Do It Before You Die: Explore Karijini National Park
Australia, the land down under.
Known for having some of the world’s most livable cities, the world's scariest creatures, but most importantly, a land of epic scenery. Australia is a beautiful island. From turquoise blue beaches and white sand, to the glistening golden outback, the mesmerising red centre to the luscious tropical rainforests.
The country boasts some amazing national parks. One of which, stands out above than the rest. Karijini!
This is why you need to Do It Before You Die!
Karijini National Park is on the hit list of many Australian tourists for the simple reason of being absolutely breathtaking!
Karijini is located in Western Australia, one of the most remote places on earth. The state’s average population density is just under 1 person per square kilometre. With much of the population living in the capital city, Perth.
This makes for one huge natural playground. At the heart of that playground is Karijini.
The National Park is split by a series of gorges that provide the focal point for all park visitors. Gorges meander across the desert land and need to be well explored to find these hidden gems of Australia.
Do you love nature?
Have you got a deep sense of Adventure?
Do you have a keen eye for photography?
Do you love swimming in secluded natural swimming holes?
Are you a keen explorer?
If you answered YES to any of those questions, then you best book a flight to Western Australia immediately!
Hopefully some of my images will invoke a desire to visit this mind-blowing place even more!
Allocating a week to explore the National Park turned out to be a great idea. It can be done thoroughly in about 3 days. The park is very spread out so a vehicle is a must!
80-90% of the park is accessible by 2WD if it's dry. But the best way is to explore in a 4WD vehicle. Our camper van got us to all of these places so rest assured!
Dusty gravel roads made it slow going in our Camper-van en route to Hamersley Gorge. Breathtaking views from sky-high lookouts were great but I suggest getting your swimwear on and going down to the first pools for the real magic!
Once inside the Gorge, take the class 5 hiking track to Spa Pool.
Arguably one of the most beautiful natural spas in the world.
The waterfall immediately drew me into the water! Watching the light change through the course of the day helped get these magical shots. For this reason I spent 24 hours at Hamersley alone, just waiting to capture the perfect scene!
It was intriguing and ever so relaxing spending the day at Spa Pool.
The next stop were the Western Gorges. A series of Gorges that meet at Oxers lookout. You need to get down on the Gorge floor to see the real beauty.
Weano Gorge walking track started in open bush and worked it's way through as rock walls got higher and higher and closer and closer together.
It got to a point in that you have no choice, you either get wet or you turn back.
DO NOT TURN BACK! Its so worth it.
Walking through waist deep ice cold water ended when we need to then clamber along the rock walls. A very narrow slit in the Gorge tested our ability to proceed any further. As you follow the light at the end, it becomes brighter and brighter until you step out into the amazing Handrail Pool.
A large pool fed by a waterfall with towering rock walls give a great sense of seclusion amongst such natural beauty. You can’t help but just sit and marvel. Even better, to swim and marvel!
I'm not going to lie, this is the coldest water I have ever been in, but it was so worth it. It’s like the ultimate ice bucket challenge, certainly leaving you rather refreshed for the hike back out of the Gorge.
If that wasn’t enough for the adventure seeking THISWORLDEXISTS follower, then never fear.
Hancock Gorge is also located here and you can like many of the others, climb down into the base of it. This was my favourite gorge for adventure, you get wet… you climb.. you have to spider walk down a waterfall but then you reach the incredible eye candy that is Kermit's Pool!
Absolutely freezing! But you don’t go all that way and not have a swim in heaven.
The following days Joffre gorge and Knox gorge were our targets for adventure.
The huge cascading waterfall is the reward at Joffre that also hosts a huge natural swimming pool!
Knox gorge offers a scenic hike through a vast array of rock formations and stunning pools.
For hiking, Knox was my personal favourite!
A little Gorged out? No worries. We also wanted to explore the red dirt and beautiful bush of the Pilbara region. The National Park also hosts WA’s second tallest mountain, Mount Bruce.
Daytime temperatures can be very hot, I hiked it mid Winter and the temperature was forecast to reach 36 degrees centigrade. A 6am departure lit by the blanket of remote desert stars was a necessity. The moderately hard climb provided breathtaking 360 degree panoramic views of the National Park. Before long, the day started to really heat up and it was time to descend.
If you still have time, there is another hub of Gorges to venture in over on the Eastern side of the park.
Dales Gorge is home to Circular pool, Fern pool and Fortescue Falls.
Hiking tracks lead you through thick bush and tall trees to all of these amazing watering holes. Each one perfect for a swim or a sunbathe and then continuing on with another hike. This gorge is scattered with small waterfalls and hidden gems.
You just have to be aware and see what magic you can discover.
Sunsets are particularly special when the beautiful red gorge walls light up and reflect stunning light down into the waterfalls and pools.
It's very easy to feel like you have entered another natural world of awesomeness!
So if you are now itching to go to Karijini and experience it like I did then get yourself a flight to Perth, Western Australia. The park is 1375 km's from Perth, so either take an equally amazing road-trip up the West coast and then head inland.
Alternatively, fly to Tom Price, Port Hedland or Karratha and hire a 4WD to help explore the park.
Campgrounds are located in the National Park, or if you don't like slumming it then an Eco retreat is located near the Western Gorge network or hotels can be found in Tom Price.
I'm currently travelling around the whole of Australia in my van photographing this stunning country. If you want to see my images daily then I upload on Instagram up to 3 times a day and Facebook a few times a week. If that's not your thing then I also Tweet and snapchat.
I hope you make it to Karijini, it certainly is a place to visit before you die and should be on every bucket list!!
Written by T-Rex a THISWORLDEXISTS adventure ambassador. To follow more of his incredible journey, check him out via the following links;
Facebook @T-Rex Photography