Karijini offers hikes for all kinds of fitness levels. However, it's quite a journey to come here and the most spectacular gorges Hancock and Weano are for the fit and adventurous only.
Karijini is one of our favourite National Parks in Australia. We visited the park already twice in different seasons. The best time to visit Karijini is late autumn, winter, and early spring (May - September); the dry season with the most pleasant temps. In April, the water level in the gorges may be too high to explore the entire slot canyons. During October, day temps can reach almost 40°C.
Update May 2020: The Karijini National Park was already reopened at the beginning of May. However, due to the Cyclone Damien some roads got flooded and damaged. The Weano Road is closed which means you can't enter Weano and Hancock Gorge at the moment. Knox Road is closed as well and the Circular Pool Walk remains closed. However, some awesome pools are still accessible; Hamersley Gorge, Fortescue Falls, Fern Pool, Joffre Gorge from the Eco Retreat, and Mount Bruce.
Read on for more insights and tips on how to avoid the crowds. Also, don't miss our '9 Must-Know Tips' at the end of this article!
Weather by Season and Month
The weather in Karijini National Park is influenced by the local steppe climate or, in other words: Mostly desert climate. It can get boiling hot, and there are a few months with lots of rain, which might spoil your adventure. Precipitation doesn't occur often, but if it rains, it pours. Check out our detailed monthly guide to find out more:
In September, temps are still bearable around 30°C. It's a fantastic month to visit the mindblowing National Park but come before the spring break. Swim through the chilly waterholes. You won't believe how cold these waterholes in the gorges are. Increasing day temps in October and November, which makes hiking in Karijini strenuous during the day. Start early morning to avoid the midday heat. Carry plenty of water.
Summer isn't got a good season for Karijini. Cyclones, heavy rainfall, and thunderstorms can happen during the rainy season from December to the end of March. Precipitation occurs on average just on 32 days in the entire year but the majority during summer. If it starts raining, you can't enter any of these gorges. Road closures may happen. You always have to monitor the forecast. Flash floods can occur, and the water is muddy. It is oven-hot, frequently topping 40°C. Even the information centre is closed from mid-December to late February.
Rain and thunderstorms can occur until the end of March. April is still hot, on average more than 30°C during the day. The gorges might be inaccessible until mid-April if there was too much precipitation before. May and June are great months for Karijini. There are huge waterholes where you have to wade and swim through. The water is freezing cold. It’s even more fun for the adventurous to climb to the different gorges, especially the well-known Weano Gorge. Pleasant day temps are ranging from 22°C to 26°C. Night temps are cool but above 10°C on average.
June is a perfect month to explore Karijini with its waterholes. In the winter months of June and July days are warm and clear with average daily temps of 22°C while night temps drop below 10°C. The existing waterholes are freezing. Hypothermia can happen; so be careful. You need a warm sleeping bag for camping; 0°C are possible during the night. There is a significant difference in the day and night temperatures during winter. It’s pleasant for hiking because of the low humidity.
Avoiding Crowds and Busy Times
In general, it's not very crowded. However, the season at Karijini starts during the Eastern Holiday until the end of October. It's busy at Easter, on weekends and during school holidays: Packed adventure tours, hectic campsites, and crowded spots. At this time the Karijini Eco Retreat, which is perfectly located, might be fully booked. Seriously, try to avoid Easter, the school holidays in winter (usually, the first two weeks in July), and the spring break at the end of September if possible!: Western Australia School Holidays 2019.
Where to Stay and Camping (Our Accommodation Tips)
Top accommodation tip: Karijini Eco Retreat (save this bookmark). Perfect location, utterly fantastic place! Excellent food and accommodating staff. We came here already twice; once we spent three nights in a cabin and again camping for five nights in 2019. We would book any time again. In the evening you can either have dinner in the restaurant or from the burger bar. They offer ice for cooling and ice cream as well, which we appreciated while camping. It's the closest accommodation with luxury tens and campground for Karijini close to Joffre Falls.
There are 114 campsites plus 12 group campsites available. The bush kitchen and BBQ are average. Solar shower and flush toilets are available but not in high number. If the Savannah campground is fully booked during the holidays; you may line up. The Eco tents with quality bedding and private bathroom were even at the end of the season in late September fully booked. If you prefer to stay at the Eco Retreat, book your tent in advance.
Karijini Eco Retreat; Dorm Cabins with shared bathroom (cheapest option)
Another option is the Dales campground at the eastern side of the park. It's basic bush camping without power or a shower; clean drop toilets only. A shower is available at the Information Center. We recommend staying at both campgrounds to enjoy as much as possible of the park. Don't come here in a rush. Karijini is one of the most adventures and mindblowing parks in Australia. Stay at least 5 nights to explore the many gorges.
If you want to visit the entire National Park, it is pretty convenient to stay in Tom Price. It always takes around one hour to get to the different entrances and gorges. There is an excellent bakery offering bread, pies, apple crumble, and coffee. Two liquor stores and a pharmacy are also located in the town centre. All in walking distance. Tom Price Tourist Park booking. It offers a mix of camping, fully equipped cabins, and backpacker rooms.