Pilbara – Karijini and Chichester Ranges

Explore Karijini and the Chichesters over ten glorious Pilbara days. Red earth, spinifex, cool deep gorges and magnificent mountain vistas. $2,890pp – 10 Days ex Newman, challenging terrain, 75km

The spectacular Pilbara region in Australia’s North West is renowned for its ancient iron-rich ranges, the dramatic gorges of Karijini, unique flora and vivid red earth. This trip takes us into the heart of the Pilbara, exploring much of the diversity that the region has to offer.

Our Karijini National Park tour is designed to give you an in depth walking tour of Karijini as well as taking a good look at the Chichester Range. There is plenty of time to swim in many of the gorges and ample time to relax and take in the tranquil atmosphere and beautiful landscapes of the Pilbara. By flying into Newman and out of Karratha we have minimised driving time.

Please note that this is one of our camping-based tours, with all camping equipment provided (see Accommodation section below for details).

Karijini National Park tour at a glance

  • 10 days
  • Ex-Newman
  • Excellent camping gear with one tent per person
  • New model 4wd truck with forward facing seats
  • The only walking focused tour in the Pilbara

 

Tour Length:
10 Days
Distance walked:
Various walk lengths up to 10km
Difficulty:
Moderate to challenging; See FAQ
Dates:
23. Apr – 2. May 2018
6 – 15. May 2018

Highlights of this walk

Enjoy walking, swimming in the gorges of Karijini and relaxing in the ancient Pilbara landscape.

 

Walking Tour Itinerary

We start our tour in Newman and head north up to Karijini, where we take in some of the world’s most striking features and landscapes. Our leisurely pace allows plenty of time to soak in the feel of the Pilbara and to swim in the many idyllic swimming holes. We spend five full days in Karijini walking, swimming, exploring and relaxing. The tour finishes in Karratha where you can fly back home with memories that will last a lifetime.
Some of the walks are easy and some are quite challenging, but all are spectacular and you are often rewarded with a refreshing swim at the end. You only carry a day pack as you walk and there is often the option to turn back when you wish. All walks are less than 10 km but each has its challenges. The terrain is rocky and there is a lot of ascending and descending – both for the peaks and the gorge walks. A reasonable level of fitness, mobility and balance is required to fully enjoy the trip.
N/B The itinerary may vary according to conditions and advice.
Day 1 Arrive in Newman

Day 1 Arrive in Newman

If you arrive on either the 1.10 pm or 3.10 pm Qantas flight we can collect you from Newman airport. Otherwise make your way to the Kalgan’s Rest Caravan Park before 5 pm to meet the rest of the group.

After a tent 101 session we’ll head up to Telegraph Hill for sunset and a trip briefing.

Accommodation: Kalgan’s Rest Caravan Park

Meals: D

Day 2 to Karijini via Mt Robinson

Day 2 to Karijini via Mt Robinson

This evening we’ll be in Karijini! But first we’ve got a mountain to climb. A steady walk up the the first main peak of Mt Robinson give us wonderful views of the typical Pilbara landscape and ranges. It’s a medium walk with a steady ascent and descent on a loose rocky track.

We’ll set up camp and relax into our home away from home for the next five nights at Karijini.

Accommodation: Karijini National Park – Eco Retreat campground

Meals: BLD

Day 3 Dales Gorge

Day 3 Dales Gorge

We’ll spend the day exploring Dales Gorge, with Circular Pool, Fortescue Falls and Fern Pool all offering wonderful swimming opportunities.

The walking is mostly easy today but with a steep descent and ascent into and out of the gorge. There are some low rock ledges and stepping stones over shallow water to negotiate – typical of most day’s walks in Karijini.

Accommodation: Karijini National Park – Eco Retreat campground

Meals: BLD

Day 4 Knox Gorge and Joffre Gorge

Day 4 Knox Gorge and Joffre Gorge

We’ll spend the morning enjoying Knox Gorge. It’s a steep descent into the gorge with some loose rock but there’s no prize for first place so we’ll take our time and then enjoy wandering beneath the towering gorge walls as far as we can go.

After lunch we’ll climb down some fairly large boulders into Joffre Gorge. Here we’ll find a natural amphitheatre, with waterfall and delightful paddling pool. A little further down the gorge it drops into the ‘Olympic Swimming Pool’ which is around a 200m swim with sheer cliffs either side.

