Visit: Karijini National Park + Video | WA


Karijini National Park is by far one of my favourite places in Australia & not because its the birth place of my gin-affair, but because how out-of-this-world beautiful is it! Granted it is an absolute bitch to get to but it is 100% worth every hour of driving to reach this isolated dusty red-dirt paradise. Located in the Hamersley Ranges in the Pilbara region in Western Australia, Karijini is made up of unspoiled nature, the best hikes i've ever done, teamed with an abundance of gorges, and fresh water holes. It really is an unforgettable outback experience. 
Where else are you able to walk through some of the oldest rocks on earth and take a dip in fresh clear pools and cool off under beautiful waterfalls? Where!? 


Getting to Karijini is not a quick trip - its around 1400km from Perth - or a 17 hour drive. If you take the trip over a week from Perth you can combine a trip to Karijini with a brilliant road trip. Take a look at some of my favourite places along the way HERE: 
You can fly if you want, the closest towns are Paraburdoo or Newman where you can transfer onto Karijini's nearest town: Tom Price. I'd recommend hiring a 4WD vehicle so you can access as much of the sites as possible in the park. 

WHERE TO STAY?
Try to stay at Karijini for at least 3 days to try and explore as much as possible. You can camp over in the park and we stayed at Karijini Eco Retreat. There we had already assembled tents, or if you want to sleep under the stars get your swags out for the lads. There are quite alot of dingos in the area so make sure all food and belongings are well hidden and concealed. The Eco Retreat was perfect for our trip; we were great driving distance to all the main spots and even walking distance to Joffre Gorge for a seriously fun afternoon! If you ever do end up at Karijini Eco Retreat I would warn you of a local creature; it hasn't been spotted since April 2016 but rumour has it its still lurking in the shadows waiting to come out. They call it the Red Dust Angel. 




WHERE TO GO?
We visited quite a lot over a 3-4 day period and I had the best time. I love hiking and being rewarding with jumping into cool springs and plunge pools throughout each hike made it 100% more enjoyable. I don't think I have ever laughed so much at everyone slipping and sliding over the wet rocks in the water and it made for great games. 

If you want to read up an all the different hikes and their difficulties and locations you can follow the link to the Karijini NP site

Hackcock Gorge: Class 5 Hike
Our first hike in Karijini & a great introduction. It does involve a fair bit of swimming so make sure you're wearing your swimmers! The hike itself I didn't find too strenuous, its a great mix of walking, scrambling, swimming and scaling rocks. One of my favourites sections of the hike is the "Spider Walk" where you have to scale with hands and legs along the rocks to the end where you are rewarded with the beautiful Kermit's Pool. The trail ends here so you must make your way back the way you came. The rocks here were especially slippy so made for all the slip n slide fun! 







Weano Gorge: Class 4/5 Hike 
The start of the trail is a Class 4 - you can opt to hike to either Upper or Lower Weano Gorge and return to the trailhead. For the more adventurous you can continue onto the Class 5 section of the hike and head towards Handrail Pool. This is a great place to stop and relax for a while and have a swim in the water before making your way back to the top. 







Hamersley Gorge: Class 3 Hike
The hike down is on steps and can be quite steep in parts so take care when walking down. Once at the bottom you can jump, swim and slide in the massive rock pools here. The area is huge and one of my favourites. We spent alot of time here exploring all the gorges and hidden pools. If you climb up the rocks towards the waterfalls you will find a large open pool, hidden behind here is the Spa Pool; an intimate enclosed rock pool with a natural waterfall inside. 






Joffre Gorge: Class 2 / 5 Hike  
Joffre Gorge is without a doubt the one of the best adventures I've been on. It is just a short walk from the Karijini Eco Retreat and if you fancy the easy option you can take a short walk to the lookout to view the waterfall and natural amphitheatre below. OR if you're cray you can take the Class 5 option and hike down into the gorge. This involves a lot of scrambling and a massive team effort. Explore inside the amphitheatre before embarking on a fantastic swim. You spend the next hour or so switching between scaling rocks and swimming through the centre of the long gorge. Its a rock climbers dream location and we had a blast exploring. At the end of the gorge you swim up to a swamp where you take a short walk to the end of the gorge and view the massive waterfall plugging down into the rocks below. Rest up because you have to swim aaalll the way back and climb back up to the top of the gorge. It really was a brilliant adventure and one I probably wouldn't have done had it not been for our tour guide assisting us the whole way. 





Dales Gorge: Class 3/4 
From Dales Gorge car park, follow the trailhead for Fortescue Falls. Its a lovely hike and great view of the falls at the end. If you have time I would definitely say to carry on towards Fern Pool for a final dip in the Karijini pools. Swim up to the waterfall and take a refreshing shower in the plunging water. Return the way you came back to Dales Gorge car park. 




There are plenty more hikes and areas to explore; these are just the ones we had time to visit over our 3/4 days at Karijini. If you're planning a trip in Western Australia, ignore how far away it is inland, make sure you add it to your itinerary! It will make your whole road trip just that little bit more incredible. 
There are limited resources once in the national park so make sure you stock up on supplies to last your trip before entering. 

Check out my video below of my time exploring Karijini:

G Goes Global - Australia #4 Karijini National Park - GoPro Hero 3+ Silver from G Goes Global on Vimeo.

If you liked this post, check out my other Western Australia posts that might help plan your road trip: 

Thank you for reading & happy travels 

♡ G

Join me on Instagram @gemwills 

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