Karijini National Park Review

Karijini National Park Review

Karijini National Park is definitely well worth the visit but make sure you take your hiking shoes as Karijini National Park has some of the most spectacular scenery to explore.

All the gorges and the waterholes in Karijini National Park are very much worth visiting and they all offer something unique and different, but require a level of fitness.

Some of our favorites are Handrail Pool, and Circular pool but Fern pool and Hamersley Gorge were also stand outs. Please put Karijini on your bucket list and do it sooner rather than later as if you don’t walk down into the gorges and swim in the pools you are missing 90% of what the park has to offer.

Even though the winter months are peak season I would recommend going in Oct-Nov. It might be a bit warmer but good swimming weather and less crowds. Just take a bit more water and wait till later in the afternoon to walk out in the shadows is more pleasant.

Camping area at Dales gorge is nice with just basic drop toilets but sights are a good size and well spread out so you don’t feel like your camping on top of each other.

All in all a must see destination and would be in my top 5 places I have been and will definitely be going back, spent 5 nights there but still not enough time to experience everything there. Could spend a month and still not get bored.

Karijini National Park will be one of your biggest highlights of Western Australia.

Karijini National Park would be a  for anybody who enjoys hikes, rock climbing or just plain old adventuring! There is endless gorges with beautiful blue pools to swim in when you need to cool down & then carry on to the next! Sweet waterfalls as well!

There are canyoning tours you can go on which are a good option as some of the areas are a no-go (taped off) for your regular tourist. I would happily spend weeks here as a few days was just not enough!

The information center was helpful & also had an informative collection of Aboriginal history etc (+ was nice to get out of the heat for a few minutes) We will be back for sure!!

Park Information

Covering 627,422 hectares just north of the Tropic of Capricorn in the Hamersley Range, Karijini National Park is Western Australia’s second largest park.

Its climate can best be described as tropical semi-desert. A highly variable, mainly summer rainfall of 250–350 mm, often associated with thunderstorms and cyclones, is accompanied by temperatures frequently topping 40 degrees Celsius. The ideal times to visit the park are late autumn, winter and early spring. Winter days are warm and clear, but nights are cold and sometimes frosty.

Massive mountains and escarpments rise out of the flat valleys. The high plateau is dissected by breathtaking gorges, and stony, tree-lined watercourses wind their way over the dusty plain. Erosion has slowly carved this landscape out of rocks that are over 2,500 million years old.  There are so many beautiful gorges and sites to visit in Karijini National Park, but be sure to include Dales Gorge, Fortescue Falls, Weano Gorge and Oxers Lookout.

The park is the traditional home of the Banyjima, Kurrama and Innawonga Aboriginal people. The Banyjima name for the Hamersley Range is Karijini. Evidence of their early occupation dates back more than 20,000 years. During that period, Aboriginal land management practices, such as ‘fire stick farming’, resulted in a diversity of vegetation types and stages of succession that helped determine the nature of the plants and animals found in the park today.

Wildflowers vary with the seasons. In the cooler months the land is covered with yellow-flowering cassias and wattles, northern bluebells and purple mulla-mullas. After rain many plants bloom profusely.

It is also home to a variety of birds, red kangaroos and euros, rock-wallabies, echidnas and several bat species. Geckos, goannas, dragons, legless lizards, pythons and other snakes are abundant.

Look out for mounds of pebbles. These are built by the native rodent, the Western Pebble-mound mouse. Although the mice are small (average body length 60 mm), the mounds can be 500mm high and cover up to nine square metres.

Termite mounds

Look also for the large, striking termite mounds, scattered throughout the hummock grasslands.

There is assisted wheelchair access to Junction Pool Lookout, the Weano Day Use area and Cicular Pool Lookout. Independent wheelchair access is available at the Karijini National Park Visitor Centre and the Dales Day Use Area.

  • Asbestos warningBlue asbestos is present in Yampire and Wittenoom Gorges. Asbestos dust may cause cancer if inhaled.
  • Gorges can be dangerousStay back from cliff edges – they are about 100 metres high, often with loose rocks near the edge.Flash floods can occur – do not enter gorges if there is rain in the area. If it starts raining when you are in a gorge, leave immediately.
  • Deep, cold waterThe water in gorge pools can be extremely cold, especially between April and September; hypothermia can occur. Do not dive or jump into water.
  • Extreme heatDuring summer, temperatures frequently top 40 degrees Celcius. Carry plenty of water at all times.
  • DingoesDingoes are common around the Dales campground. They may scavenge for food and can be aggressive. Do not feed dingoes, supervise children at all times, walk in groups and store food in your vehicle.

Much of the southern half of the park is inaccessible. Visitors concentrate on the spectacular gorges in the north, with their rock pools, waterfalls and unique wildlife.

You can enter Karijini National Park from Tom Price, Roebourne, Port Hedland or Newman. The ideal times to visit the park are late autumn, winter and early spring. Winter days are warm and clear, but nights are cold and sometimes frosty.

The Karijini Visitor Centre is just off Banjima Drive and is open 9am to 4pm (April to October) and 10am to 2pm (November to March).