14th – 16th June 2017
The next two days were spent in the mining town of Tom Price. Neat little town, well organised though the caravan park was a bit far out of town ($42/n). Washing, shopping, cooking and catching up on emails and internet filled our days.
We were all prepared to travel the Rio Tinto rail road with the required permit, having watched the videos on what you could and couldn’t do – like wear a red shirt .. it’s a danger signal to the train drivers. However the lady at the Tourist Info centre said the road was in pretty bad shape as lots of B Doubles were using it, recommending we take the Shire road instead to go to Millstream NP. Going this way we’ll be able to see another section of Karijini NP.
Friday 16th we headed off – the Shire road is unsealed and though it’s OK for 2WD it’s a bit rough and corrugated. We went as far as Hamersley Gorge on the north-west corner of Karijini NP. This Gorge has a similar red, layered rock, but the fold lines in the strata are amazing. This rock was folded like pastry a million years ago!
The river through the Gorge flows down sloping rocks forming small waterfalls and lovely pools before disappearing between narrow chasm walls to continue on. We jumped into the chilly water for a very refreshing and invigorating swim – thought briefly about swimming through the chasm to see the Gorge downstream, but without a wetsuit it was just too chilly for us. I enjoyed sitting under the waterfall with lots of 2 – 3 inch-long fish swimming around my feet.
The few people who were here when we arrived left and we spent a tranquil hour or so lazing on the sun-drenched rocks enjoying the total peace of this amazing place.
There’s no camping allowed here, however about 2km away, just outside the National Park, there’s a large, cleared area for free camping. It’s a top spot surrounded on all sides by mountains with Snappy Gums and spinifex providing dividers and shade for campers. Sundowners was greatly enjoyed watching the sunset on the hills.
Surprisingly this remote location has 4G – there’s a mine in the mountains to our north-west … that’s the reason for it.
To see more photos from our day at Hamersley Gorge CLICK HERE.