So now that you've heard of Meekatharra (if you haven't go here: http://www.provingsunshine.com/2014/07/16/meeka-or-part-1-of-a-journey-north/), the next question is, have you heard of Karijini?
Karijini is a national park in northern Western Australia near Tom Price. That's the town, not the person. Known for its gorges, Karijini is a popular destination for West Aussies during the winter months. This 'winter' brings with it hot, cloudless days and freezing nights.
The additional lack of clouds at night did bring with it a view of the stars ...
Karijini's main attraction is of course the diverse range of gorges you are abble to visit and walk through. Sometimes the walking trail was an easy gentle slope, at others you had to cling to the edges of rocks and hope you didn't fall back into the water below (this I did not enjoy). These trails could end due to the gorge growing increasingly narrow or you might find yourself at the bottom (or even top) of a cliff.
On our first day out we went through the easy Dales Gorge just near the amptly named Dales camp, named due to its close viccinity to Dales Gorge which is named after Mr Dale Gorge.
The sheer cliff faces of Dales Gorge.
We were glad something was holding up all that rock.
Dales gorge is perhaps the most popular of all the gorges at Karijini since it is the easiest to access and it hosts the majestic Fortescue Falls. (Having said that, any visit to Karijinin should be used to explore as many of the gorges as you can).
The majestic Fortescue Falls.
Just beyond Fortescue Falls is the popular swimming spot Ferns Pool. It took Josh and I a while to convince ourselves to enter the icy waters but it was definetly worth it. After resting under the waterfall we swam back to the boardwalk that hangs over part of the pool.
Ferns Pool, named after Fern Gorge, daughter of Dale Gorge who named Fern after the Ferns that grow near Fern Pool in Dales Gorge.
After the swim we then set out for the kilometre long walk back to our car. This walk took us along the top of the gorge and into the hot sun.
The next day we travelled about 40 kilometres west of our camp to Joffre Falls, a waterfall at the beginning (or end?) of Joffres Gorge.
In the above photograph you can trace the trail to the waterfall itself.... First you cross the creek above the falls and move around to above where the people (tourists) you can see on the right. Here you follow the steep descent down to the narrow section of the gorge. Keeping out of the water you have to find something of a footrest as you move around the edges of the cliff bottom (you can see some people here as well, just above the green water). This was my least favourite bit of the walk.
Once you traverse this final part it was an easy walk to the end. Here you could enjoy the waterfall, although it didn't have a lot of water falling.
Joffre Falls from below.
Then you go back again (easier said than done).
Oh my, that is a fall... Why didn't they name it Joffre Fall?
Oh no, wait... there are actually several falls to reach the bottom here.
The other photographer/the real photographers assistant ;)
Once the Joffre Falls walk was completed we drove the short distance to Knox Gorge. Noted as a class five trail I wasn't too keen on it but it turned out to be far easier than the guides said. This served to deepen our suspicions that the trail ratings were often vastly exaggerated. In saying that though there were a few annoying bits including a (very) steep and slippery descent (meaning there also had to be an ascent later on) and a bit where once again you had to cling to the edge of the gorge and not fall back into the water.
Looking into the depths of a gorge's soul. Or just looking into a gorge perhaps.
The difficult descent into Knox Gorge, shown here as the more difficult ascent.
This is the bit where the very experienced bush walkers ended and the professionals began.
We ended here.
To round off day two we visited the nearby Kalamina gorge. Our third walk for the day was rather easier than the first two. Kalamina gorge is a wide, open sort of gorge with an easy slope that follows the flowing water to an arch at the end of the trail.
Even more water falling!
The force is strong in these rocks...
The arch thingy.
And at the other end... another waterfall.
The sun was setting/had already set as we made our way back to camp.
So that's days one and two at Karijini. We still had one more day at Karijini which we would use to explore Weano Gorge and Hacock Gorge.
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