29 July 2013

Karijini National Park

From the blue waters of the Coral Coast we head inland to the Australian outback aiming for the Karijini National Park. Deep gorges, magnificent waterfalls, pools and lookouts make Western Australias next largest National Park nothing less than frighteningly beautiful. Most definitely one of the highpoints on the trip.
Dales Gorge

Karijini is situated in the Hamersley Range, Mountains formed by sedimentary rock based on iron, dolomite and shale. The iron is what turns all of your belongings in to a delightful, forever lasting red. The camping spot was generator free; essential for a mesmerizing night sky and sleep so undisturbed it puts you in a coma. Two gorge-ous(get it?) days lay ahead.
Steps to the Hancock gorge hike

A few names have gone lost amongst all the adventures, but still a handful of memorable experiences in Karijini stands out. The Hancock gorge was the most exciting and rewarding. Most of all because I thought I wouldn't get to the end after climbing through water holes, running rivers, and holding on to slippery mountain walls. The hikes in Karijini are classified by six difficulty levels. Level 1 is wheelchair friendly, level 6 is so challenging that you need a permit to do it. Hancock was level 5, but to be honest we met a six year old boy who made it through so it wasn't as hardcore as it might sound. The final destination(before a steep climb goes further down the gorge into a difficult level six) is the enchanting Kermit's Pool with water so clear and clean you can drink it.
Magnificent view from the Junction Pool Lookout

The Junction Pool lookout offers amazing views of the Hancock Gorge and Weano Gorge. The Weano Gorge offers an easy trail and a more challenging. There are a lot of warnings about the difficult climb in Weano Gorge, going there by yourself is not a good idea. By the time we finished Hancock Gorge, it started raining and only one of us was persistent and adventurous enough to do the challenging Weano. He found out the difficult way that warnings were not just for fun. As soon as it started to rain, the pools rose quickly and the paths turned dangerously slippery. It ended with a fall and injured knee.
The Fortescue Falls

Within the Dales Gorge lies two astounding highpoints. The Fortescue Falls and Fern Pool. Just a short walk from our camping area a 4 km hike towards the Falls starts. It is quite an easy walk, not for wheelchairs mind you, but a level three or four. The beauty of Fortescue Falls grabs you and holds on to you until you climb the steep steps onto the path towards Fern Pool, yet another enchanting sight.
Fern Pool

I had no idea what to expect when we decided to head to Karijini, it was not at all one of the destinations I had been looking forward to. Maybe a mix of my lowered expectations and Karijini's magnificence made these two days so wonderfully magical. 

1 comment:

  1. I had to look Karijini up on a map, distances are truly more than I can fathom right away. Super landscape, out of this world really. and walking around in here can not be easy. High quality photography, Ingeborg. Judging from all the reds I suppose they have iron mines in the area (outside the national park)? Karijini is another one I didn't know about. Truly amazing.