Karijini National Park

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesGreat Northern Hwy & Karijini Dve
FinishTom Price
DifficultyDifficulty 2/5
Suitable for4WD 
Distance339.78 km
Minimum Days2
Average Speed42.02 km/hr
Driving Time8 hrs 5 mins
Page Updated: 24 Feb 2014

Description

Many consider Karijini along with its harsh and unspoilt natural beauty - a ‘must see’ - being an absolute delight for photographers, hikers, and nature enthusiasts. Karijini National Park is awash with rich earthy red colours and spectacular scenery - famed for its sheer gorges, waterfalls and cool swimming holes. Some of the highlights in this park include: Dales Gorge, Circular Pool, Fortescue Falls, Fern Pool, and Oxer Lookout, which lies at the junction of Weano Gorge, Red Gorge, Hancock Gorge and Joffre Gorge. Karijini is very well maintained. The park provides plenty of amenities, excellent picnic areas, designated camping sites, modest accommodation, and an informative visitor centre. The park also features a system of walk trails of varying levels, for the beginner to the adventurous, with some trails leading deep into the subterranean gorges and through waterfalls and sparkling rock pools.

Karijini National Park may be isolated, but there are many access routes to get there. From the west you can head towards Tom Price after leaving the North West Coastal Highway near Nanutarra. Those coming in from the east can use the Great Northern Highway from Newman and then onto Karijini Drive. Those coming from the north from Karratha and Roebourne can also take in Millstream Chichester National Park before reaching Karijini. Although many people self-drive to Karijini, many tourists enjoy accessing the park via 4WD tour groups. There are a number of reputable and experienced tour operators that provides this service.

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Environment

In the northern section of Karijini National Park, numerous small creeks hidden in the rolling hillsides suddenly plunge into sheer-sided chasms up to 100 metres deep. These spectacular albeit dangerous gorges widen further downstream and their sides change from sheer cliffs to steep slopes of loose rock. On the eastern side of the park, Dales Gorge provides a stream, pools, and waterfalls.

There are various types of ferns and the occasional snappy gum can be seen perched on rocky ledges. Wildflowers vary with the seasons, whilst in the cooler months, the region is covered with yellow-flowering cassias and wattles, northern bluebells and purple mulla-mullas.

Karijini National Park is home to a variety of birds, red kangaroos, euros, rock wallabies, echidnas and handful a bat species. Reptiles that frequent the rocks include: goannas, dragons, geckos, legless lizards, pythons and many other snakes. There are also huge termite mounds to be seen and you may even find a rock pile from the rare pebble mound mouse.

History

Karijini National Park is the traditional home of the Banyjima, Kurrama and Innawonga Aboriginal people. The Banyjima name for the Hamersley Range is Karijini and evidence of their early settlements dates back over 20,000 years ago. During those times, Aboriginal land management practises such as ‘fire stick farming’, which describes the practise where fire was used regularly to burn vegetation to facilitate hunting and to change the composition of plant and animal species in an area.

Before Karijini National Park was coined, explorer Francis Thomas Gregory had named it Hamersley Range after leading a party into the region in 1861. Edward Hamersley was a friend and generous supporter of F.T. Gregory’s explorations, and thus had the mountain range named after him.

Preparation

If you decide to tackle any of the walks within the park, please take great care. The gorges can be extremely hazardous and many of them are only recommended for people that are physically fit. You must notify a ranger before starting any of the longer walks.

Make sure you have all the necessary gear including good sturdy hiking shoes, adequate water and food, a navigational device such as a handheld GPS unit, and communications equipment such as a PLB and/or handheld UHF radio.

Take care in the gorges as rocks are smooth and slippery, especially during wet weather. If you are hiking overnight, let a responsible person know. Flash floods can occur in the region so always be vigilant of the weather. Do not enter the gorges if there is rain in the area. If you happen to already be in the gorges during signs of rain, you should leave quickly and safely.

