and everything else when we left, Karijini was a great experience.

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