Located in the heart of the biggest state in Australia lies the magnificent Karijini National Park. 

With hidden swimming holes, dazzling waterfalls, striking cliffs, some of the oldest rocks on the planet and endless gorges to explore, Karijini National Park is a must-see while visiting Western Australia. 

If you’re looking for things to do in Karijini National Park or even the best time of year to visit, this ultimate guide to Karijini National Park guide has everything you need to know to ensure an unforgettable trip.

Best Time to Visit Karijini National Park 

Because this wonderful part of Western Australia is located inland near the desert, the best time to visit Karijini National Park is between April and October (winter).

From April to October, the days are warm, and because there is less humidity, the chance of rain drops immensely. Although it’s warm during the day, don’t let that fool you as the nights can get very cold, so make sure to pack some warm clothes.

If you were to visit during the summer months (November-March), the desert temperature can get as high as 40 degrees and the chance of cyclones, rain and flash floods are much higher.

How to Get to Karijini National Park

Because the national park is located in the remote Pilbara region of Western Australia, you may be asking how to get to Karijini National Park? Because it’s pretty tough to get to, there are really only three ways to get to Karijini National Park. 

If you were to drive directly to the national park from Perth, it would take around 14 hours, and if you were to drive from Exmouth, it would take around six hours. 

If you want to get there fast, you can also fly from Perth to Paraburdoo and hire a car before driving the 90-minutes to Karijini. 

You didn’t think this guide to Karijini National Park would be complete without adding the most fun way to get there, did you? If you want to experience the ultimate adventure on the way to Karijini National Park, you have to join our backpacker road trip from Perth to Exmouth and Karijini. 

Along the way, we’ll explore the Pinnacles, Kalbarri National Park, Shark Bay, Ningaloo Reef, Monkey Mia dolphins, Exmouth, Karijini National Park and more.

On this tour, you will join the Perth to Broome passengers for 12 days to Karijini National Park via Exmouth. From there, the trip splits, and you stay on the Why Not Bus for your ride back to Perth. 

If you’re a young backpacker wanting to explore these beautiful parts of Western Australia, then you’re in luck as we are the only West Coast tour for backpackers and most passengers are between 18 and 35. 

So, what’s included in this once-in-a-lifetime tour? 

  • National park fees
  • Monkey Mia dolphin entry fee
  • Five nights in a hostel dorm 
  • Two nights at Karijini Eco Retreat Glamping 
  • Three nights at Holiday Park camping
  • Two nights bush camping
  • Hikes/daily activities 

To find out the dates and price of this epic tour to Karijini National Park, click here. 

Best Way to Explore Karijini National Park 

Once you have decided when you’ll make the trip to Karijini National Park, you have to know how you will travel around. 

If you aren’t planning on doing our tour with us (you’ll really be missing out!), there is only one great way to explore the national park, and that’s by 4WD.

Although the roads getting into the national park are sealed, once you’re in there, it’s predominantly dirt and gravel roads, so it’s best to bring your own or hire a 4WD. 

How Long Should You Spend at Karijini National Park? 

Karijini National Park is massive. At 6,274 square kilometres, there is so much to explore. If you only plan to see the main sights within the national park, you can do so in three days. However, if you’re an adventurer who likes seeking out hidden gems and unknown places, you’ll need more than five days to explore this beautiful national park. 

Where to stay within the park? 

If you’re planning on exploring the national park for a few days, there is a range of accommodation to stay in while you’re there. 

Below are the three most common places to stay in or near Karijini National Park. 

Karijini Eco Resort 

If you enjoy camping with all of the facilities, then one of the best places to stay in Karijini National Park is at the Karijini Eco Resort located near Joffre Gorge. 

Unpowered campsites start from $22 per night, which includes access to shared bathrooms with solar-powered hot water showers and the bush kitchen. 

However, if you love camping in style, then glamping tents are also available. The deluxe eco tents include a private bathroom with a hot shower and 12V power supply. These luxury tents cost around $400 per night, including breakfast. 

Camp at Dales 

Located on the eastern side of Karijini National Park is where you’ll find this campground, a great place to base yourself near Dales Gorge. 

This campground is extremely popular, so you should book a few months in advance to secure your spot. 

Camping at Dales costs $11 per night and includes minimal facilities such as a bush toilet and barbecues. 

Stay in Tom Price 

If you don’t want to stay inside Karijini National Park, you can stay in Tom Price, the closest town to Karijini and drive to the park daily. 