Accommodation: Karijini National Park – Eco Retreat campground

Meals: BLD

Day 5 Mt Bruce

Day 5 Mt Bruce

Mt Bruce is Western Australia’s second highest peak. The Mt Bruce walk trail is a fantastic ridge walk, with some steep and rocky sections along the route. From one side you’ll have the vista of Karijini Range; from the other an iron ore mine! The 9.5 km return walk will take us most of the day and is definitely worth the effort.

Accommodation: Karijini National Park – Eco Retreat campground

Meals: BLD

Day 6 Kalamina Gorge

Day 6 Kalamina Gorge

The focus today is to take a breath and relax, and Kalamina is the perfect gorge to do this in. Bring a book or your diary, or just soak up the atmosphere of this lovely gorge with its waterfall, many cascades and reflective pools.

Accommodation: Karijini National Park – Eco Retreat campground

Meals: BLD

Day 7 Hancock and Weano Gorge

Day 7 Hancock and Weano Gorge

We’ll pack up camp this morning before heading out to explore two of the most iconic gorges in Karijini – Hancock and Weano. The walks are challenging in places, but not difficult. Both involve some wading and clambering on rocks and ledges; and both reward us with fantastic jade pools nestled deep within the narrow gorge walls.

In the afternoon we’ll say goodbye to Karijini and head for Tom Price to stay at the caravan park.

Meals: BLD

Day 8 Mt Jarndunmunha (Mt Nameless)

Day 8 Mt Jarndunmunha (Mt Nameless)

We can walk directly from our camp to climb Mt Jarndunmunha this morning. It’s a fairly steady ascent all the way to the summit but the views over Tom Price and surrounds are great.

We’ll be down by lunchtime and you’ll have free time in the afternoon – catch up on some washing or relax by the pool perhaps.

Accommodation: Tom Price caravan park

Meals: BLD

Day 9 Hamersley Gorge and Millstream

Day 9 Hamersley Gorge and Millstream

We break up a fairly big day of driving with a swim and explore of Hamersley Gorge, on the western edge of Karijini National Park.

After lunch we move on to the campground at Millstream Chichester National Park. We’ll enjoy the tranquility of the late afternoon light playing on the spinifex-covered hills as we take an easy walk from our camp.

Meals: BLD

Day 10 Camel Trail and to Karratha

Day 10 Camel Trail and to Karratha

After packing up our last camp, our day starts with a great 8 km walk in the Chichester Range from Mt Herbert to Python Pool.

After lunch and one last swim we drive to Karratha, arriving in time for an evening flight, or you may wish to stay overnight and fly home tomorrow.

Details about accommodation, what to bring, transportation, food, etc.
Details about accommodation, what to bring, transportation, food, etc.

Accommodation

This is one of our two camping tours (the other one is the Kimberley). Each night we camp in designated campgrounds, staying between one and five nights at each location.

All camping equipment is provided, except sleeping bags and pillows. The tents are spacious three person dome tents, which will be used for one or two people if you are coming as a couple. A thick self inflating mattress is provided to sleep on. If you’ve never put up a tent before, don’t worry, we’ll help you become an expert in no time.

There are long-drop toilets and showers all the way with the exception of no showers at Millstream (1 night only). There is also ample opportunity for swimming on most days.

The only washing machines are at the Tom Price caravan park. Water is available for bucket washing of clothes. We find that clothes get so dirty and dusty you might as well keep wearing the same ones!

What to bring

Luggage: Due to health and safety requirements, please limit your luggage to one small-medium sized, soft sided bag per person – it has to be loaded and unloaded many times. 12 kg should be sufficient. If you’re travelling as a couple, please pack two smaller bags rather than one large one. Sleeping bag, pillow, day pack and walking poles can be additional to your main luggage bag.

Suggested items to pack for your Pilbara walking tour:

