Karijini Photography Tour 2021

Enter a landscape of spectacular gorges, spinifex deserts, reflective pools, vibrant red rock and truly mesmerising photography!

 
Tour dates: 24 – 28 August 2021
Tour length: 5 days
Led by: Seng Mah and Ty Stedman
6 – 8 guests
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.
 
SOLD OUT! We are running a second tour in Karijini right after this tour; if you are keen to join us on the second tour (30 August – 3 September 2021), look here.
 

Oxer Lookout, Karijini

 

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.

Karijini collage
Karijini collage

 

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!

 

Tour Highlights

Day 1: Karijini Eco Resort
Karijini Eco Retreat
Deep gorge
Sunlight on cliffs

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 photograph the landscape of the Pilbara by the light of the moon, a haunting landscape of anthills and white-barked ghost gums.

 

Day 2: Kalamina and Weano Gorges
Kalamina refelctions
Kalamina cascades
Weano Gorge cascade
Weano Gorge

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.

Our late-afternoon/sunset destination is 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.
 

Day 3: Dales Gorge, Fern Pool, Fortescue Falls, Joffre Gorge and Knox Gorge
Dales Gorge sunrise
Dales Gorge
Fern Pool
Knox Gorge
Joffre Gorge Detail

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 will embark on an astrophotography/Milky Way photography session on the grounds of the Eco Resort.
 

Day 4: Hancock Gorge and Hamersley Gorge
Spa Pool
Hamesley Gorge colours
Hancock Gorge pool
Ant mound Milky Way

This morning is reserved for time spent in 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 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.

We return to the Eco Resort for our group dinner (included in this tour – see below), followed by another astrophotography/Milky Way photography session.
 

Day 5: Pilbara sunrise and end of tour
Spinifex sunrise

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.
 

Karijini Collage

 

What’s included:

  • Land transport in air conditioned mini bus.
  • Accommodation in an Eco Retreat Safari tent (with ensuite) during the tour (4 nights)
  • All photographic tuition and guidance during the tour.
  • National Park fees and permits.
  • Continental Breakfast.
  • Group dinner on the evening of Day 4 of the tour. Note this does not include alcoholic beverages.

 

Exclusions:

  • Flights to/from Perth.
  • Lunches and dinners (except the group dinner noted above).
  • Alcoholic drinks.
  • Travel insurance is compulsory for this tour and remains your responsibility.
  • Photographic equipment. You will need to bring/supply your own cameras, lenses, tripods, batteries, filters, memory cards and so on.
  • Any transport or activities outside of the tour itinerary.
  • Personal expenses, including laundry, wi-fi, medication and incidental meals.

 

Fitness and Mobility

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.
 

Karijini Collage

 

Price of Tour

  • AUD$4990 per person if twin-sharing with your partner or spouse, or a photographer friend who is also a paying guest on this tour. Note that because of the limited number of participants on this tour, non-photographer partners/spouses will still need to pay the full price for the tour.
  • AUD$5800 per person with your own room during the tour.

 

RESERVE YOUR PLACE

SOLD OUT! We are running a second tour in Karijini right after this tour; if you are keen to join us on the second tour (30 August – 3 September 2021), look here.