Friday, October 7, 2011

Karijini National Park, Pilbara - WA

From Exmouth, heading north-east we passed through the mining towns; Paraburdoo (camped on the local sports ground for a night)  and Tom Price. We headed inland to the Karijini National Park and set up camp at Dales Campground, ready for our next adventure.

The environment in Karijini is desert-like, striking red/brown soil and there doesn't appear to be any water for miles. However the campground is 500 metres off the lip of Dales Gorge and when you drop down into the gorge there are beautiful spring-fed waterholes and waterfalls, amongst sheer cliff drops of layered red rock... Stunning.

Whilst having a look around the Karijini NP visitors centre we discovered the gorges here were created in the dreamtime by huge serpants and the indigenous tradition for entering the water is to announce yourself, (your name, where you have come from and why you would like to share the water) to the waterhole, then fill your mouth with it's water and squirt the water across the waterhole before entering.  We had alot of fun with following tradition!

We hiked and swam in the Dales Gorge from Circular Pools to Fortescue Falls and on to Fern Pool....

Tree on the edge of Dales Gorge

Swimming at Fortescue Falls

Jumping in at Fortescue Falls

Layers of rock in the gorge

Jumping off the ledge.... three at a time

Dales Gorge track

Dales Gorge track

Waterfall at Circular Pool

Dusty lizard

Boys getting their science and nature lesson...

Tree over the pool

Mining trains around here go for miles and miles... really they are kilometres long

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