Port Hedland to Karijini

Trip Start Mar 31, 2011
Trip End Nov 01, 2015

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What I did
Karijini National Park Australia
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Sunday, August 19, 2012

Leaving Port Hedland we headed back inland south east for
256 k to Karijini National Park leaving the coast behind for a few days.  The road to Karijini is bitumen all the way
to Dales Gorge, which was our first camp destination in Karijini national
park.  On arrival we stopped to see the
volunteer camp hosts for a sight allocation. 
They asked did we want to use our generator and how big was our van so
they could allocate a suitable site to us. The fee of $7 per person paid we were
given our site number and off we went to locate it.  The camp area is divided into seven camp
areas (called Loops) all named; within each there is quite a few designated
camp spots.   Two of the named areas are for those who wish
to use generators, while the remainder are for those not wanting to use a
generator.   Not much separating sites, but you were not as
close together as a caravan park would be. 
The sites were well maintained and level, but red dust!! It was

Dales Gorge and all its walks was an easy walk from the camp
site, with tracks running behind the camp grounds leading to spots of interest;
like lookouts or track heads where you could begin your walk around the top or
bottom of the gorge.  Each of the walking
trails is numbered for classification of difficulty from 2 to 5.  We of course did them all here. They were
magnificent not to hard but some you had to use both your hands and feet as you
climbed over rocks and water.  We would
find out later however that they were nothing compared to our next camp
destination and its walking tracks, more on that soon.   Dales Gorge is a nice spot, plenty of walks
and a lovely swimming hole called Fern pool. It has a nice timber landing
erected around one end of the swimming hole and steps into the water.

We stayed at Dales Gorge for three days before moving on
to  Weano Gorge ; 55k further to the west
in the National park via a dirt road which was very corrugated at the time of
our visit . There is the option of taking the longer bitumen  road but we don’t like to back track and we
did buy the off road van. So you guessed it we took the dirt road and survived.
We even picked up two young female hitchhikers one  from Spain and the other, Israel on route and
it was great to hear of their adventures, we dropped them off at the entrance
to the camp site at Weano , as they  were
going on to Tom Price that day.

Here at “Weano Gorge recreation area “(aka camp ground)
there is an eco-resort which is another fancy name for flash tents with a big
price tag, and a restaurant.  The
Karijini eco retreat is 100% owned by the Gumala Aboriginal Corporation, who
represent the interests of the Niapiali, Bunjima and Innawonga peoples of the
Pilbara. Gumala is the Aboriginal word in the Bunjima Language meaning “all
together”.   The camp sites here were just like those at
Dales Gorge (very generous and level) except instead of $7 per person it was
$30 per site per night. The difference was that there was a shower (communal) along
with a shop and restaurant (the food was very good I might add and reasonably
priced considering the remote location). We celebrated Nick & Jess getting
engaged here with a meal and a bottle of champagne BYO.  We found out via the Sat phone, that Nick had
proposed to Jess while in Cambodia on holiday at a romantic location on a
mountain.  We were remote ourselves of
course and the satellite phone got a hiding, but it was worth every cent to see
the joy on mums face.  Ok back on track
here at Weano there are some of the best gorge walks we have seen for a while
and we have seen a few! The first walk was to Joffre Falls and this can be done
with an easy walk from camp to the look out 
before climbing down to the bottom of the Gorge which was mildly difficult
and then walking into an amphitheatre like area with a water fall at its end.
You can swim here if you are game. It’s Cold….!      All
other Gorge walks are a 10k drive from camp; and they are some of the best you
will ever see.  Imagine finding yourself
climbing rocks and wading through water to some of the best looking pools and
gorges in Australia. The crystal clear water in these creeks and pools is very
cold but has a magical lure to it.  One section
of our walk in the gorge is aptly named spider walk, this is  because you have to walk using both feet and
hands spread eagled pushing against the walls of the gorge just like a spider,  to get to the next part of the Gorge; luckily
its narrow . Of course you could also just walk in the water with caution, as I
bet it would be slippery.  I elected to
do the spider thing and Leoni waited for me to return, which I did but not before
seeing Kermit’s Pool in the next section of the gorge,  which you will see in the photos.  Another walk that we did not do, called;  Hand Rail Pool,  is  described as being for “very experienced bush
walkers, with steep, difficult, slippery, rough, and  unformed surfaces; use the hand rail provided
to carefully negotiate the slippery rocks on your climb down “ enough
said!  By this time we were over walking
and climbing rocks and wading through water with our boots on anyway. We were
sad to leave Karijini however as we had enjoyed our walks and experiences here,
however there were other experiences beckoning.

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Angie & John on

What a great blog great photos we have fond memories of Karagini. We are really hoping to catch up with you guys again. Can you remember the name of the camp draft? At the Snowy River that you went to all I can remember is it was in January

Debbie & Peter on

Brings back great memories. When we were at Karijini one night one of the Aboriginal elders started playing his didg. It was magical hearing him play in the still dark night.

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