This is a spectacular and arduous walk in Karijini National Park in far north-west Australia. If you're thinking of doing it, read the warnings below first. It includes many of the more popular areas, such as Dales, Kalamina, Knox, Hancock, Weano and Joffre Gorges, but also has a fair bit of open country walking.
I did this walk with friends Dave, Judy, Ian, Peta and Helen in July 2008. Many thanks to Ian and Peta for planning the route, distributing maps and walking info, providing the lilos and other useful gear, grocery shopping and food drops. The least I can do in return is recommend some of their outdoor gear. I've been using a WE pack for about 15 years and it's still comfortable and going strong. Extra thanks to Dave and Ian for superior navigation skills.
We spent 8 days walking and paddling the route indicated above, relying on food drops at Dales Gorge, Joffre Falls and Weano Gorge,
Warning: Very little of this walk is on marked trails. Many of the slopes and cliffs are made of sharp and crumbly rock. The vegetation can be extremely spiky. You will need the appropriate maps and a compass and you need to know how to use them. There's no mobile phone coverage. Water can be either scarce or torrential. Don't go into the gorges if rain is likely. In winter the temperature will get below freezing at night and in summer it will often be much hotter than 40°C. Parts of the walk involve swimming and floating your pack, and the water can be cold. The route on the map above was plotted a few months after the walk and may not be accurate.
This walk is covered by the following 1:50,000 topographic maps
- Mount George 2653-3
- Joffre 2553-2
- Mulga Downs (Optional. Shows the last few km of the track in the floor of Bee Gorge to the Wittenoom Road)