The absolutely marvellous Karijini National Park

Part of the walk along the bottom of the Dale Gorge
Looking down on the pool at the bottom of Fortescue Falls
It is not all work and no play. We took a couple of days off and went to Karijini National Park for an overnight camping trip. Robert and Dawn lent us their pop up tent . After a long trip on mostly bitumen roads we arrive and promptly met up with a couple we had met back at Barn Hill, Sheryl and Robert and they advised us to secure a campsite before we go sightseeing. It was good advice as there were only 8 sites left even at lunch time. So after setting up the tent - a lot of pegs and very red dusty soil, we went off on a 3 hour trek up the centre of Dale Gorge. This a very beautiful gorge with the wonderful Fortescue Falls and Fern Pool at one end and the Circular Pool at the other end. It is rather steep in and out of the gorge and very rough natural walking track but we thoroughly enjoyed it and were glad we had made the effort. The pools were suitable for swimming but it has to be a lot warmer to tempt me to swim, though I would have loved to sit by with my feet in the water and read if we had the luxury of time on our side. Back at the campsite to finish setting up the beds etc and lo and behold, Rob & Sheryl were only 2 campsites away from us, so we went over and joined them for happy hour (or 2). It quickly cooled down when the sun went down. Bob & I stayed up reading at first and then playing cards outside at the table until it was just too cold to stay outdoors anymore. It was only 9.30pm but off to bed we go. As Sheryl had mentioned that the mornings were down to 4 or 5 degrees we just hopped into bed in our clothes for added warmth. It was very cold in the morning outdoors but we were as warm as toast in bed. Bob doesn’t like to go to bed so early, no wonder he was up with the birds then next morning too- I think it was the first time he has seen dawn in a heck of a long time! I made bacon & eggs as compensation and to warm us both up. We were also a bit stiff and sore from all the climbing the day before. We packed up and headed off to Weano Gorge. We heard that this and some other gorges had to be accessed partly by wading through thigh deep water and neither of us were interested in doing this, so the lookout was enough for now. We then went to Tom Price. It is a nice enough for a mining town with plenty of green grassed areas but there is nothing of interest for us there. We picked up some extra food as the visitors centre warned us that the road past Hammersely Gorge and Wittenoom is rough and rarely travelled and we could be stranded there with little chance of passerbys for assistance, so we prepared for the possibility of camping overnight on our way back to Port Hedland as we didn’t want to back track and travel over the same road we came in on. Well we off and went first to Hammersely Gorge which hardly gets a mention in the paper works and yet it is truly marvellous. The water pools and the folded rock (layers of rock that have shifted and look like they have been folded together when the land was soft and malleable) and just the whole package. The photos can only show you what is meant by this description.
Just a aprt of the Hammersley Gorge

Bob in front a part of the Folded Rock
We thought Dale Gorge lovely but this beats it hands down. We couldn’t stay there too long either as we wanted to get onto the rough road and get most of it covered whilst still daylight. This so called rough road was well graded, plenty of traffic (not busy- but certainly enough traffic that if caught out or broken down you were not on your own!) We were able to travel at speeds of 90-100km along most of this road no problems, we did have to watch out for all the dips/floodways that slowed you down in between but the woman back at the visitor centre had no idea what she was talking about when advising us about the condition of the road. I suppose it has to do with Wittenoom. This is a deserted mining town that has been officially closed down and withdrawn off the maps due to the blue asbestos in the area, the mines, landfill, road base etc are all from blue asbestos and was declared unsafe and forcibly abandoned years ago. We were back on Port Hedland around 7.30pm tired and more than a little dusty.

Michelle in  a natural rock pillar on the Hammersley Gorge

 There are so many photos I could have added here but I didn't want to bore you with them all.

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