Sunday, 9 September 2012

Karijini National Park - 02/09/12 to 05/09/12

We made it after an eight hour drive to reach Karijini National Park inland WA. Doug enjoyed Father’s Day once we had set up - a nice cold beer whilst he opened his presents - cherry ripes and a toy Landcruiser (sorry Dougie we couldn’t afford the real thing) and much needed new shorts that Doug bought himself a week ago in Broome. We just regifted. At least we knew we got him what he wanted. The boys also helped by attending to the cooking of the sausages on the BBQ. 

We knew we were driving through mine country to get to Karijini as we passed termite mounds with miners hats on them and by the amount of road trains that were passing us. The country side reminds me of the West Macdonald ranges near Alice Springs. We were again on red dirt and this time with a pit toilet, no shower, no power or water (only what we carry in the tank). First time we have done this for an extended period of time. I don’t know how I will keep the red dirt out of the van. 

The nights were very cool and cold mornings made it hard to get going.  But once we stated on our walks we soon warmed up as the temperature increased. We got to see three of the gorges while we were there - Dales Gorge, Weano Gorge and Hancock Gorge.  All three were amazing with us having to climb over rocks, up ladders and cling to the side of the cliff and swim or wade through creeks to move through the gorges. In Weano Gorge we did the Handrail Walk, so named as you had to use a handrail attached to the rock face to manoeuvre around and into the pool. Very slippery and pretty hairy.  The another cool walk was the Spider Walk which had us going through a narrow gap with water rushing through under us as we used our hands and feet up against the each cliff face. Basically you are moving through the gap like a four legged spider. The boys had a ball. We swam in the pools, although a little cold, they were nice and refreshing after our walks.

On the walk out of the last gorge, after repeatedly warning the boys to be careful, we had our first incident – me! At the end of the spider walk I slipped on a rock and fell about three feet onto the rock below. Luckily my wonderful husband was behind me at the time and grabbed hold of me and lessened the impact. I still fell hard and came away with a bruised and sore elbow and a very swollen and sore little toe. I managed to walk out unassisted and very quietly, as I no longer felt in a position to tell everyone else to be careful.

The boys think it was the most exciting adventurous place we have visited so far and I would have to agree.  I loved it. 

The road into Karijina National Park

Father's Day celebration

Our camp site amongst the red dirt at Karijini

Nathan cooking dinner for Father's Day. He has a style all his own.

View into Dales Gorge

Looking into the gorge to Circular Pool

Circular Pool. When we got down there we went for a swim. Very cold.

The walk down into Dales Gorge

And along the gorge

Swimming at Circular Pool. I think the boys are showering under the waterfall on the far side

Using the Ochre Rock to make paint and then write on rocks (kind of like early day graffiti)   

Walk through the gorge now starting to get a little more difficult

Fortescue Falls

Three handsome devils under the falls

This is showing how much the rock has moved over the hundreds on millions of years.

Fern Pool at end of Dales Gorge

Walk through Weano Gorge. And it was to get more tricky than this

No option here but to go through the water

Note the style and sure footedness (new word)

The start of the drop into Handrail Pool. Note the handrail (coincidence?); the only possible way to get down into the pool

This is what's around the corner

Made it!

And now to get out

Now in Hancock Gorge heading towards the Spider Walk and Kermit's Pool. Once again only option to proceed is to go via the water.

Start of the Spider Walk

And the end slide into Kermit's Pool

Water dragon who was happy to keep sunning himself on a ledge as we walked past.

Kermit's Pool. No idea what it is so named.

Some of WA's wild flowers

Just a cool picture; so says Vicki

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