Discover Karijini National Park

Escape the crowds and enjoy an outback experience at Karijini National Park in the heart of Western Australia.

The diverse landscapes of Karijini National Park makes this one of the most spectacular regions in Australia.

A haven for flora, fauna and ancient rock features which help portray the very ancient nature of the landscapes in Karijini.

Immense gorges, waterfalls and swimming pools are common throughout Karijini National Park. The gorges stretch down over 100 metres and the red walls are a distinct contrast to the white gumtrees in every direction.

You can actually descend into these canyons in search of waterfalls and swimming holes and this stunning landscape really needs to be seen to be believed. This is also an area of historical importance as the landscape was formed more than 2.5 billion years ago.

You might want to see Karijini on a road trip between February and April when the temperature is lower and the weather is more conducive for exploring.

SUGGESTED Travel itinerary

Discover Karijini National Park - Travel Times & Highlights

Please note: Distances and travel times are estimates only and may vary due to alternative routes, weather and road conditions. Please check with Main Roads Western Australia for updated information before commencing your journey.


broome gantheaume point

Broome is the perfect starting point for a road trip and a great introduction to the stunning coastline in North western Australia. 

The town itself is rather quiet and sleepy and known for having a relaxed atmosphere in general. With unobstructed views of the Indian Ocean, Cable Beach is one of the most iconic in all of Australia and the red cliffs make for an awe-inspiring sight.

Cable Beach stretches for more than 20 kilometres down the coastline and the near perfect weather have cemented Broome as one of the most popular destinations in WA.

Distance from Broome: 3 hr 56 min (376 km)

Eighty Mile Beach

Eighty Mile Beach extends for over 200km between Broome and Port Hedland. This is actually the longest stretch of beach in Western Australia and popular for fishing, camping and bird watching. 

Migratory birds come here in their thousands and feed in the area during the summer months. Turtles are also known to nest along isolated parts of the beach and the flat-back turtles are only found in Northern Australia. Mulloway, blue nose salmon and threadfin salmon are common in the water and the location is perfectly located for sunsets in the evening.

Visitors also appreciate the clean state of the beach at Eighty Mile and the uninterrupted stretches which can truly make this beach feel like your own private hideaway.

Windjana is also steeped in history as this area was home to the Bunuba people who rebelled against European settlers in the 1890s, and this cultural importance really adds to the experience on a Broome to Darwin road trip.

Distance from Eighty Mile Beach: 7 hr 4 min (616 km)

Weano Gorge

Weano Gorge is more accessible than most of the gorges in Karijini National Park. You will find short trails and picnic areas on the rim of the gorge but there is also a challenging trail which goes through narrow passage and pools. The lookout at Junction Pool in particular offers incredible views of Hancock Gorge, while Oxer Lookout stares down upon Red and Joffre gorges. 

For many visitors, the views at Weano Gorge help showcase the immensity of Karijini National Park and the magical nature of the landscape. You can even walk down inside Hancock Gorge which many hikers describe as an adventure into “the centre of the earth” and the colours in this part of the gorge are sure to leave you feeling inspired.

Distance from Weano Gorge: 1 min ( .5 km)

Handrail Pool

Handrail Pool is an awe-inspiring gorge which has a challenging trail that travels down into the bottom of the gorge. While it is not for the faint-hearted, this trail rewards hikers with beautiful views and an encounter with Handrail Pool. Starting out at the Weano Gorge Trail, you head down the steps as tall red cliffs tower overhead. 

There is a handrail which you can use to climb down at the bottom and the trail becomes more narrow as you approach the pool area. However, this hike is most often worth the effort, and an adventure which is sure to excite the more intrepid travellers who really want to get out there and explore the area.

Distance from Handrail Pool: 1 hr (55 km)

Dales Gorge

You can find several experiences at Dales Gorge which can make this one of the most interesting pockets of Karijini National Park. That is to say, there are various trails, pools and viewpoints and it’s up to you in terms of how adventurous you might be feeling.

Let’s take a closer look at these experiences:

Fern Pool – This picturesque pool is perfect for swimming and probably the best spot for enjoying the cool waters of Karijini National Park. There is a natural spring which feeds the pool via a beautiful waterfall, and this area is of cultural significance to the Banjima People. Also, there are no crocodiles at Fern Pool so you can relax and swim without having to worry.

