HAMERSLEY RANGE - KARIJINI

 

Hamersley Range - Karijini - Western Australia

 

GPS 22 29 19 S 118 28 11 E

Entry fee and / or camping fee charged Toilets available Tables and / or seats and / or shelters provided Fire places or BBQs available Tent camping sites Caravan access possible Ranger or caretaker on site

 

 

 

 

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This is Western Australia's second largest National Park at 627,445 Ha and is by far the most visually interesting.

Located between Auski, Wittenoom and Tom Price, the park holds some of the most spectacular gorges you will ever see. The rocks were laid down about 2,500 million years ago by oceans unusually rich in iron and silica. The only life forms were simple algae and bacteria and the atmosphere contained much less oxygen. The soluble iron in the seas combined with oxygen that was produced by algae. Over millions of years this sank to the sea floor and gradually turned into the banded rock formations that we can see today.

Three types of rock dominate here, banded iron, dolomite and shale. The three types of rock are mixed together and while banded iron formations are hard, the dolomite and shale are relatively soft and easily eroded. This has led to the spectacular gorges we see today.

Mt. Meharry, Western Australia's tallest peak, lies within the borders of the park, as does Western Australia's second highest peak, Mt. Bruce.

Francis Gregory explored the area in 1861 and named the range after after his friend Edward Hamersley. The range  extends for nearly 320 kilometres.

Camp sites are available in the park. Savannah campsite is at the eastern end of the park and Dales Gorge (more easily accessible) is near the eastern end. There is a third site near the visitor's centre where bore water can be obtained and rubbish dropped into a covered trailer. The road is sealed all the way out to Dale's Gorge.

Be very careful when exploring the gorges as there have been two recent deaths and some serious injuries when people have slipped and fallen.

Dales Gorge is the most easily accessible gorge in the park with a new boardwalk constructed that makes the walk into the gorge very simple for almost everyone.

Fortescue Falls, at the end of the boardwalk, are the only permanent falls in the park. Fern Pool lies upstream from the falls and Circular Pool lies downstream.

Joffre Gorge has an unusual curved amphitheatre shaped section where water cascades down after rains.

If you are in the area THIS IS A MUST SEE to put on your list. Many of the roads in the park are unsealed and corrugated but the scenery is like nothing else in Australia. It is a very special place.

The national park was gazetted in 1969 and in 1993 a council was formed with both government and Aboriginal representatives. It was originally called Hamersley National Park but the name changed to Karijini in 1991.

The Auski (Munjina) Roadhouse has a 40 site caravan facility, motel units plus a restaurant and is an alternative base if you do not want to stay in the National Park. Auski can be contacted on 08 9176 6988.

You need to be aware that all gorges other than Dales are accessed by currugated unsealed roads and that during times of high rainfall these roads may be closed.

There are a number of walks in the park including the following :

Walk - Difficulty of walk - Distance - Time
Circular Pool (lookout) - Easy - 800 metres - 30 minutes
Circular Pool - Moderate / Difficult - 800 metres - 2 hours
Dales Gorge - Moderate / Difficult - 2 Km - 2 to 3 hours
Fortescue Falls (lookout) - Easy - 150 metres - 15 min
Fortescue Falls (bottom) - Moderate - 800 metres - 1 hour
Gorge Rim - Easy - 2 Km - 1.5 hours
Fern Pool - Difficult - 300 metres - 1 hour
Hancock Gorge - Very hard - 1.5 Km - 3 hours
Joffre Falls - Moderate - 3 Km - 3 hours
Joffre lookout - Easy - 100 metres - 10 minutes
Kalamina Gorge - Moderate / Difficult - 30 minutes / 3 hours
Marandoo View - Moderate - 500 metres - 30 minutes
Red Gorge - Speak to rangers first.
Weano Gorge - Easy - 300 metres - 1 hour
Hamersley Gorge - Very easy - - 15 minutes
Knox Gorge - Difficult - 4 - 2 to 3 hours


The park is 1400 kilometres from Perth.

 

 

 

 

NPW Website for more information

Savanah Eco Retreat 08 9425 5591

 

 

Best time to visit:

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

 

 

 

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