The Karijini National Park is my favorite insider travel tip for Australia! You’ll find it in Western Australia and around 300 km south of Port Hedland and east of the city Tom Price. The highways between Port Hedland and Tom Price are tarved, but the street (Banjima Drive) to the Park itself is a dirt road.
The gorges are very typical and famous for the Karijini Park and with it, the highlights. At the eastern end of the Banjima Drive you’ll find the Dales Gorge with it’s Fortescue Falls and the Circular Pool. Here you’ll find water all year round. Here you’ll also find the Fern Pool, a very spirituel place for the Aborigines. You can have a quiet swim here, but please respect this spirituel place and don’t jump from the rocks.
Close by is also a really beautiful lookout... the Oxer Lookout. Here you’ll see 4 gorges meeting each other at one point. That spot es especially nice at sundawn. The gorges are called Hancock Gorge, Joffre Gorge, Red Gorge and Weano Gorge and they will offer you some great experience and adventure!
The Joffre Gorge and the Hancock Gorge have the famous Miracle Mile. You should just do this walk if you are really fit and if you are not afraid of heights etc. Here you have to pass 20 meter high walls with just a bit of space to put your feet on and you have to jump into a pool which is about 10 below you. Very important: if you want to do this walk, you have to get informations from the rangers!
The Weano Gorge is also a great experience, but a bit easier and you don’t need any further informations. Walk into the gorge and keep right then to enter the part to the Handrail Pool. You might have to walk through knee deep water (or higher) and it will also get smaller. Later there will be just a meter to walk through. Then you’ll get to a big natural pool with high walls around it. There are just two chances to keep on going. First is to jump into the water, but I would suggest to use the metal handrail, as you don’t know how the deep water is and I’m sure you don’t want to break you legs at this part of the world. :)
When you are in the water there is only one way to keep on going... to swim through the pool to the other end. There you can keep on for another... I would say 100 – 200 adventourus meters! Definitely worth it!
Another great adventures track through a gorge takes you to the Kermit Pool. But before you have to pass the Spider Walk! Guess why it’s called like that? No, wrong. Ok, you’ll find many spiders, but that’s not why it’s called like it. At some points, the walls get so close, that you can only pass it like a spider, with your legs and hands left and right and the water beneath you. Really great!
To start the spider walk you have to climb into the Hancock Gorge, then follow the stream to the left. You’ll might even to swim at a few passages, so beware to take some water proof bags with you for your cameras. Then you’ll find the Amphitheatre, where you can rest a bit, but please, don’t forget to take your rubbish with you again. If you now keep on walking, and you should, the spider passage will have to be managed. It’s easier then it sounds. Right afterwards, surrounded by 20 meter high walls, you’ll reach the Kermit Pool. Take a nic bath, but check the water pegel and rocks beneath the water, before you might jump into it. Here is the video of the spider walk:
I’ve heard of travelers who even kept on for another couple of meters from this point on. Officially the walk ends here and it is just allowed to keep on with a guide and with special equipment.