We were prepared for a long day on the road. It took us seven hours to drive to an over night road-side stop, called Beasley River, on-route to Karijini National Park.
The kids had done exceptionally well, truthfully, better then me!
They switch on a couple of movies, have one or two sessions on their gaming consoles and we get stuck into some school books to pass the time. At one stage I also remember singing out a loud to various JJJ like-a version songs…Pon working the back up vocals.
The scenery out the window, began to change dramatically, we begin to see trees again and pretty mountains were popping up everywhere. The contrast of colours was stunning. Bright red soiled mountain ranges were covered in tuffs of spinifex grass. Standing taller, were the white snappy gum trees that were dotted over the Pilbara country side. It was a delicious mix of Aussie textures that created some astonishing views! It was one view, the camera didn’t do justice.
The free range cattle that roam freely on the land that the A1 runs through is the only concern for travelers, you need a keen eye out so you don’t collide with these big rigs. Unfortunately many lay dead after they lost their battle with road trains and fellow travelers. (sleeping cows the kids will point out!)
Once we arrived at Beasley River rest stop, we decided to take a short walk to stretch the legs along the dried river bed. We collected some wood for a campfire. The kids enjoyed toasted marshmallows for dessert.
We hit the road again early for the second leg into Karijini, we reached the mining town of Tom Price by midday. It was an good spot to stop to look around and enjoy lunch whilst the kids tore around the awesome skatepark.
Back on the road we had another hour or so to reach our camp at Dales Campground. The dirt has become a deep red and the landscape is riddled with amazing mountain ranges. A good friend of mine worked in the nearby mine site in this area for a while. He recommended this place to us. I really enjoyed checking it all out first hand, to replace images I’ve only imagined it to look like from what he described all those year ago, with the real ones we’ve seen.
We arrived about 2pm at the campground and decided we would venture out and do the nearby, Dales Gorge walk that afternoon! After-all, we had only just spent two days stationary in the car, so the exercise would benefit all of us at this point!
Reaching the top of the gorge was amazing! The land looks flat until you approach the edge and then it’s like the earth opens up into a beautiful oasis. The gorge is full of so much plant life and water,
the greenery grows down amongst the ground and up high on the rocky ledges, it’s a beautiful site amidst the deep red rocks and bright turquoise water holes that are below you.
We make our descend down the steps towards the first waterfall and pool, the kids were pretty excited for the adventure, it seemed the harder it got, the more they enjoyed the challenge! We had to negotiate narrow ledges, stream crossings, big boulders and steep descents. They were troopers! Raff thought he was an experienced hiker after our Mandu Mandu gorge walk in Cape Range National Park, when we allowed him to lead majority of the way! His job was to keep a look out for the colored dots that kept us on the right track. Nix enjoyed experimenting with his voice echoing within the gorge often being mimicked by other hikers from either above or deep within the gorge somewhere!
Fallen trees where great pit stops. The boys climbed and balanced them between drinks before we kept going.
The sheer sound of nature was beautiful! Occasionally you would hear the sound of running water get louder and louder before coming across a cute little waterfall. The walk was far from boring! I kept stopping to turn a full 360 degrees whilst looking up and all around, it was rather hard to take in so much beauty whilst on the move.
We came across the circular pools at the end. Wow!!! Vibrant green ferns lined the pool in which the water was so blue and clear! Looking up above gave you a sense of achievement to know you had made it down into what felt like somewhere that humans just couldn’t access! This was far from the truth obviously, but when we stood there for a minute and once the small group of people left. It did feel like we had found the treasure at the end of a rainbow!
The boys stripped down to their undies and took a rewarding dip into the icy water! It was “swimmable and drinkable” Nix discovered! Sip sip swim! In a matter of MINUTES they retreated for some clothes feeling fresh as ever! “How cool was that!!” The both the kids were stoked!
We made our way back out of the gorge and up the steep staircase that hugged the cliffs. The kids were powering up and out of there like energizer bunnies. Pon and I were often calling out to Nix to stop and wait! To keep him in our sights and away from harms way! They exceeded our expectations of them and proved they were capable of great new adventure! Our time with these boys of ours, is only getting better as they push boundaries and learn from this new life of ours on the road. It’s incredible to witness…they are our greatest achievement. To say I’m proud of them is an understatement!
Heading back to camp, we were all looking forward to some homemade pizzas i’d pre made to throw on the BBQ.
It was nice to catch up with our friends Joel and Mel who called in with their boys Khai and Nash after their own hiking adventures and reflect upon each others stories.
The next day we were keen to set off and find another beautiful gorge to explore. We decided on the Weano gorge with the handrail pool. It was a pretty challenging one, so we knew it would keep the boys entertained! We had to scale very narrow ledges along running streams and hop stones to cross creeks till we reached the highest class 5 challange at the end. It was a vertical drop with only a handrail to hang on to. It guides you down a waterfall into the bottom of the gorge, we all had to straddle the waterfall upon approaching the handrail which got the heart pumping. It was so good! The reward at the end was unreal! The gorge opens up into an ampetheatre
type room, with an ice cold swimming pool to wash away the red dust. The water was super fresh and crystal clear. Leaving you feeling top of your game for the return leg. We enjoyed some lunch, soaking in the magnificence of it all before the hike back.
Once again, the kids survived it with only a few bumps and grazes and minimal distress. It was a successful mission, one that was well and truly worth the 700km journey into Karijini.