Some effort may be required to see the best of Karijini National Park in the remote Pilbara region of Western Australia, but it’s worth it.
"KARIJINI," Pete declared, "doesn't give up her beauty easily." You can say that again, Pete.
My heart was thumping and my chest heaving after I'd clambered up the sheer-sided Dales Gorge.
Pete West, owner of West Oz Active Adventure Tours, had led our group down, along and then up Dales - one of eight gorges in the magnificent Karijini National Park in the Pilbara region of Western Australia's northwest.
As we rested, we proudly surveyed our achievements: we'd given our knees and calves a decent workout, swum in a fish-filled swimming hole and marvelled at the waterfalls and spectacular rock formations. We'd experienced changes in the flora and microclimate, too.
It was mid-June and wildflowers were beginning to emerge after the Wet. As we descended the gorge, the abundant "snappy gums" and paperbarks had made way for ferns and native fig trees that somehow managed to send roots through the rock into the groundwater.
At more than 6000sq km, Karijini is WA's second-biggest national park and more than twice the size of Luxembourg.
This is an excerpt from The Sunday Times newspaper article published on October 21, 2013. Continue to read the article online.
Published October 21, 2013