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Karijini National Park: the park of the canyons and waterfalls

Karijini (formerly Hamersley Range) National Park is renowned for its spectacular mountains, waterfalls, gorges and plateaux. It’s the second largest national park in Western Australia and one of the most spectacular of Australia’s parks. Situated just north of the Tropic of Capricorn, about 1.435 km north of Perth on the Great Northern Highway, and 60 Km from Tom Price.

Karijini National Park is home to numerous wildlife, landscapes, plants and animals of the Pilbara. Very rich in wild flowers especially the flowers after the short rainy season clothe the landscape, with regard to wildlife, there are numerous species of birds, red kangaroos, rock-wallabies, snakes, echidnas, lizards, goannas, geckos and several species of bats, huge termite mounds dominate the landscape.

The park has in its fascinating gorges many varieties of acacia, eucalyptus and melaeluca, 133 types of birds and 92 species of amphibians and reptiles. The rock that makes up the famous gorges of the park was part of the sea floor about 2,500 million years ago, when the only forms of life on Earth were bacteria and algae.

The main attractions of the park are its canyons and gorges that cut suddenly the plains, inside the gorges flow seasonal rivers that have helped to shape the landscape making incredible, inside the park there are many vantage points from which to admire the scenery of the gorges, it is also possible to make excursions into the gorges through trekking paths leading to the narrower canyons, but be careful, there are points within the gorges where it is very dangerous because of the slippery rocks. In the canyon there are waterfalls, lakes, vegetation and spectacular vertical walls.


The most spectacular part of Karijini is the northern one, where there are canyons deeper than 100 meters between the most beautiful vantage points for observing the canyons is Oxer Lookout, where you can see three gorges meet: Weano, Hancock and Joffre Gorges.

WEANO GORGE AND HANDRAIL POOL: The visit to Weano Gorge is one of the most beautiful and spectacular hikes to do in the Karijini. Through a path descends into the canyon, crossing the stratified rocks which form the walls of the canyon, immersing in cold water, you get to the ponds with waterfalls surrounded by high cliffs.

JOFFRE FALLS AND JOFFRE GORGES: To look down this canyon should walk a short trail that leads to the lookout overlooking the falls and gorges.

DALES GORGES, FORTESCUE FALLS, FERN POOL AND CIRCULAR POOL: The Dales Gorges are located in the eastern part of the Karijini National Park, within this canyon, formed by a river, there are waterfalls, lakes, and steep slopes, Fortescue Falls are among the main attractions of the canyon. The falls are reached by descending a steep trail from the car park and following a narrow path. Just beyond Fortescue Falls is Fern Pool a permanent swimming hole with two natural cascades surrounded by lush vegetation. The track continue through Dales Gorges until Circular Pool. This is an excellent circuit walk along the spectacular Dales Gorge connecting Fortescue and Circular Pools.

FLORA: 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. The park boasts 50 varieties of Acacia, Eucalypts and Melaeluca in its gorges.

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