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Western Australia Roadtrip, July 2010

Day 8: Tom in Joffre Gorge, Karijini NP

Day 8: Joffre Gorge, Karijini NP

Day 8: Tom in Joffre Gorge

Day 8: We wore our volleys everyday in Karijini :)

Day 8: Tom in Joffre Gorge (we lilo this pool a few days later)

Day 8: Tom scrambling in Joffre Gorge

Day 8: Tree and termite mound next to our campsite

Day 9: Tom descending into Hancock Gorge. This ladder is about 200m from the carpark. The gorges are all very accessible which is why it is easy for people to get into trouble and then need to get rescued.

Day 9: Tom in Hancock Gorge. The rock was pretty cool to climb on.

Day 9: Tom in Hancock Gorge.

Day 9: Tom on the "Spider Walk", Hancock Gorge. We didn't get our feet wet in this gorge.

Day 9: Kermit's Pool, Hancock Gorge

Day 9: Tom above Regan's Pool, Hancock Gorge. To go beyond here you need to either jump/abseil this drop or there is an exposed traverse above Tom.

Day 9: Hancock Gorge

Day 9: the photographer at work in Hancock Gorge

Day 9: Tom reversing the spider walk on our way out

Day 9: Weano Gorge. Once you've done Hancock Gorge you just hop back up to the car park and drop off the other side and just as quickly you're in Weano Gorge, it's only 9:30am!

Day 9: Tom about to descend to Handrail Pool

Day 9: One of many slightly precarious phototaking positions used by the photographer. From Handrail Pool you can continue further down the "Class 5" sections to a waterfall. To get to that point we got about chest deep in water - we had planned on wetsuiting up (thinking we should be reasonable blah, blah) but ended up just going in our swimmers (like every other man and his dog). I didn't take my camera, Tom took his (at times hanging from rocks while chest deep in water, with camera clenched between his teeth) and has some photos from that section. To get beyond the waterfall (which is the start of the "Class 6" section) involves a step-round on a potentially slippery ledge (a slip would result in falling a few metres and be messy).

Day 9: Tom climbing out of Handrail Pool

Day 9: Tom climbing out of Handrail Pool (how did it get its name?), Weano Gorge. This was about 10:30am - we had arrived here at 9:30am and were basically the only ones... tourists don't arrive till about 10am

Day 9: Tom in Weano Gorge

Day 9: One of the reasons there is a lot of regulation of these gorges is due to the death of a rescuer a few years ago. This memorial tells the story (unfortunately this low res photo doesn't have enough detail)

Day 9: We hung around after checking out the lookouts (they clearly weren't exciting enough for me to take any photos) and then late in the afternoon we went back into Weano. This is the exact point where the gorge becomes scary and dangerous. It goes from a Class 3 trail to a Class 5 Trail in the space of a metre :)

Day 9: Tom photographing in Weano Gorge

Day 9: Tom photographing in Weano Gorge

Day 9: Tom trying to avoid the pool at the start of Weano Gorge

Day 9: Tom still trying to avoid the pool at the start of Weano Gorge

Day 10: Tom in Knox Gorge

Day 10: Tom abseiling in Knox Gorge, Karijini NP. The WA DEC is obsessed with risk/safety and after a number of rescues in the Karijini gorges implemented some rules about who was allowed to do the so-called "Class 6" sections of the gorges. We got an early start and took on Knox Gorge (illegally) - it has 2 short abseils (the one in this photo is normally jumped) - far less technical than most of the canyons we do in the Blue Mountains. Once down Knox Gorge we floated on air mattresses down Red Gorge. The water in Red Gorge was freezing (it is the middle of winter and it doesn't really get any sun) - we were pretty cold and would have been in a bit of strife without our floatation. It was a great day out - my favourite for the trip.

