Fact: the spectacular landscapes of outback Australia didn’t just appear overnight.
And in the case of Karijini National Park in Western Australia, the endless gorges and mesmerising natural swimming holes were carved by Mother Nature herself billions of years ago, so there’s no shortage of sights to see. Plus, you’ve got centuries of history to take in, which only adds to the many reasons why this place so special. We’re here to share our top 5 things you need to see in Karijini National Park, and why you need to head over to the West Coast, stat.
1. Scan your eyes over Hamersley Range from your campsite
The crackle of the trees in the wind, the sharp sound of someone nearby unzipping their tent and the blended noise of travellers sharing stories around a campfire are the moments that make an outback trip like this so unique. But what ties it all together, is the incredible view from the campsite sweeping across the rugged Hamersley Range.
With heaps of camping sites in the national park, the first sight on our list is one you won’t even need to go searching for (unless you get lost trying to find your campsite).
2. Stargaze at the most magnificent night skies you’ll ever see
While this might not be your typical feature on a list of things you need to see, the star-filled skies of the Outback are almost more iconic than the sights you’ll find on the ground. Some travellers would even say that Karijini is a star-gazers best-kept secret – and now you’re in the know!
Just think about it: unpolluted by artificial lights, each bright star is set against the blackest backdrop you could imagine, which only makes the Milky Way more vibrant. While not guaranteed that you’ll spot a shooting star (or a meteor even, if you want to get technical), it’s a safe bet that you’ll see something exciting if you look upwards.
3. Marvel at the mighty gorges
You could spend a lifetime hopping between the gorges tucked away in Karijini National Park (seriously, there’s that many of them). But if we had to narrow it down, you can’t look past the likes of Hancock Gorge, which shares a resemblance to a natural amphitheatre thanks to its curved walls. The hike to reach Hancock Gorge is as fun as the views are astounding. But be prepared to scramble along some rocks, swim through large canals or wade through waist-deep water as you travel along the infamous Spiders Walk.
Another spot to keep an eye out for is Knox Gorge, where the deep red and purple hues of the rock face is something out-of-this-world. It’s a little less popular than some other spots in the Gorge, but it’s just as impressive.
4. Search for the best swim spots
The good news is that many of the breathtaking gorges mentioned above are accompanied by an even more breathtaking swim spot. Near the end of Hancock Gorge’s famous Spider Walk is Kermit’s Pool, considered to be one of the most beautiful swimming holes this side of the world.
If you’ve got time, Dales Gorge is where you’ll find the spring-fed Fern Pool or Circular Pool at each end, so it’s a win/win whichever hiking path you take. Each of the spots as mentioned earlier is inherently special to the First Peoples of Australia and, while visitors are invited to swim, it’s important to behave respectfully when you’re here.
5. Keep an eye out for wildlife.
It’s all well and good to talk about the picturesque landscapes of Karijini National Park, and the phenomenal gorges and swim spots to check out. But let’s not forget about the wildlife. Karijini is home to echidnas, several bat species, plenty of kangaroos, geckos, snakes, and many bird species. Keep your eyes peeled, but also keep your distance; this is their home, not yours!
Is an outback adventure in Karijini National Park calling your name? Check out our range of trips in Western Australia.