  • Pillow, sleeping bag and sleeping sheet (in a sturdy plastic bag if they don’t fit in your luggage);
  • Day-pack – one with a waist strap is best to help take some weight off your shoulders;
  • Shorts or trousers and shirts for walking – lightweight and quick-dry material are best;
  • Casual clothing for evenings and rest days;
  • Warm clothing in case of cold evenings and mornings – jumper, tracksuit pants, beanie;
  • Waterproof jacket;
  • Walking socks;
  • Comfortable, sturdy walking shoes or boots (ankle support is recommended as many surfaces are rocky and uneven);
  • Reef sandals or shoes for walking in water. Make sure they have good grip even when they’re wet;
  • Ankle gaiters/sock protectors suitable for hot weather (not plastic);
  • Sun protection – hat, sunglasses, sunscreen (and consider your clothing);
  • Bathers and small swimming towel (lightweight so you can easily carry them);
  • Bath towel;
  • Toiletries, hand sanitiser and personal medication;
  • Reliable headlamp with spare batteries (much better than a torch because you can use both hands when wearing a headlamp);
  • Any preferred first aid supplies such as blister treatment (your guides will carry a first-aid kit);
  • Water bottle/s – 2 to 3 litre capacity;
  • Fly net (to go over hat);
  • Insect Repellent;
  • Camera and charger/batteries (You can use your battery charger on the bus while we are driving). A waterproof camera is great for the many swimming holes;
  • Walking poles if you use them;
  • A lunch container so your sandwich doesn’t get squashed;
  • Snacks for the walks if desired.

At this time of year (May/June) the days are typically clear and warm (average max 25 to 29°C) and the nights are usually mild but can get quite cold (average min 11 to 14°C).

Not Included:

  • Travel insurance (recommended)
  • Personal expenses (laundry, phone calls etc)
  • Alcohol and carbonated drinks
  • Pre and post tour accommodation
  • Flights

Food

You will be surprised at just how good the food is despite our remoteness and lack of facilities. Breakfast comprises cereals, fruit and toast, with the occasional cooked breakfast thrown in. Lunch is cold meats and salads as sandwiches, rolls or wraps. Dinner is a simple but yummy two course meal.

In addition, morning tea is provided and fresh fruit is available at all times. We are not allowed to have campfires in either of the national parks; food is cooked on gas stoves. All eating utensils are provided.

You may bring a small amount of alcohol with you, either in casks or cans – we can’t take glass. There will be an opportunity to purchase alcohol and other supplies during the tour when we stay in Tom Price. There is very limited capacity for cooling drinks.

Transport

Transport throughout the tour is via our air conditioned 15 seater coach. We will also take a second 4WD support vehicle.

Please arrange your own flights to and from the Pilbara.

Flights to Newman are operated by Qantas and Virgin. We can pick you up from the airport from any of the afternoon flights.

Flights from Karratha are also operated by Virgin and Qantas. We can drop you at the airport in time for the flights leaving at 4.20; or we’ll take you to your accommodation in Karratha or Dampier if you choose to stay the night.

This walk includes

Camping and entrance fees

All camping and park entrance fees are included

Emergency support

Wilderness first aid trained guides carry radios, satellite phones and a full first aid kit so you can walk without worry.

Excellent itinerary and planning

Drawn from 14 years experience.

icon-tent
High quality camping equipment

We’ll provide you with a spacious tent, camp bed, mattress, eating utensils and camp chair

icon-meals
Meals prepared in our camp kitchen

Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks are provided.

icon-tour-guide
Professional guides and experienced outback driver

Our crew will see that your experience is enjoyable, relaxing, safe and extraordinary. Leave the heavy work to us while you soak in the magic.

About Walking Tours In General

How hard are the walks?

The difficulty of the walks ranges from tour to tour, from easy to challenging. We design all of our walking tours to be achievable for those with a moderate level of fitness. We do recommend doing some training before most tours, because physical activity is always more enjoyable if you are physically prepared. We will send you information about how to train when you book.

When on tour we find that a positive mental attitude is most important and that if you focus on the scenery, the company and the moment, and not on the kilometres, then you find yourself reaching your destination with little problem. You can always have a day or sometimes an afternoon off to relax if you feel like it. If you have any concerns about your fitness or ability to complete a walk, give us a call on (08) 6219 5164 and we can talk you through it.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General

Do I have to twin-share accommodation?

Our tour prices are based on rooms being twin share (two single beds in one room) or double (one double/queen bed in a room, shared by a couple). If you are travelling alone, we will give you a room with someone of the same sex. Sometimes, depending on the accommodation, it is possible to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have a room to yourself – please ask us if this option is available when you book.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General

Will I hold up the group if I’m a slow walker?

We find a lot of people who haven’t been on a walking tour before worry about this, but it’s rarely an issue. We keep a comfortable steady pace with plenty of opportunities to rest and take in the scenery along the way. Usually the group will spread out over a couple of hundred metres as we walk.

