Despite its remote location, the Pilbara’s Karijini National Park is among the most visited parks in the state. It’s not hard to see why, with its deep, rocky gorges, tranquil fern-lined swimming holes, and upwards of 10 scenic hiking trails weaving their way through the canyons.
The best of Karijini can be seen on a four-day getaway in and around the park.
Embrace the starkness of the semi-arid outback as you make your way from Tom Price, Paraburdoo or Newman to Dales Campground in the heart of Karijini. It’s an authentic camping experience where the real luxury is curling up in a swag beneath a glittering canopy of stars. For an upgrade stay at Karijini Eco Retreat, the region’s premier glamping spot.
Embrace the starkness of the semi-arid outback. (Image: Tourism WA, @cjmaddock)
The site is just a short walk from some of the park’s major attractions. To the north-east is the beauty of Fortescue Falls, Fern Pool and Circular Pool – all sacred places to the Banyjima, Yinhawangka and Kurrama Aboriginal people. Tread lightly and enjoy peacefully.
Stay at Karijini Eco Retreat, the region’s premier glamping spot. (Image: Tourism WA)
An hour’s drive away is Oxer Lookout, sitting high above the meeting point of Joffre, Weano, Red and Hancock Gorges. The deep chasm is said to be one of the best sights in the Pilbara, especially in the late afternoon when the changing light shows the red gorge walls at their most vivid. It’s not far from Mount Bruce, the highest summit in Western Australia, where the spectacular view is a reward for maximum effort on the three-hour hike up there.
Classed as a level four walk, the trail to the bottom of Hamersley Gorge is one of the more difficult hikes in the park, but is worth attempting if you’ve got the stamina and experience. At one end of the gorge is a series of large rock pools; at the other, you’ll find a hidden natural spa skirted by smooth, swirling rock layers. This spot is a favourite with swimmers and photographers alike.
You’ll find a hidden natural spa skirted by smooth, swirling rock layers. (Image: Tourism WA)
In Newman’s East Pilbara Arts Centre you’ll find Martumili Artists, a collaborative art gallery established by a group of Martu artist-Elders. The Martu people are the Traditional Custodians of large stretches of the Great Sandy, Little Sandy and Gibson Deserts, as well as the Karlamilyi (Rudall River) region. Peruse the gallery slowly, taking in the stories these colourful pieces tell, before stopping by the gift store to pick up your own piece of art.
Tom Price is known as Western Australia’s ‘Top Town’. (Image: Tourism WA, Greg Snell)
Did You Know?
Tom Price is known as Western Australia’s ‘Top Town’. It sits 747 metres above sea level in the Hamersley Range, officially making it the highest town in all of the state.
Karijini Adventure Route Details
When to visit:
May to August.
Qantas flies from Perth to Paraburdoo or Newman daily. On arrival, join a tour or rent transport to get to Karijini National Park. If you’re driving to the park from Perth, allow at least two days for the 1380-kilometre trip.