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A Guide to Karijini National Park

A Guide to Karijini National Park

One of the most unique places in Western Australia, Karijini National Park is full of ancient gorges, the tallest peaks in WA, along with an impressive collection of flora and fauna that has adapted to survive in this rugged environment. For those who venture out to this remote location, there is plenty to do, see and experience, even more so if you like an adventure or two. 

Below are all the details you need to know before visiting Karijini, along with an interactive map showing hikes, accommodation, food and other attractions.

Getting There - Located about 1400km north of Perth, the closest major airports to Karijini are in Karratha and Port Hedland, both about 4-5 hours by car. Most people fly into Karratha and hire a car (4x4 recommended but not necessary) to get out to Karijini, stopping off at Millstream-Chichester National Park on the drive there. 

Best Time to Visit - Karijini National Park is best visited between April and September, during the dry season, when the temperatures are cooler and the risk of flash flooding in the gorges is lower thanks to the lack of rains. July school holidays in WA is peak time, so advanced booking is recommended and if you want a quieter stay then avoid those two weeks. 

Accommodation - There are two places you can stay within Karijini National Park, Dales Campground and the Karijini Eco Retreat. Dales Campground is run by DBCA and contains 153 unpowered sites of various sizes. Located right next to Dales Gorge, this is a great location to base yourself and explore the rest of the park. Sites can be booked and paid for here.

Karijini Eco Retreat, located near Joffre Gorge, is a more upmarket offering and is great if you don't want to bring all your camping gear with you. Offering a range of cabins, tents, unpowered sites and glamping options, there is also a restaurant and burger bar serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Check out their website for more details. 

Food/Fuel - As mentioned above, Karijini Eco Retreat is the only place to get a meal when you are staying in the park. Tom Price is the nearest town with a supermarket and fuel station, located an hour to the south west of the park. If you're arriving from Port Hedland or Karratha there is a service station and tourist village on the corner of Munjina Road and Great Northern Highway, on the north east border of the national park. 

What to Do? - Along with enjoying the wide open space and serenity, Karijini National Park is home to some great hiking, swimming spots, adventurous tours, stargazing and cultural experiences.

  • The Karijini Experience - A five day cultural event held every July, check out the website to see what events are on in any particular year.

  • Space Chameleon Adventures - Explore the gorges much further with a tour that includes, canyoning, abseiling, paddling and hiking.

  • Remtrek Astronomy Hikes - With very little light pollution around, take a night hike with Remtrek and gaze out in amazement over the night sky.

  • Karijini Visitor Centre - Located in the centre of the park, stop in and learn all about the environment, history and culture of Karijini.

  • Hiking - Check out all the great hikes you can do within the park by clicking on each page, located underneath the below map.

Safety - Karijini is a remote place with many dangers but with a bit of common sense and preparation, you can reduce the risks of anything bad happening during your stay. 

  • Always carry at least 5L of spare water in your vehicle at all times.

  • Wear reef shoes or grippy sneakers when undertaking a gorge hike as the rocks will be slippery.

  • Climb Mount Bruce in the morning when the heat of the day hasn't set in. Always bring plenty of water on hikes and sturdy footwear.

  • Bring a Personal Locator Beacon and keep it within reach on all hikes.

  • Do not leave food lying around your campsite and do not feed the dingoes.

Karijini National Park leaves a lasting imprint on every visitor and I hope you enjoy your stay.

Best Hikes in Karijini National Park

Dales Gorge

Length - 5.5km 

Rating - Grade 4

Time - 2-3 Hours

One of the best trails within Karijini National Park, explore both the scenic rim and depths of Dales Gorge, along with visiting Fortescue Falls, Fern Pool and Circular Pool.

Gorge Hikes in Karijini National Park

Hancock Gorge

Length - 1.5km 

Rating - Grade 5

Time - 1-2 Hours

Climb down into this narrow and awe-inspiring gorge that will see you wade through cold water, shuffle along ledges and do the famous Spider Walk to Kermit Pool.

Hiking Guide to Karijini National Park

Joffre Gorge

Length - 1.6km 

Rating - Grade 5

Time - 1-2 Hours

Starting with a lookout over the gorge, hike around the ravine and descend towards the steep rock face leading into a wide amphitheatre with Joffre Falls cascading down.

Best Hikes in Karijini National Park

Kalamina Gorge

Length - 3.1km 

Rating - Grade 4

Time - 1-2 Hours

One of the widest and easiest gorges to hike, Kalamina Gorge is also one of the least visited. A tranquil place to hike, there are many swimming spots here to enjoy.

Best Hiking Trails in Karijini

Knox Gorge

Length - 2.7km 

Rating - Grade 5

Time - 1-2 Hours

After taking in the great views from the Knox Lookout, scramble down the rocky path into Knox Gorge, hiking all the way to the impressive turnaround point, staring into a narrow chasm.

Mountain Hikes in Karijini National Park

Mount Bruce | Punurrunha

Length - 10.8km 

Rating - Grade 5

Time - 3-6 Hours

A tough but rewarding hike to the summit of Mount Bruce, the second highest point in Western Australia, get amazing views all the way up this great hike.

Top Hikes in Karijini National Park

Weano Gorge

Length - 3.3km 

Rating - Grade 5

Time - 2-3 Hours

Exploring the area above and through Weano Gorge, this loop trail gives you a variety of perspectives, with an optional side trip to the stunning Handrail Pool.

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