In the north of Karijini National Park, small creeks hidden in the rolling hillsides—dry for most of the year—suddenly plunge into sheer-sided chasms up to 100 metres deep. These are the Park’s famous gorges. They are spectacular but can be extremely dangerous. Further downstream, the gorges widen and their sides change from sheer cliffs to steep slopes of loose rock.
The Park is the traditional home of the Banyjima, Kurrama and Innawonga Aboriginal people. The Banyjima name for the Hamersley Range is Karijini. Evidence of their early occupation dates back more than 20,000 years. During that period, Aboriginal land management practices such as ‘fire stick farming’, resulting in a diversity of vegetation types and stages of succession, have helped determine the nature of the plants and animals found in the park today.
If you decide to tackle any of the walks within the park, please take great care—the gorges can be extremely hazardous. Many of them are only recommended for the physically fit and you must notify a ranger before starting any of the longer ones.
Fortescue Falls, Circular Pool and Fern Pool
There are three highlights at Dales Gorge. Enjoy a swim in the refreshing waters of Fortescue Falls and lay like a lizard on a rock, warming yourself in the sun. From this point in Karijini National Park, you can turn right to Fern Pool, one of the prettiest settings in WA, or left for the three-hour return walk to Circular Pool.
Hancock Gorge is simply stunning, but best experienced with a local guide. After climbing down a ladder, you walk deep into the gorge, through narrow chambers and past beautiful rock pools. Caution should be taken when entering Hancock Gorge.
Joffre Gorge Lookout
From Joffre Gorge Lookout you can see deep down into the gorge. A curved wall forms a natural amphitheatre and, after rain, a waterfall plunges down its face creating an amazing sight. A walk along the bottom of Kalimina Gorge gives you the chance to take a closer look at the structure and beautiful shades of red and blue in the rocks.
Located at the junction of four mighty gorges, Oxer Lookout in Karijini National Park offers one of the most stunning views in WA. From here, you can enjoy a 360-degree view of Red Gorge, Weano Gorge, Joffre Gorge and Hancock Gorge.
A short walk down steps and along the floor of Weano Gorge brings you to Handrail Pool, which is great for swimming and provides the best introduction to WA’s Karijini National Park. For the adventurous explorer the trail continues beyond the pool, though particular care needs to be taken.
Red Gorge and Knox Gorge
Whether you’re above the gorges looking down or deep within their walls, Red Gorge and Knox Gorge provide an insight into the forces of nature that shaped the earth. Within the gorges there are smooth sand bars and a crystal clear stream of fresh water warmed by the midday sun.
Mt Bruce boasts one of the State’s most scenic walks. As WA’s second highest mountain, it offers stunning views of Karijini National Park all the way to its 1,165 metre summit.
Karijini National Park accommodation
Choose from camping facilities at the Savannah Camp Grounds or safari tents at Karijini Eco Retreat.
There are a number of operators offering bushwalking or four wheel drive tours taking in the park’s stunning natural attractions.