Karijini National Park including Circular Pool, Fortescue Falls, Fern Pool..
Karijini National Park Gorge
If Coral Bay is one of my favourite spots then Karijini National Park is not far behind, but for a very different reason.
I have always been a fairly active person and this outdoor recreation tests your fitness if you want to do everything. Don’t be too concerned if your fitness level is not that good, because you will see some spectacular views of gorges and mountains with very minimal walking.
The first night we stay here, there is a strong chance you will stay up late. The clear nights bring out the absolute best in stargazing. After dinner you will just sit back in your camping chair (provided) and automatically your eyes will be drawn towards the heavens. If there are any astronomers amongst the group they will be able to point out different stars and constellations. If not you will be mesmerised just by the enormity of stars. You will see "stars" travelling at huge speeds across the sky (Crikey, they must be satellites). Once you see one of these you will be constantly looking for the next one and then the next and when there are several going in different directions you will not know which one to look at. There is a possibility you will see falling stars (make sure you make a wish, sorry just the kid in me coming out again).
That’s the night taken care of at Karijini - the days will be totally different.
In the Karijini National Park we will hike up the second highest mountain in Western Australia - Mount Bruce - a mere 16metres smaller than Mt Meharry. (We can’t get to Mt Meharry although it is in the same vicinity). Todd and I are fairly determined people when it comes to physical activity and when we started walking up Mount Bruce the first time there was no way we were not going to make it. On the way up we will see the Marandoo Mine in the distance and plenty of opportunities for you to take nature photography. There are a couple of spots where a chain is fixed to rocks because you will have to climb around this rock and there is a long drop to the bottom. It’s okay it is quite safe. When we reached the top it was just like we were the only people in the world - you can see "forever". Then you take a closer look and way, way down you can see a road winding through the trees and mountains of Karijini and if you look real close you will probably see a car towing a caravan travelling along this road. The sheer sense of achievement when you reach the top is amazing.
View From the Top (Todd and Ian) We made it Phew!!!
If you don’t hike all the way to the top don’t worry, you will see some wonderful views off into the distance.
Mulla Mulla are prolific at Karijini NP
Crikey, I got so excited talking about this walk, I nearly forgot about the gorges. That would be the last thing I would want to do because they are absolutely spectacular.
Depending on the time of year you are here will depend on what you see and do. In the hot season - yes it can get very hot you will want to spend a lot more time just swimming in the gorges' natural pools like Fortescue Pool. In the wetter season you will see the waterfalls in all their glory. A lot of people think you should only visit Karijini National Park between March and November because of the heat, but if you are prepared for this heat you will get just as much enjoyment from these gorges - especially the swimming bit under the waterfalls and in the natural ponds. I will put a bit of a warning in here though during this time you must also be aware there are a lot of flies - no spiders and I have never seen a snake but lots of flies - just bring the insect repellent.
Swimming at Fern Pool
I have deliberately left the most adrenalin rush activity to last. Have you ever walked up and down a ladder? - Probably. Have you ever walked up and down a rope ladder? - Possibly. But have you ever spider walked in a gorge? - Quite possibly not. What is spider walking you ask? The way I spider walk is my left hand and left foot on one side of the gorge wall and my right hand and right foot on the other side of the wall and the water trickling (or rushing depending on the season) between your legs. Once again this is quite safe if you are careful. Todd however has both his legs on one side of the wall and both his hands on the other side of the wall and walks that way. Boy does this ever give you a buzz!