Broome – Karijini NP
KLMS Travelled: 8,498
We’ve made it coast to coast! Driving up to Broome, we found a great free camping spot at a pearl farm in Willie Creek – it was so good to see the sea again – we’d missed it on our trek through the middle! We parked up on the headland, which had a stunning view across the bright blue ocean – although frustratingly, the promise of a cool dip after a long drive was quickly aborted when we came across the croc warning signs!
Taking a few days out in Broome, it was good to get back on top of blogs/emails/photos/laundry and cleaning the car which is full of about 3inches of dust. The car also seemed to be making a strange creaking sound which had been gradually getting worse so we decided that we’d get it checked over to make sure it wasn’t anything serious. It’s hard not to feel nervous anytime the car makes unusual noises as we’re conscious that she’s an old girl and she’s got a long way to go. But, no sooner had we decided to take her to the mechanics, the noise seemed to miraculously disappear the next day? So we pointed her South and kept going keeping our fingers tightly crossed!
Our next destination was Karijini NP, a place that had come highly recommended by the camping legends the Schwind Family, who thoroughly vetted our trip before we left. En route, we stayed at Cape Keraudren, an amazing spot on the coast managed by a crazy warden and his pet roos – i still can’t comprehend how people live such lonely and remote lives, but he seemed content with his family of Kangaroos, all of which were rescue cases which he’d nursed back to health, but following their recovery they’d decided life was pretty good hanging out with him, so had stayed.
The drive to Karijini isn’t pleasant – unfortunately outside the paradise of the national park the surrounding areas are all big iron ore mining areas. The huge road trains thunder up and down the highway and with their speed firmly set at 110km/hr, they are very intolerant of cruisey travellers like us who bumble along at 90km/hr! Feeling rather harassed by the time we turned into the park we were relieved to find a camp spot at Dales Gorge campsite inside the sanctuary of Karijini. The park is famous for it’s deep gorges, waterfalls and swimming holes and we spent the next couple of days getting our fix of all 3. The highlight had to be walking into Hancock Gorge as the rain the previous day meant there was more water in there. There were sections where we had to take our boots off and paddle through, but each section seemed to get deeper and deeper until we had to ditch all of our gear on a rock ledge and swim for it. At the end we had to scramble down waterfalls into the bottom of the gorge to get to a deep swimming hole. It was so stunning that Rich went back for the camera which he then had to swim back with one arm holding the camera up in the air and out of the water. Really should have got a Go Pro before we left!!
We camped at the Eco Retreat the second night, but in hindsight should have just gone back to Dales. Eco Retreats generally mean you pay a lot of money for the privilege of cold showers& basic toilets all in the name of saving the planet, which i’m all up for, but I can also be eco to my wallet as well and stay in an NP campground for $14 a night!