This was the primary reason I was on this tour. Karijini National Park.
Oh yes, the rocks were red, very red. Lots of iron here and when you looked closely at the rock, it really felt like you were walking on giant slabs of iron instead. During the heat of the day these rocks absolutely radiated heat.
After our long drive from Exmouth, we began our Karijini adventure with Joffre Gorge, which was situated pretty much right behind our campground. I was quite surprised at this – I had assumed when we were driving in that we would be hiking in gorges hidden amongst the surrounding hills. Instead, these gorges are cut into the ground in the valley between all the hills. It’s surprising to find, and you wouldn’t want to wander too far at night just in case!
Joffre’s gorge was suitably huge and impressive. As we were hiking into it I tried to get a picture to best show the size. See the tiny figures down at the bottom right corner? You might have to squint. Those would be other people.
Getting down was a bit tricky, but all of us were up to the task. It helped that a nice, cool swim would be awaiting us at the bottom.
View from the base of Joffre Gorge. A few of us would explore down that way a bit later (including doing a bit of cliffdiving, fun!), but for now we headed the other direction.
This was the direction we were headed. I left my good camera behind as we were going to get wet, and we all got ready to jump in some water.
This was the area we were headed into. A big expansive opening in the gorge.
Formed by the impressive Joffre Falls. Naturally, being the dry season, there is little water flowing at this time. But to carve out an area this size, you know the water that flows through here at times must be immense.
For added fun, our guides (we added a 2nd guide in Exmouth) suggested we climb up the waterfall. Only a few of us adventurous folk decided to give it a try. From afar it looked incredibly difficult, but upon closer inspection it was actually easier than the climb down into the gorge. The rock is layered so well it’s like climbing a ladder at times. And the views were well worth the extra effort.
Even this far up, we still weren’t close to the top of the gorge. The 4 of us that made it up posed in the small waterfall that was left.
Coming back down, looking down the gorge and those that we left behind.
After splashing around a little bit more and adding a ~6meter cliff dive to the entertaining day, we headed back up to our campground just in time to see the sun set over the distant hills.
It was an early night for many of us that night – we’d be spending all of the next day in Karijini’s many gorges, hiking, exploring, swimming and jumping to our heart’s content.