I would share some of my favourite photos from our recent trip to Karijini, a few weeks ago. My husband was attending his Football reunion in Newman where he grew up. As a keen landscape photographer that sounded like the perfect opportunity to me, to extend the trip for a couple of days longer so I could visit Karajini and experience that stunning part of our state.
The drive to Newman from Geraldton was long but so much more beautiful than I could have imagined, considering we were travelling through the desert. There was an abundance of wild life, my favourite being the incredible Wedge Tail Eagles. We stopped a few times but they flew away. After driving past a couple eating a dead Kangaroo on the side of the road, we turned the car around and drove back slowly enough not to scare them away. This one must have been hungry enough to keep eating as I crept close enough to get some shots. It was an amazing experience to watch such a magnificent bird.
Mick dragged the dead Roo off the road so the Eagles could safely eat without becoming the next casualty.
Leaving Newman we stopped in to fuel up on the outskirts of town and noticed some Sturt Desert Pea growing besides a fuel tank. The colours of these desert flowers are amazing!
Continuing on the scenic drive through the desert to Karijini, we stopped to photograph wild Dingos hiding in the Spinifex, just off the highway. I was so excited to see them in their natural habitat, I grabbed my Canon 6D and 70-200mm lens. Mick was whistling which kept the dingo curious and looking our way.
Luckily we got some pretty good weather besides the extreme cold, there was no rain or flooding to deal with.
Arriving in Karijini our first stop was Dale's Gorge which was busy with plenty of tourists enjoying diving and swimming at stunning Fortescue Falls. Deeper into Dale's Gorge is beautiful Fern Pool. The time of day wasn't suitable for photography with the bright sun light, so we are planning on returning to Dale's Gorge on our next trip. There was plenty of bird life though, with the Cockatoos all paired up in the trees.
We travelled along the bumpy gravel roads to Eco Retreat through the spectacular Karijini National Park, with a stop off at the Visitors Centre. I highly recommend a visit, they have some amazing photographs and history of the Banyjima Aboriginal people who are the traditional owners of the land.
Karajini Eco Retreat is situated a short walk from Joffre Gorge. Once checked into our luxury tent, we headed into Joffre ready for some late afternoon photos of Joffre Falls. The first leg was relatively easy but we needed to get right into the gorge which meant some scary climbing in certain places. Once we arrived at Joffree Falls the view was just stunning!
Joffre Falls KarajiniBeautiful waterfall situated within the Joffre Gorge, Karajini National Park
The best time of day for these shots is right before and after sunset. Due to the difficult and often dangerous climb down the gorge, we planned to get out agian before it got dark. On our way out I slipped over on a rock I was using as a stepping stone and landed in the freezing water! For a while I found it hard to move my arm and gave us both quiet a scare. Bruised and wet we managed to get to the top. Luckily my husband is experienced in safety and rescue and helped me back out haha. The hazards of being a photographer... it was so worth it though!
Hamersley Gorge was our last visit before heading home the following day. The colours of the landscape are incredible. Hamersley is classified as one of the easier of the Gorges to get into. Royalties for regions scheme has provided funds for steps to be built down into the gorge, so much easier than climbing down loose rocks and cliffs.
I am so grateful to have had Mick's help, as he was able to go up ahead to check out the difficulty involved in getting to the waterfall and Spa Pool. He found the safest way for me to get there, with him carrying all the gear of course. He wasn't going to trust me with it, not to drop or damage it! After much anticipation I finally got to see this amazing place I have seen many other photographers images of, prior to our trip.
We climbed out safely with no more mishaps and sadly said goodbye to Karijini.... until next time. There is so much more to see, do and photograph I just can't wait for our next trip back.