After getting my hair cut at 9:30am, (Tom Price time 9:45, plus an hour for the cut), we set off for our most looked forward to destination – Karijini.
The banded iron formations exposed in many of the rocks around the gorges are more than 2,500 million years old, as iron and silica-rich sediment deposits accumulated on an ancient sea floor. Over millions of years these deposits were transformed by the pressure of further sediments laid down over them, forcing trapped water to be driven out and gradually turning the sediments into tough, well-bedded rock.
Horizontal compression later caused the rocks to buckle, developing numerous vertical cracks, before lifting to the surface to form dry land. A sharp drop in sea-level caused the rivers to cut down rapidly through the land, creating sheer-sided gorges. This, combined with millions of years of erosion, has sculptured the rocks into the present landscape.
There are many dingoes here, heard howling at approx. 4:00am, and there is a little mouse, named the pebble mound mouse, which piles mounds of rocks up beside its home.
We have a site on the Euro Loop Road, one of seven loops, carefully planned and each loop well situated throughout the park. Every site has some bush between the next site and people with generators are in an area on their own.
The views from the sites aren’t as scenic as other parks, but the walks are unbelievable.
Today we walked to Circular Pool, where I declined to take a Class 4 track – walking down rocks, down the side of a cliff. Walked along the top of the gorge until we came to the Class 3 walk to Fortesque Falls, which then continues to Fern Pool. It was the best thing I have ever done, even though we had to walk down 150 steep steps (with hand rail for 1/8 of the way, then some light fencing and sturdy posts, the rest of the way and the odd tree).
Fortesque Falls was magnificent, and the gorge was one of the deepest ones we’ve been in so far. Many young European tourists swimming in the 8 degree temperature pool, having a wonderful time.
Walked on to Fern Pool, my favourite place of all time, so far. We had the area to ourselves for 15 minutes or so, then more tourists madly changing into their bathers, and diving in. The atmosphere changed, but nothing could change the stunning beauty of the place and the walk back meant we could enjoy it all over again.
Feeling frisky after their swim, they talked us into a bit of line-dancing! They never stop these guys. They were quite upset about the dirt here – it is attracted to them, it has magnetic properties. The static here is amazing here and I am constantly being ‘zapped’, as are other females, but not the guys.