Karijini. 'Jewel of the Pilbara'
Set in the Hamersley Range, in the heart of the Pilbara, Karijini National Park is an ancient landscape of massive mountains and steep escarpments cut by spectacular gorges more than. 100 meters deep. Within these shear-sided chasms hide the crystal clear rock pools, cascading waterfalls and lush vegetation.
The only way to see Karijini is to walk it.
Up early, we spent the day investigating Dales Gorge, not far from our camp.
We first took the 3km, difficulty level 4 walk. Only some boulders to climb over making the walk really difficult.
The initial natural rock steps down were steep and uneven, reaching a ladder we climbed down to the base of the gorge.
A deep chasm with stunning changing rock layer colours. Blue asbestos fibres clearly visible between some layers, whilst the black ore, red and yellow rock provide a colourful contrast.
We walked a distance following a small stream until we reached the base of Fortescue Falls. A steady stream of water falling 20 meters over polished rock.
Photos, drinks and snacks here before the crowds and we walked on to Fern Pool.
At Fern Pool the Park Rangers have built some deck. We
had the area to ourselves for quiet sometime, swimming the 50 meters of clear water to sit under the waterfall lined with ferns.
Some cave bats hung in the trees on the edge of the pool and we saw no evidence of the mystery python snake that everyone talked of.
Following our foot steps back we stopped an swam at Fortescue Falls.
Then walking back along our original pathway until we reached the junction to Circular Pool, a large circle shaped pool with water falling over the fern covered rocks, picturesque.
A 500 meter walk to Circular Pool, past some stagnant water, due to the dry weather and we swam in the fresh water of Circular Pool, which did have small leeches swimming it. Only Tom got one on him.
Finally back up the ladder and rock steps to the top.
A quick look at the lookout over Circular Pool and back into the air conditioned car. Hot work.
Home and rested we ate dinner and discussed where to go from here.
Decision made we went to bed, fans whirling again.
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