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Journeys : August September 2009
Destinations chance to behold what is often described by locals as ‘the greatest view in Outback Australia’, Oxer Lookout. Here four inspiring gorges, Red Gorge, Weano Gorge, Joffre Gorge and Hancock Gorge, meet to create a photographer’s delight. For the more intrepid and energetic, it’s possible to access the depths of these gorges via walking trails that allow an appreciation of these wonders from below. The gorges often offer excellent swimming opportunities while the trails within them have been graded into six classes – class six being the most challenging. However the Spider Walk in Hancock Gorge and the Handrail Pool in Weano Gorge, both class five walks, can be enough to elevate the heart rate and give the visitor a surge of adrenaline. A little over forty kilometres from the Weano Recreational Area is the impressive Karijini Visitor Centre. Shaped like a goanna moving through the landscape, the centre represents the symbol of the Banyjima Aboriginal people. The Centre opens the way to Dales, the second of Karijini’s recreational areas. Here again the motorist gains great benefit from lookouts being strategically-placed near parking areas so that Fortescue Falls in Dales Gorge can be admired after a short walk. Also by taking advantage of comfortable class two and class three walks, the stirring Fortescue Falls and the delightful swimming site of Fern Pool are both within reach. The return trip to Tom Price need not be by the same route – the sealed Karijini Drive provides a smooth, quick journey back to base. From Tom Price, another short drive accesses more excellent views because overlooking the town is Mt Nameless or Jarndrunmunhna. This is Western Australia’s highest mountain with vehicular access. The road access is for 4-wheel drives only, but it can be reached by a walking trail. Treasure can come in many guises and in the Pilbara it is mainly seen in its economic form, which is iron ore. However the Pilbara’s wealth is more extensive than that with its riches also in the form of natural features, especially its stunning gorges. As Napoleon Bonaparte said, ‘Wealth is not in the possession of treasures, it is the use one can make of them.’ A drive through Karijini is an easy way for all Australians to make use of the riches the Pilbara has to offer. Fortescue Falls in Dales Gorge Fern Pool, in Dales Gorge, Karijini National Park August / September 09 19
June July 2009
October November 2009