Trip Start Jun 28, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Saturday, May 28, 2011

After two days worth of long drives, we finally reached our destination in the heart of the Pilbara; KARIJINI NATIONAL PARK. We arrived in the morning, early enough to pitch our tent at the dales campground and explore the surrounding gorges, waterfalls and swimming holes.

From our tent it was a short walk to the start of a downward trail to Fortescue Falls. Even from the top of the trail, the falls looked fantastic. You could spy the odd brave person jumping into the pristine waters below. We first detoured to Fern Pool which was like a hidden oasis amongst the white gum trees in between the gorge walls. Sean dared me to take a dip in the clear waters first to test how cold it was. Luckily, it was cool enough to be refreshing rather than unbearable! Looking around the pool made me feel so happy because the scenery was absolutely stunning. Paradise!

We then completed a walking trail through the gorge to the other end by clambering over fallen rocks and hopping over streams. Circular Pool greeted us at the end which, again, was beautiful! Then the real challenge faced us as we had to tackle the track leading upwards to the gorge rim – eek!

Our second day in KNP amazed us even more! We decided to do two class 5 walks which apparently you have to have advanced outdoor knowledge and a high level of fitness to be able to do them! The first of the two lead us through mini waterfalls, over rough terrain, narrow groge openings, pools of water, balancing on slippy rocks and finally after an adventurous trek, we found ourselves atop a waterfall that lead into a luscious pool. We had to then negotiate a hairy corner to grab on to a sensibly-fitted hand-rail to work our way down. Nobody else seemed to be brave enough to plunge into the perishing pool but we thought it was the perfect reward after a fun but tiring trek! The pool was surrounded with red rock faces with a small opening to let the sunlight through.

Once we made it back through the same route, we had lunch to build our energy up again before we began our next trail – Hancock Gorge. The track for Hancock first lead us down a steep but clearly marked track until you reached a metal ladder attached to the rock face. After clambering down the ladder, we had quite an easy walk over rocky surfaces and then we encountered several shallow pools – no choice but to get wet! When the pools became too deep, the only other option was to walk like a crab and cling onto the rocks jutting out.

We eventually arrived at the part of the trek named the 'spider-walk'. This section was very narrow with a gushing stream/waterfall running downhill over tiers of slippery rocks. In order to get over the rocks, you had to find area in the walls for your feet and hands to slot in, straddling the water and then secure yourself enough o lower your body over the rocks down onto the next levels! After tackling the ‘spider’ we then had to carefully wade our way part way through more pools and climb onto the rocks above to avoid slippery rocks below, before finally arriving at Kermit’s Pool – time for another swim with the freshwater fish! Wonderful!

We absolutely loved Karijini – it was definitely worth the long journey and because of it’s remoteness it’s not heaving with tourists. It is definitely one of my favourite places EVER!
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