Permits

Entry and camping fees apply for Karijini National Park. Many tourists take advantage of the Holiday Park Pass or Annual All Parks Pass, which entitles the bearer to visit more than one national park in Western Australia. These can be obtained from DePAW (Department of Parks and Wildlife). The Holiday Park Pass allows unlimited vehicle entrance into any fee paying national park for a period of four weeks.
The Annual All Parks Pass allows unlimited vehicle entrance into any fee paying national park for a period of 12 months.

For more information on fees and camping, please contact:
Karijini National Park Visitor Centre
Phone: (08) 9189 8121
Fax: (08) 9189 8113
Website: Karijini website.

Fuel Supplies & Usage

Fuel Symbol
DieselULPLPG
4cyl 48 litres4cyl 55 litres4cyl 68 litres
6cyl 52 litres6cyl 62 litres6cyl 60 litres
8cyl 52 litres8cyl 56 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

Ideal time to visit is late autumn, winter and early spring. Winter days are warm and clear, nights may be cold and frosty. Summer has unpredictable rainfall and can reach over 40 degrees Celsius.

Closest Climatic Station

Tom Price
Distance from Trek Mid Point 48.66km W
 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Mean Max. °C38.335.934.231.627.623.523.025.529.133.635.637.8
Mean Min. °C23.022.320.617.612.08.07.28.511.416.118.921.8
Mean Rain mm82.395.560.430.920.425.316.810.82.44.410.940.7
    Best time to travel      Ok time to travel      Travel NOT recommended

Services & Supplies

Map

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What to See

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Where to Stay

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Directions

LocationsDistanceDirection Time
Great Northern Hwy & Karijini Dve to Karijini Dve & Banjima Dve29.34 kmNW296° 25 min
Karijini Dve & Banjima Dve to Karijini Visitor Centre10.35 kmN12 min
Karijini Visitor Centre to Fortescue Falls9.3 kmE89° 13 min
Fortescue Falls to Dales Campground2.33 kmNE45° 5 min
Dales Campground to Dales Rest Area1.01 kmS197° 4 min
Dales Rest Area to Dales Gorge Lookout0.37 kmNE67°
Dales Gorge Lookout to Circular Falls and Pool0.75 kmE100° 1 min
Circular Falls and Pool to Dales Gorge Lookout0.75 kmW280° 1 min
Dales Gorge Lookout to Dales Rest Area0.37 kmSW247°
Dales Rest Area to Karijini Dve & Banjima Dve17.6 kmSW227° 18 min
Karijini Dve & Banjima Dve to Karijini Dve & Banjima Dve87.86 kmW268° 1 hr 19 min
Karijini Dve & Banjima Dve to Banjima Dve & Weano Rd25.59 kmNE42° 33 min
Banjima Dve & Weano Rd to Banjima Dve & Kalamina Rd13.15 kmE105° 17 min
Banjima Dve & Kalamina Rd to Kalamina Gorge Lookout5.93 kmNE63° 9 min
Kalamina Gorge Lookout to Banjima Dve & Kalamina Rd5.93 kmSW243° 9 min
Banjima Dve & Kalamina Rd to Knox Lookout15.92 kmNW319° 30 min
Knox Lookout to Banjima Dve & Weano Rd8.44 kmSW226° 17 min
Banjima Dve & Weano Rd to Weano Gorge12.82 kmNE32° 19 min
Weano Gorge to Karijini Eco-Retreat (formerly Savannah Campground)11.53 kmSW218° 20 min
Karijini Eco-Retreat (formerly Savannah Campground) to Banjima Dve & Weano Rd4.65 kmSW203° 11 min
Banjima Dve & Weano Rd to Karijini Dve & Banjima Dve25.59 kmSW222° 33 min
Karijini Dve & Banjima Dve to Tom Price32 kmSW240° 29 min
Great Northern Hwy & Karijini Dve to Tom Price339.78 km  8 hr 5 min
Distance is GPS recorded driving distance (not straight line), Direction is straight line from start to end, Time is calculated from actual GPS driving data.

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