Some popular places to stay in Tom Price include the Tom Price Tourist Park and Windawarri Lodge. 

However, if you do choose to stay in or near Karijini National Park, you will be paying for park fees as well as your accommodation fees. You can purchase your tickets before entering the park or buy them online beforehand.

What to Know Before You Go 

  • There are no petrol stations within the park, so if you’re exploring by 4WD, you must bring enough petrol. 
  • You must bring everything to the park, including water, food and other supplies. Also, remember to take any rubbish with you when you leave the park.
  • Phone reception is very minimal throughout the park. Optus is the only provider that works in Karijini. 
  • Entry to the national park costs $13 for a vehicle for the day or $46 for a holiday stay. RAC members can save 50% on digital national park passes. 
  • Check which gorges you want to visit and see if they’re open beforehand. 
  • As mentioned earlier, while it may be warm during the day within the national park, it gets very cold at night time, dropping to 0 degrees at night during winter. So, pack lots of warm winter clothes for nighttime. 

Best Things to do at Karijini National Park 

This guide to Karijini National Park wouldn’t be complete without adding the best things to do in the national park! 

Since the national park covers such an enormous part of the region, you can guarantee there are some amazing things to do in Karijini National Park. 

Swimming holes

Wandering through gorges with the heat getting trapped in the national park can make it extremely hot, so one of the best things to do in Karijini National Park is to find swimming holes and go for a dip! 

Some of the best places to cool off in the national park include

  • Hamersley Gorge (Spa Pool) 
  • Fortescue Falls
  • Fern Pool
  • Circular Pool 
  • Knox Gorge
  • Handrail Pool
  • Kermits Pool 
  • Joffre Falls 


Home to 2.5 billion-year-old gorges, one of the best things to do in Karijini National Park is to explore those gorges! 

There are so many gorges to explore in the national park, and they are all different difficulty levels; some are easy, and some you need to be fit and agile to navigate the steep ladders and narrow pathways. 

Some of the most beautiful (and popular) gorges to explore in Karijini National Park include

  • Hamersley Gorge: Located on the outer edge of the national park, it only takes 20-minutes to get to this beautiful gorge, home to private natural pools and stunning views. 
  • Weano Gorge: You definitely have to be fit and agile to tackle Weano Gorge and Handrail Pool. From spider walking through water and climbing down handrails, it’s worth the effort to get to this beautiful gorge and swimming hole. 
  • Hancock Gorge: To get into Hancock Gorge, you must climb down a ladder, walk through narrow spaces and spider walk to get to the stunning Kermit Pool. Since Weano and Hancock Gorge are located next to each other, it’s easy to tick both off in one day. 
  • Dales Gorge: Located on the eastern side of Karijini National Park, Dales Gorge is home to Fortescue Falls, Fern Pool and Circular Pool and is definitely worth ticking off your list.
  • Joffre Gorge: Located in the heart of Karijini National Park is where you’ll find Joffre Gorge, home to a natural amphitheatre. To visit this gorge, you must be fit as there is a very steep section which can make it difficult for those with health or mobility issues. 
  • Knox Gorge: It takes an hour and a half to reach Knox Gorge, but it’s worth it once you arrive. Home to a crystal clear rock pool with a view overlooking the gorge, you are definitely rewarded after walking through the desert air to get to this beautiful place. 
  • Oxers Lookout: This lookout is where the four gorges meet; Weano, Hancock, Red and Joffre. The sheer beauty and scale of this lookout are reason enough to visit! 

Hiking Trails 

To get to most of the gorges within the national park, you have to hike there. So, one of the best things to do in Karijini National Park is spend your days hiking! 

Some of the best hiking trails in the national park (and their difficulties) include

  • Weano and Hancock Gorges (easy) 
  • Joffre Falls Lookout Walk (easy) 
  • Circular Pool Track (easy) 
  • Knox Gorge Walk (easy) 
  • Mount Bruce Trail (moderate)
  • Dales Gorge Loop (moderate) 
  • Fortescue Falls Track (moderate) 
  • Handrail Pool (moderate) 

So there you have it, the ultimate guide to Karijini National Park.

Karijini National Park truly is a natural phenomenon everyone needs to visit at least once in their life, whether by our tour or by exploring it at their own pace. 

From 2.5 billion-year-old gorges and rock formations to spectacular lookouts and crystal clear swimming holes, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this incredible part of Australia.