Karinjini has a couple of campgrounds. We were told that Dales Gorge campground was the one to go to so we headed there. It’s got about 150 sites and was filled every night that we stayed. We checked in with the camp hosts and were allocated a site. Near us were two people in a Jayco Swift camper. The wife looked with envy at our toilet tent. I think they were doing it primitive compared to us! We also met up with some people we had talked to at Barn Hill – Mick and Pat and had another chat with them.
The first afternoon we walked along the rim of the gorge and swam in the two pools there. The first pool wasn’t as nice to swim in as the second one – it had a duckboard walkway and stairs down to the water where you got in going down a ladder. No wasting time getting in – if someone was waiting!
We did a day trip to Newman. Just outside was an aboriginal community with a big sign saying “Visitors Welcome” which was unusual – normally there are ‘no entry’ signs at the gates. So we drove in and saw a sign that said that they had won a tidy town award in 2010. We think that not a scrap of rubbish has gone in a bin since then! It was a cross between an auto wrecking yard and McRobie’s Gully!
We looked for the Visitor’s Centre at Newman to get some info about things to see at Newman. Handy Hint number one: The toilets at most visitor centres are nice and clean – that’s where we always head first after a long trip!
We bumped into Mick and Pat again and they were doing the same as us. We got a map and some information and did the sights around Newman. It’ s the biggest iron ore mine in the world. It was all very interesting.
On the way back home to our camp, we went on a bush track to find some aboriginal petroglyphs. They were on rocks round a river bed. The area was really peaceful and we roamed around looking at all the pictures for some time.
The following day we went to some other gorges within the national park – Kalamina and Weano Gorges.
Kalamina was very interesting and nothing like the gorges of the Northern Territory. It had the rich Pilbara red layers on the sides of the gorge and nice flat rocks that formed the base. It was peaceful with running water and pools all the way along.
Weano Gorge was a wider gorge and you had to wade through water at the bottom. The walk was a bit more difficult – you had to do a bit of rock climbing as well. We were glad we were wearing our Teva sandals! They might not be a fashion statement, but we didn’t have to take them off like everyone else who had their shoes with their laces tied and hanging around their necks. The end pool was spectacular, all the more because you had to walk down a steep waterfall holding onto a handrail.
This part was graded number 5 in walk difficulty so I was proud to say I’d done it. We left a lot younger than us opting out of doing that bit. After some bits of the Ayre’s rock climb it wasn’t too bad!
We stayed one more day after that to just relax and enjoy a last few swims in the water holes at Dales Gorge, then packed up to head towards Ningaloo.