Be humbled by nature in Karijini National Park, in Western Australia’s Pilbara, where the earth has been cleaved and carved over two billion years. Discover the spectacular chasms, marbled rock tunnels, cool rock pools and sparkling waterfalls. Beneath the bright blue Pilbara skies, the craggy red landscape shelters abundant native vegetation, animals and birds. Camp here beneath the vast outback sky or enjoy back-to-nature luxury in an eco-retreat.
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Be humbled by nature in Karijini National Park, in Western Australia’s Pilbara, where the earth has been cleaved and carved over two billion years.
Discover the spectacular chasms, marbled rock tunnels, cool rock pools and sparkling waterfalls. Beneath the bright blue Pilbara skies, the craggy red landscape shelters abundant native vegetation, animals and birds. Camp here beneath the vast outback sky or enjoy back-to-nature luxury in an eco-retreat.
Sitting in the Hamersley Ranges, near the small town of Tom Price, Karijini National Park is best accessed on a 4WD tour. Lots of longer adventure tours depart Perth for the north-west, combining Karijini with attractions such as Monkey Mia on the Coral Coast and Broome and Kununurra in the Kimberley. You can also fly to Exmouth, Karratha, Newman, Paraburdoo (near Tom Price) or Broome to join a tour or hire a 4WD for a self-drive adventure.
Once you’ve entered the park, its wild, weathered landscapes are surprisingly accessible, with waterfalls, emerald pools and plunging gorges beginning just beyond the car park. There is also a wonderful network of walking trails, ranging from easy to arduous, snaking through the scenery.
Karijini National Park, WA
It’s around an hour downhill to Dales Gorge, which shelters Fortescue Falls, the park's only permanent waterfall. At the bottom, you can swim in the spring-fed pools beneath Fortescue Falls or in nearby Fern Pool or tackle the two-hour return hike to picturesque Circular Pool, at the gorge’s other end.
Walk to Oxer Lookout for unforgettable views over the junction of four mighty gorges - Red, Weano, Joffre and Hancock. You can hike from here to steep, stunning Hancock Gorge, where the rocky chambers and underground waterways are best explored with a local guide. A slightly easier trail leads to Weano Gorge and the great swimming spot of Handrail Pool.
Short trails lead to lookouts over Joffre Gorge and Knox Gorge, or for more of a challenge you can hike to the gorges themselves. Walk around Kalimina Gorge, with its rich blues and red or swim in the natural spa pool at Hammersley Gorge. If you’re feeling energetic, the climb to Mt Bruce’s summit offers soaring views over the spinifex plains.
Karijini Eco Retreat, Karijini National Park, WA
Spinifex, mulga, ghost gums and fig trees are just some of the native vegetation types you’ll see in and around Karijini’s rugged red gorges. Between June and September, colourful wildflowers such as rock fig, lemongrass and silver cadjeput also dance across the rocky landscape. Spot them along with native animals, such as rock wallabies, dingoes, lizards, goannas and abundant birdlife.
Go camping or stay in a luxurious eco-retreat not far from popular Weano, Hancock, Knox and Joffre Gorges. You can also get a deeper understanding of this ancient landscape at the visitor centre, which has interactive natural and cultural heritage displays.
However you experience it, you’ll be awe-struck by the forces of nature in Karijini National Park.
More Holiday Ideas
See what else there is near here to inspire your holiday planning.
Cruise huge Lake Argyle and see tides taller than a building in the Buccaneer Archipelago. Four wheel drive the Gibb River Road past gorges and mighty rivers, or follow the red-dirt track from Broome to the remote Dampier Peninsula. Welcome to the Kimberley - a world of vast horizons, ancient gorges, weird rock formations, welcoming rock pools and golden beaches.
Forget drab days and bleak landscapes. Winter in Western Australia breaks all the stereotypes. From June until September, more than 12,000 wildflower species explode across the state. Follow their vivid trail to Ningaloo Reef, where you can swim with whale sharks and snorkel over tropical fish and coral. Capture their life-affirming colour in rugged Kalbarri National Park, near Geraldton, or in sculpted Kings Park in Perth. Let them lead you to the waves, caves and wineries of Margaret River. Walk with them through soaring karri forests on the Bibbulmun Track or take in their dazzling diversity from Albany. Do wildflower day walks, join longer tours or celebrate the blooms with the locals at any of the many festivals.
Discover white beaches, coral reefs, salty fishing towns and rugged national parks on this spectacular journey along Western Australia’s Coral Coast. Head north to taste fresh crayfish in Geraldton and mouth-watering tropical fruits in Carnarvon. Swim with the huge whale shark on Ningaloo Reef and four wheel drive through the canyons of nearby Cape Range National Park. On your way back down the coast, meet the dolphins of Monkey Mia, along with whales, manta rays, turtles, sharks, dugongs and fish in the wider Shark Bay World Heritage Area. See seasonal wildflowers break out their brightest colours all along the coast, from Cape Range to the cliffs and gorges of Kalbarri National Park.
It's a true desert landscape in Nambung National Park, where the weathered rock spires of the Pinnacles rise out of yellow sand dunes. Yet the park sits on the deep blue Indian Ocean, along an idyllic stretch of coast three hour's drive north of Perth. After experiencing the eerie Pinnacles, stay in the fishing village of Cervantes, with its white beaches, coral reefs and Lake Thetis, a salt lake teeming with living fossils. Get up close to a rich array of wildlife in Badgingarra National Parks and discover Jurien Bay's national parks and idyllic sandy beaches.