Gorge Rim trail – This hiking trail is the best way to travel through Dales Gorge and travels all the way to Fortescue Falls. It might be steep in places but all levels of fitness should be able to enjoy the trail and it only takes approximately 40 minutes to hike there and back.

Fortescue Falls Lookout – This waterfall is fed by a natural spring and the water runs down the rocks and into the pool at Dales Gorge. You can also find beautiful views here and trails which lead further down into the the gorge or back up to the car park where you began.

Dales Gorge Trail – This trail runs down into the gorge and Past eucalyptus, snappy gums and fig trees. Navigate stepping stones and ledges en-route and the trail can be accessed at either the Circular Pools or Fortescue Falls.

Circular Pool Lookout – You can visit the Circular Pool Lookout via a short trail from Dales Gorge car park. This large amphitheatre is lined with trees and ferns and offers spectacular views of the gorge. There is a ladder section and some steep steps but a refreshing dip awaits when you have finished walking to the Circular Pool Lookout.

Distance from Dales Gorge: 1 hr (54.6 km)

Hancock Gorge and Kermits Pool

You must climb down into Hancock Gorge via a ladder, steep steps and narrow passages. For this reason, visitors sometimes hire a tour guide and an experienced guide can really help bring the place to life. Either way, a trip to this pool and gorge can feel like quite the adventure. While the trail is short, it takes you through a passage known as the Spider Walk until you reach Kermits Pool. 

As with many of the swimming pools in Karijini, the waters in the pool are still and cool and provide the perfect respite after a hot and sweaty hike down into the gorge. Along the way, the flora, cliffs and views are sure to impress and the challenge of reaching Kermits Pool can really make this feel like you are hiking off-the-beaten-path.

Distance from Hancock Gorge: 39 min (32 km)

Kalamina Gorge

Kalamina Gorge is one of the smaller gorges to explore in Karijini National Park but one which never fails to delight. The track down to the bottom of the gorge takes little more than 5-minutes which means you won’t have to work so hard to reach the fresh water pool.

This swimming pool is permanently fed by a fresh-waterfall and the gorge is spectacular in spite of the smaller size. With this in mind, Kalamina gorge is just as interesting as the others and showcases the same colours, flora and features that you might find in the bigger gorges. The lemon-scented grass is also noticeable and a dip in the Rock Arch Pool at the bottom is worth the trip alone.

Distance from Kalamina Gorge: 1 hr 26 min (102 km)

Hamersley Gorge

Hamersley Gorge is situated in the northwestern corner of Karijini National Park which makes it the most remote gorge in the region. Surrounded by ancient rocks and cliffs, the gorge features stepped waterfalls and landscapes which date back millions of years.

At the bottom of the gorge, there are swimming pools and trees under which to relax. However, if you don’t fancy hiking down into the gorge, you can take a short walk from the car park to a nearby lookout which offers spectacular views of Hamersley Gorge and the surrounding area.

Distance from Hamersley Gorge: 1 hr 11 min (86.8 km)

Joffre Gorge

Joffre Gorge is another natural amphitheatre and the lookout platform is a spectacular point from which to view the gorge. You will also find a cascading waterfall here and a challenging section of trail which allows you to follow the river down into the gorge.

Signage shows the way and a little scrambling is necessary, although most people should be able to hike this trail comfortably with a reasonable level of fitness. In total, the walk is just 1.5km and there is a pool at the bottom of Joffre Gorge at which you can relax, cool off and take a swim.

Distance from Joffre Gorge: 28 min (34 km)

Mount Bruce

Mount Bruce is the second largest mountain in Western Australia and home to one of the states most spectacular walks. You can choose from three trails of varying lengths and each trail has a different level of difficulty. For instance, you might opt to walk just 500 metres to Mandy View from which there are unobstructed views of Marandoo Mine. However, the Honey Hakea trail is nearly 2km and leads to a vantage point overlooking the mountains.

A little scrambling is necessary for this walk and the total round trip distance is 4.6km. The last walking route is regarded as a Class 5 trail and requires you to walk a 9km round trip which involves a steep ascent and scrambling or climbing for short sections of trail.

Either way, a visit to Mount Bruce is suitable for all levels of ability and a great place for hiking enthusiasts to really get out there and experience the beauty of Karijini National Park on foot.

Share this...