More Karijini Gorges then on to Millstream Chichester National Park

Our last couple of days at Karijini were spent at the Karijini Eco Retreat campground on the western part of the Park.  This is the same area where I did the canyoning trip, but we decided to spend a bit more time here to see some of the other gorges in our own time.    First up was Kalamina Gorge.  Not as deep as the other gorges and a rather corrugated 25km drive from the camp, but this had the advantage of making it less popular.

kalamina gorge
Kalamina Gorge
banded iron
Folded banded iron rocks in Kalamina Gorge
kalamina gorge pool
Serene views in Kalamina Gorge

kalamina gorge2

Various textures on the gorge rock floor

The following day we descended Weano Gorge, most of which is an easy walk except the last bit where a handrail and some steps have been installed to give access to the aptly named “handrail pool”.  From there one could wade another 100m down the gorge before the way is blocked by warning signs (in the good old days one could continue down into Red Gorge then back up Hancock Gorge – a rather hair-raising adventure where there was allegedly 1 rescue needed for every 300 visitors).

handrail pool walk 2
Descending Weano Gorge

steve handrail pool walk

weano handrail pool entry
The handrail leading to the eponymous pool

handrail pool

handrail pool panorama
Handrail Pool panorama.  I continued down the wade through the gap.   As Maddy was still not feeling 100%, she had a good excuse to not brave the water which was probably about 15 C.
weano crow
We had tea and biscuits at handrail pool while being watched by the local corvid.   This could be a Little Raven but is probably a Torresian Crow.   It’s hard to tell them apart unless they speak.
handrail pool exit
While the handrail sticks out like the proverbial, the steps have been thoughtfully made by bolting blocks of the local rock onto the wall.
oxers lo
After climbing out of Weano Gorge we walked to the nearby Oxer’s lookout where one can see the junction of 4 gorges.  Entering from the left is Weano Gorge.  Red Gorge continues down centre left.  Joffre Gorge enters on centre right and Hancock Gorge enters on the right 
joffre gorge
Later that afternoon we visited the falls at upper Joffre Gorge – a short walk from the camp site but involves a slightly exposed scramble to get down.  
joffre falls
While the falls were reduced to a trickle, it was still impressive to experience the dramatic amphitheater.
gorgeous gorge girl
On the way out Maddy is clearly happy to have the tricky scrambling bit behind her.

After over a week in the Karijini area, we started back towards the coast stopping at Hamersley Gorge for the morning before heading on to Millstream-Chichester National Park for the night.

hammersley gorge rock
More bent and buckled banded iron at Hamersley Gorge
hammersley gorge lower pools
Hamersley Gorge lower pool.  A bit chilly, but lovely swimming down between the banded cliffs
hammersley gorge upper pool
Upper pool at Hamersley Gorge

millstream park sign

deep reach
Millstream-Chichester, sounds like a quaint English village, but is mostly harsh arid shrubland.   However this stretch of the Fortesque River forms a large beautiful pool where water, which normally flows beneath the surface, is pushed up by the local geography.  At a push this could maybe remind one of the rolling green hills of England 
deep reach pool danger
Despite all the risks, I could not resist taking a dip.   The water was lovely.
milstream pool
Fortesque River Panorama
view from mt Herbert
Looking to the coastal plains from the summit of mighty Mount Herbert – at only 400m above sea level it was probably too low to justify an altitude risk sign.

pilbara purple flower

python pool
Python Pool – a perennial waterhole in Millstream Chichester NP.  
weird bird 1
After nearly 3 weeks without seeing a new bird, this one had me a bit excited.   However it turned out to be a Brown Songlark, which I had seen back in December so the bird drought continues.
mulla mulla flowers
Mulla mulla – a striking plant growing on the roadside through much of the Pilbara.


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