Day 10: Tom abseiling in Knox Gorge

Day 10: Tom on the second abseil in Knox Gorge

Day 10: Tom on the second abseil in Knox Gorge

Day 10: Tom swimming across the first pool in Red Gorge (photo taken from the end of Knox Gorge). It didn't take much swimming before he advised me I'd be better off blowing up my air mattress where I was since the water was so cold.

Day 10: Looking back to Knox Gorge entry into Red Gorge

Day 10: We then paddled on our air mattresses down Red Gorge. The water was freezing, so given I was on an airmattress, shivering uncontrollably at times, I didn't taken any photos... This is a bit later in the day when we've turned into Joffre Gorge which gets sun and so we've warmed up.

Day 10: Tom on his "pool pony" (as he insisted on calling it) in Joffre Gorge

Day 10: enjoying lunch in the sun - all up our jaunt down Knox and then paddle up Red/Joffre to the exit took about 4 hours

Day 10: all of the gorges were signposted like this (it wasn't really a scree slope more like a scramble up a boulder-filled gully)

Day 10: Knox Gorge Lookout

Day 10: Again we hung around at the carpark and went back into Knox in the late afternoon to take photos.

Day 10: Another precarious spot

Day 11: We took our air mattresses for another spin the next day. This time paddling down Joffre Gorge. Mine got a leak so we only went a few hundred metres and had a picnic lunch at this lovely spot - needless to say with no one else in sight since it was only accessed by swimming/floating

Day 11: Later in the day we drove back to the Hancock carpark and headed down Hancock again for a late afternoon photo shoot

Day 11: Hancock Gorge - flash flooding is a definite risk here - see where the log is jammed...

Day 11: Hancock Gorge

Day 11: Tom checking out the exposed traverse in Hancock Gorge (this was as far as he went). The next metre was the crux of the traverse.

Day 12: After 4 nights camping on the Western side of the park (at the Karijini Eco-Resort) we moved camp to the Eastern side (Dales Campground). Kalamina Gorge is about halfway in between.

Day 12: Tom skirting the water in Kalamina Gorge. This is a less visited gorge but we had a great time scrambling around the ledges and avoiding getting wet

Day 12: The highlight of Kalamina Gorge is meant to be Rock Arch Pool. It wasn't a full arch...

Day 12: Tom in the "arch"

Day 12: we explored a bunch of the side creeks in Kalamina Gorge (none of them went very far)

Day 12: Fortescue Falls. We thought the Western end of the park was busy but the Eastern end was much more crowded. (Maybe because it is accessible by sealed road instead of dirt?)

Day 12: Paperbark tree

Day 12: Tom at Circular Pool

Day 12: Tom overlooking Dales Gorge - the main gorge at the Eastern end of the park. It is home to Fortescue Falls and Circular Pool and hundreds of tourists.

Day 12: Karijini Eco-Retreat campground to Dales Campground (60km) Karijini NP is large - we spent our first 4 nights on the western side near the best gorges then 1 night on the eastern side near the easier/more touristy gorges & sealed road

Day 13: Tom part of the way up Mt Bruce. I hadn't been that keen to do this walk - it didn't inspire me - maybe "Bruce" was the reason for this. It turned out to be a great walk - great ridge, some scrambling and lots of variety. The other advertised selling point is the views of the mine which can be seen the whole way - once part of the NP the land was excised so it could be mined.

Day 13: Tom on the summit ridge of Mt Bruce

Day 13: Tom at the summit of Mt Bruce

Day 13: This part of the world has large quantities of corellas - this one was raiding the rubbish bins at the Tom Price caravan park.

Day 13: Karijini to Tom Price (125km) We headed back to Tom Price to resupply and also visited Mt Bruce on the way (part of the NP but nowhere near the campgrounds)

Day 14: Hammersley Gorge map

Day 14: Tom in Hamersley Gorge. We visited this on our way out of Tom Price - again it is part of Karijini but nowhere near the gorges we visited a few days earlier.

Day 14: Tom Price to Crossing Pool campsite, Millstream Chichester National Park (254km)

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