I arrived in Karijini NP on May 11th in the afternoon, perfect for some exploration before sunset.
There’s only one campground there and it’s close to some of the famous spots, which is very convenient. I set out on a short trip to Fortescue Falls, one of the only permanent waterfalls in the park. The walks here are all very short (3km or less), but they make up for it with beautiful views. There’s a big pool below the falls, perfect for a refreshing swim.
A few hundred meters further, there’s the Fern Pool, a really nice and tranquil spot. The campground hosts had told me that this pool is sacred to the local Aboriginal tribes, so I decided not to swim here.
The next day, I hiked into the same canyon, this time from the other end. There’s another pool there, Circular Pool, really secluded and peaceful. The hike I was doing goes from one end of the canyon to the other, ending at Fortescue Falls. It was really fun, as I had to jump from rock to rock to cross a river multiple times. There was also lots of wildlife to spot: lizards, birds, all kinds of butterflies, …
My last day in the park, I wanted to visit the other side, Oxer Lookout. The only way to get there however, is by driving on unsealed roads. So once again I had the problem that I might lose my car insurance if I did this. I wasn’t going to let that stop me though, so I parked the van at the visitor center and managed to hitch a ride soon after. My new companions, Casandra & Jean from Bordeaux, weren’t planning on driving all the way to Oxer Lookout, but I convinced them it would be worth it ;).
The view at the lookout was really nice. Casandra & Jean thought so too, they were pretty happy to have driven a bit further than they intended to. The best part was a walk through the gorge. It started out as any other hike, but soon we were knee deep in cold water. A little later, we climbed down into a big pool, which was the end point for Casandra & Jean.
I followed a couple and their two kids a bit further into the gorge, where the only way to continue was by swimming through the ice cold water. Really fun! By the time I got back to the big pool, I was shivering all over, but luckily it was pretty hot, so that didn’t last long.
After returning to our departure point with Casandra & Jean, we said goodbye, as I wanted to do the hike to the other end of the gorge and they wanted to drive over to another lookout point. I ran the hike as fast as I could, but unfortunately, by the time I made it back to the parking lot they had already left. Luckily, a few minutes later another friendly couple, from the UK this time, offered me a ride back to the visitor center. One of the best days in Australia so far!