Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Karijini National Park


We've just spent 5 marvellous days at Karrijini National Park — the gorges are just awe-inspiring, some up to 100 metres deep with cool pools at the bottom, and wonderful colours.

Even though Danni and I couldn't walk down into the gorges we still very much appreciated their beauty gazing down from the lookouts.

Hancock Gorge, Karijini National Park, Western Australia is one of the oldest landscapes on the planet. Some rock here is 2.5 million years old.

Australian songwriter John Williamson's "A Thousand Feet" evokes this area for me.
A THOUSAND FEET — John Williamson
It's not a hard place it's a soft and gentle land
Gonna lay my bed on the soft and gentle sand
Hear old man time whisper in my ear
A thousand feet have been through here
Hear the desert wind play a lonely tune
Through the desert oak on a rusty dune
Stay a while and it's all so clear
A thousand feet have been through here
Inka ninka pitjikala
Take it slow take a look around
All the signs are on the ground
Bird and snake and lizard, kangaroo
An ancient man has been here too
Hear the desert wind play a lonely tune
Through the desert oak on a rusty dune
Stay a while and it's all so clear
A thousand feet have been through here
©1998 Emusic Pty Ltd
The national park was a great place to camp a really well organised campsite with bushland between each site and you could do easy or hard walks around Dales Gorge from the camping area and only $4.50 pp.

The Visitor Centre which is shaped like a goanna moving through the country is symbolic to local Banyjima Aboriginal people. The tail represents their history, the head the future direction of the traditional owners, and Aboriginal Law is in the centre or stomach. The high, weathered steel walls of the visitor centre mimic the sheet-sided gorges that are a feature of the park.


The building is designed to withstand the fires that are a regular feature of the area. The construction materials, lack of openings and minimal places to trap debris, all help reduce the threat of fire entering or damaging the building.