Tour dates: 30 August – 3 September 2021
Tour length: 5 days
Led by: Seng Mah and Ty Stedman
6-8 guests (1 place left)
This tour begins and finishes at the Karijini Eco Retreat (with transfers to/from Paraburdoo Airport).
Pace: Moderate. You will require a reasonable level of fitness and mobility for this tour, as it involves walks along gravel tracks (uphill and downhill) and steps, ladders and some descent/ascent across rocky trails.
Discover a landscape two billion years in the making as you explore and photograph a setting hewn from ancient desert rock… A landscape of cavernous gorges, spring-fed reflective pools, red rock plateaus, spinifex gardens and beautiful cascades. To the Banyjima, Kurrama and Ynnawonga people, this landscape was formed during the Dreamtime, when the Warlu, a serpent, crawled out of the serpent and wound its way through the landscape of the North West of Western Australia.
Here is a land of remarkable contrast — your day may begin with a sunrise overlooking across the plummeting depths of gorges, across vistas of red earth, spinifex fields and ghost gums, and then you find yourself trekking down to a beautiful waterhole fed by a trio of cascades, a place of spiritual significance to the Indigenous people of the region. And, at night, under clear skies, you’ll spy the Milky Way framed by the sinuous limbs of ghost gums and alien-shaped ant mounds.
This is a photographic opportunity of a lifetime, one which you simply must not miss!
You’ll arrive in Paraburdoo airport at 3.15pm and be picked up for your transfer to Karijini Eco Retreat, your home for the five days of this photography tour. On arrival at the Retreat, you’ll check in and have some time to unwind before we head out for a sunset shoot at Oxer Lookout, where the four main gorges connect. Here, you’ll enjoy your introduction to the landscape of Karijini, as you gaze into the depths of the gorges and across the spinifex dotted tops of cliffs and plateaus.
At night, we will embark on an astrophotography/Milky Way photography session on the grounds of the Eco Resort.
We have a very early start this morning, as we board our mini bus and head to Dales Gorge for sunrise. We’ll photograph the sky blushing with hues of pink and magenta as the sun rises and bathes the Pilbara landscape in first light.
Our morning is spent in Dales Gorge as we take in the incredible sight of Fortescue Falls before embarking on an easy hike to beautiful Fern Pool, a water hole fed by a trio of incredibly pretty cascades. Bring your swimwear and you can take a dip in the refreshing pool and swim out to the falls. Or just relax in the shade of arching trees and ferns as you soak in the stillness and spiritual significance of this sacred site.
We will spend the rest of the morning exploring Dales Gorge before returning to the Eco Retreat for lunch.
In the late afternoon and into sunset, we head out to Joffre Gorge and Knox Gorge, remarkable for their stark and rugged geology. Here, you’ll find ghost gums clinging to cliff sides that plunge deep into watery crevasses, and views across the spinifex-crowned tops of the gorges.
After dinner, we can enjoy another night of photographing the night sky from the grounds of the Eco Retreat.
Our sunrise shoot takes us to Kalamina Gorge, an accessible and very photogenic gorge where we will spend the morning photographing exploring the trails at the base of the gorge and finding reflective pools and hidden cascades to photograph. It’s a gentle introduction to the landscape of Karijini. Surrounded by layers of stratified red rocks, you will feel as if you have entered another world, one that resonates of age and primordial history.
After breakfast, we check out of the Eco Retreat and hit the road to Tom Price, with photographic stops en-route. After lunch and checking into our accommodation at Tom Price Tourist Park, we leave early in the afternoon for Hamersley Gorge, another icon of the region. This is a place of water holes surrounded by cliffs and rocky shelves, their shimmering surfaces reflecting the light on the red rock above. It is also the home of Spa Pool, a naturally occurring spa fed by a small waterfall which has become an icon of the region.
After a few early mornings, we have a slightly later start today, checking out Tom Price in the morning and returning to Karijini National Park, for a morning spent in Weano Gorge, one of the “classics” of Karijini National Park. We will descend into the gorge and follow the circuit trail that will take us past water holes, tiny cascades, rugged cliffs and then back up into the stark Pilbara landscape of red earth, ghost gums and spinifex rock gardens.
We return to the Karijini Eco Retreat for lunch and to check in for our final night in the National Park. In the afternoon, we visit Hancock Gorge, one of the more popular gorges in Karijini as well as one of its most challenging. Hancock Gorge is one of the most iconic of Karijini’s gorges and it is here that we can truly marvel at and appreciate the incredible age of the region: we will walk through incredibly deep gorges and along bubbling streams, looking at micro-landscapes within the gorges: views through narrow openings and canyons. Part of Hancock Gorge may require wading through pools of water, so you will need to be prepared for some immersion if you’d like to explore further into this gorge.
We return to the Eco Resort for our group dinner (included in this tour – see below), followed by another astrophotography/Milky Way photography session.
For those who are still keen to catch another sunrise, we’ll embark on a short walk to a lookout point which gives us vistas across the Pilbara landscape towards the distant plateaus.
After an early breakfast, we check out and transfer you to Paraburdoo Airport for your morning flight back to Perth.
You will need a reasonable level of fitness and mobility to participate in this tour. There will be hikes on unpaved and rough trails, some steep descents/ascents, wading/swimming with your gear in dry bags, climbing down/up ladders and steps. Good mobility and a good sense of balance is essential. We also recommend that you use walking poles.
A deposit of AUD$1500 will secure you a place on this tour. This deposit is refundable if the tour is cancelled by the organiser (we require a minimum of 6 guests to run this tour). The final payment of the balance is due by 31 March 2021.
For details of the Terms and Conditions of our tours, including cancellation charges, please read our Photography Tours Terms and Conditions.
To join this tour or contact us with your questions, please use the form below or email seng [at] venturephotography.com.au or telephone 0417 604 614.