The Pilbara - Karijini NP - A Chuckwagon run to Tom Price and back to Savannah.

Friday, Jun 02, 2006 at 00:00


Friday 2nd June
Karijini – Savannah Camp ground

It was an early start for us as we departed the camp at 7.00 a.m. bound for Tom Price on the Chuck Wagon express. Not knowing exactly when we would reach Tom Price, and having our mail waiting for us, with Monday next being a public holiday, the only decision to be made was a quick trip the 80 kays into T.P.

The scenery out was splendid. Mountain ranges worn and weathered, their rocky faces deep red in the morning light, contrasted by the soft mossy greens of the spinifex and eucalypts that clad them. The two largest mountains were just outside the park boundary and skirted by the main Newman-Tom Price Road. The bitumen was only 30 km on and that made the trip all the easier. At one point we climbed a steep range to be presented with a majestic view of plains and ranges to our west (and mobile phone coverage which pleased Amanda No end!).

We reached Tom Price (T.P.) at a little after eight. First order was breakfast at the local café, then down to the Caravan Park and set a load of washing, fill up water containers and then up to the Shell servo for Fuel (at a pleasant $1.535 cents per litre. Can you believe you’d ever be pleased to find fuel at 1.57 cents per litre!).Post office, supermarket, tourist info centre for Internet, caravan park for gas and we were done. Rubbish had already been dropped off at the first roadside bins we found. Out by 10.50 a.m. and pulled back into camp at midday.

A light lunch and then Amanda and I walked the short distance from out camp to Joffre gorge. We decided to descend into the gorge to view the falls from the bottom. The trail at first followed a shallow gully to the main gorge where it ended in a spectacular series of rock ‘steps’ that descended into the gorge. It was careful footwork that eventually got us down onto the narrow floor of the gorge where we then proceeded through to the falls. Joffre falls is a cascade type falls dropping over series of steps into a large pool. We also went back along the gorge to where the canyon formed a very narrow slot and the water cascades into a long and deep pool. The layered and polished rocks while great visually, also proved to be treacherous if you weren’t wary. We climbed out again and headed back to camp our jaunt taking a little over an hour.

After the past two days, my legs and feet were decidedly weary. Soles of the feet were still badly bruised from yesterdays slip at Weano. We decided not to do any more climbing for the day and instead headed the 10 km back to the Weano and five gorges area and walked to the lookouts. It is an amazing sight looking across the gorges, their bottoms lying over 100 meters below us.

Dinner was an easy affair due to the tiredness. Amanda prepared herself a chickpea salad while I had scrambled eggs with Ham. By 7.30 we were in bed.
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903
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