Normal walking pace on a formed surface like a road or footpath is around 4.5 – 6 km per hour and we tend to average just over 3 km per hour on bush tracks. It’s not a stroll but it’s not a brisk walk either. If you feel you may be slower than this, try some longer training walks to increase your walking fitness.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General

What is the average age of Inspiration Outdoors’ guests?

About 80% of our walkers are aged between 45 – 75. Our youngest guest has been about 35 and our oldest was 82. We get a roughly 60/40 female to male split.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General, Day Walk FAQs

What’s the food like? Can you cater for my dietary needs?

We serve simple, nutritious and delicious food on tour, using fresh and local ingredients as much as possible. Of course, if you like, you can indulge in some less nutritious treats as well – you’re on holiday after all and Emily bakes a mean cake. Breakfast, home-made morning tea, lunch, fresh fruit, pre-dinner nibbles and a two course evening meal are all included. We are happy to adapt our menu to suit many dietary needs including gluten free, vegetarian and vegan diets – please ask when you book.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General

Are your walking tours just for “bushwalkers”?

Our walks are for anyone who enjoys walking and nature – bushwalkers or not. Our walks are conducted in safe, supportive and fun environments and you don’t need specialised equipment or experience to undertake them. We give you information about what you will need to bring and how you should prepare for each tour and we’re always here to answer any questions or concerns.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General, Day Walk FAQs

Do I have to walk every day on tour?

Of course not – it’s your holiday and you should do what you feel! Relax at the accommodation, come for a drive, get dropped off in town or go for a stroll of your own. On some days there is also the opportunity to walk for part of the day. This last option depends on whether there is vehicle access to the track.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General

What do I have to carry when I walk?

Very little. A water bladder or bottles, a rain jacket, some personal first aid supplies and, on some days, lunch. You will probably want a camera as well. We return to accommodation each evening so there is no need to carry a large backpack.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General

Beautiful walks in the daytime, relax with fellow walkers each evening

As much as this walk is a fantastic outdoor experience, it’s also a social experience, giving you a chance to enjoy the companionship and support of like-minded people.

Enjoy a cuppa with a slice of home-made cake for morning tea and a fresh healthy lunch, surrounded by nature. Finish each day with a simple but tasty meal under a million stars.

What people have said

Thank you once again for the great care your team take, making us feel so safe and able to go beyond what we could manage ourselves. I hope to travel with you again…

Jeannie, Pilbara & Karijini 2015

I had a superb holiday which exceeded my expectations in the most unexpected ways, which was perfect. What a delightful group of walkers I had the opportunity to holiday with, all drawn by your attitude and approach which clearly resonates with many people. And wonderful food. Thanks!

Judith, Karijini and Pilbara 2015

Pricing

$2,890

Secure your place with a $350

Money-Back Guarantee

Our number one priority at Inspiration Outdoors is to ensure our guests have a great experience on EVERY tour.

We can't guarantee the weather, bush fires or events beyond our control, but we do guarantee that:
– your guides are professional, friendly and hard working.
– your itinerary is well organised and thought out.
– the particulars of your tour (accommodation, transport, food etc), are as described on the website and in the tour notes.

We stand behind our guarantees. If you come on a tour with Inspiration Outdoors and we do not fulfil these promises, we will give you your money back.

Ask about this tour:

If you would like to book this tour, or just want to learn a bit more about it, please fill in the enquiry form below and we will get back to you to confirm availability or to answer your questions.

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Other ways to get in touch

What happens after I book?

After you have paid a deposit and filled in a registration form, we will send you any extra information you may need, including a list of what to bring and how best to prepare for the tour.

Payment in full is required at least six weeks prior to the tour (bookings can still be made within six weeks of tour start date if there are places available). We will email or call you to remind you when this is due.

Finally, we will contact you prior to your tour to confirm pick-up times and locations. If you have any questions or concerns at all before or after you have booked, please don’t hesitate to get in touch so we can go through them with you.

What are my payment options?

Payment can be made by:

  • Direct deposit
  • Cheque
  • Credit card

Can I cancel my booking?

We hope that you do not need to cancel your booking. However, if you do, our cancellation fee, based on the notice given prior to the departure date, is:

  • More than 12 weeks: $50 administration fee
  • 6 to 12 weeks: loss of deposit
  • 4 to 6 weeks: 25% of full tour cost
  • 2 to 4 weeks: 50% of full tour cost
  • less than 2 weeks: 100% of full tour cost, no refund

If you have any concerns about cancelling, please take out travel insurance covering this contingency. This policy will be adhered to despite the most compelling and compassionate circumstances.