Karijini National Park
Karijini is one of our favourite National Parks in Australia. The best times to travel are late autumn, winter, and early spring (April to October); the dry season. The most pleasant day temps can be experienced from May to September. 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
September temps are still bearable around 30°C. It’s a good month to visit the mindblowing National Park and swimming through the refreshing waterholes. Increasing 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 is not 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 boiling hot and frequently topping 40°C. Even the information center is closed from mid-December to mid-February.
Rain and thunderstorms can occur until the end of March. April is still hot on average more than 30°C on daytime. 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 still waterholes where you have wade and to 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 temps are ranging from 22°C to 26°C at daytime. 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 cold. Hypothermia can happen; so be careful. You need a warm sleeping bag for camping; 0°C can occur during the night. There is a significant difference in the temperature at day and night during winter. It’s pleasant for hiking due to the low humidity.
More detailed weather insights including precipitation at Meteoblue - Climate Karijini National Park
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 school holidays in winter if possible! Usually, it's the first two weeks in July: Western Australia School Holidays 2019.
Where to Stay (Our Acommodation Tips)
Karijini Eco Retreat; Dorm Cabins with shared bathroom (cheapest option)
Top budget tip: Karijini Eco Retreat (save this bookmark). Perfect location, utterly amazing place. Excellent food and very helpful staff. We spent three nights here and would book any time again. It's the closest accommodation for Karijini close to Joffre Falls.
The other option is the Dales campground at the eastern side of the park. It's basic bush camping without power, clean drop toilets. 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.
Karijini is the second largest National Park in Western Australia. Aboriginal people of different tribes are the owners. It was formerly known as Hamersley Range National Park and got renamed in 1991. Karijini means Hamersley Range by the Banyjima Tribe. The information center offers many interesting facts about the history and plenty of hiking trails. It is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (April to October) and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (November to March, but closed from mid-December to mid-February). The information center is easily accessible on a paved road close to Dales Gorge.
When we visited Karijini end of March in 2015, the water was muddy and several roads were flooded. We got an impression what heavy rainfall can cause. There are only gravel roads to the spectacular gorges. I would recommend a 4 WD. Finally, the road to the Eco Retreat is paved now. The road to Dales Gorges is paved as well. Be aware Tom Price exists for the mine workers only. Therefore accommodations are overpriced and are not a good option in our opinion. The prices for food in the supermarket are normal. I recommend camping at the Eco Retreat to drive less and to enjoy the brilliant night sky.
9 Must-Know Tips and Facts
- Most areas of the southern half of the park are inaccessible. Visitors focus on the stunning gorges in the northern part, with their rock pools, waterfalls and unique wildlife to view.
- Explore! Deep canyons winding endlessly through red rock walls. Find hidden waterfalls with their own private swimming pools, tall gorges, ancient trees and so much more. Consider booking a local tour if you are an inexperienced hiker. Each gorge has its own difficulty level. Level 5 in the Joffre Gorge or the Handrail Pool at the lower Weano Gorge are for more experienced hikers.
- Mount Bruce is a beautiful hike to watch the sunrise with a spectacular scenery from the top. The trail is 10 km long and takes about 2.5 hours one way. Bring a torch and breakfast for the early morning hike. It gets pretty hot during the day. Hat, sunscreen, and plenty of water are essential.
- Be prepared with a fly net for the face shortly after the rainy season during the day when thousands of annoying flies are trying to get into your eyes or nose.
- Stay back from dangerous cliff edges with loose rocks near their edges. They are often about 100 meters high.
- Flash floods can occur and are extremely dangerous. Do not enter gorges if there is rain. If it starts raining while you are in a gorge, leave immediately.
- The water in gorge pools can be icy. Be careful especially when they are deeper from March to May. Avoid diving or staying in the water for extended periods as hypothermia can occur.
- During summer, it can get extremely hot: Above 40°C. Bring plenty of water if you visit in summer.
- Dingoes are common around the Dales campground. They may scavenge for food and can become aggressive at times. Do not feed them, supervise children and walk in groups.
More Useful information, maps and hiking trails: Karijini Nationa Park Brochure