Hamersley Gorge: Everything you need to know

Hamersley Gorge Karijini
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As one of WA’s most famous natural rock pools, Hamersley Gorge is a sight you need to see to believe.

Located within Karijini National Park, it’s definitely worth the drive to experience the beauty of this natural landmark. The contrast between the clear blue water and earthy red rocks will absolutely blow your mind.

There’s so much beauty to enjoy at Hamersley Gorge, so here’s everything you need to know for a successful trip:

What is Hamersley Gorge?

Hamersley Gorge is a dramatic gorge with a beautiful natural rock pool in WA’s famous Karijini National Park. It is arguably one of the best swimming holes in all of Australia. If you’re visiting Karajini, this gorge is the perfect spot for a swim in the icy cold plunge pool and to enjoy the natural spa experience under the cascading waterfalls.

@perthisok this spot is seriously magical ✨ #westernaustralia #perth #perthisok ♬ sidewalks and skeletons goth – FYP 🤍🇲🇺

Where is Hamersley Gorge?

Hamersley Gorge is found in the northwest corner of the Karijini National Park and is the most remote of the park’s gorges. Karijini National Park is most commonly accessed from Tom Price, Newman, or Port Headland, and the park encompasses three groups of Traditional Owners: the Banyjima, Kurrama and Innawonga people.

From the Karijini Visitors Centre on the outskirts of the park, Hammersley Gorge is a further 106km, and just over an hour’s drive. To reach the gorge you’ll travel along Nanutarra Road before turning onto Hamersley Gorge Road.

You should always check for alerts and road closures before heading into Karijini National Park to avoid any hiccups.

What to do at Hamersley Gorge:

Pack your bathers because swimming in the turquoise waters of Hamersley Gorge should be your priority on this excursion. The gorge has a beautiful spa pool with icy cold water, perfect for a dip on a hot day. There are also several pools and streams linking the length of the gorge, so there is plenty to explore. Hot tip: Take a swim under the gentle waterfalls for a relaxing massage.

The walk down to the natural pools in the gorge is just 400 meters. There are rock staircases to make the descent more accessible, but be aware that some sections can get pretty steep. If you’re looking for more of a hike, tackle the Hamersley Gorge Walk. This track is only one kilometre but will take you roughly one hour for a return trip. This grade four walk is one of the more difficult ones in the gorge with some rough and steep sections. However, you won’t mind putting in the work once you witness the breathtaking geological rock formations adorned with beautiful colours and shapes.

Enjoy the view
From the central car park, you can enjoy some incredible views of the gorge from above. If you’re short on time or can’t tackle the physical descent to the gorge, there is a newly constructed lookout a short walk from the car park that offers a great vantage point of the scenery below.

Jump on a tour
If you’re not comfortable or interested in driving yourself through Karijini National Park, head on a guided tour while you sit back and relax. Go West Tours offers a great half-day tour departing from Tom Price. Enjoy the comfort of an air-conditioned coach and detailed commentary by a local guide on your way to the gorge before enjoying the spa pool and a complimentary afternoon tea.

What not to do at Hamersley Gorge:

Enter after rainfall – Flash flooding can occur in the gorges after heavy rainfall. If it has recently rained or if rain is expected, do not enter the gorge. You should also promptly leave if it begins to rain during your visit.

Forget water – During the summer months, it can reach up to 40 degrees within the gorges of Karijini. Be prepared and carry plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Dress unprepared – The rocks throughout the gorge can get super slippery, so make sure you wear shoes with a good grip to avoid any falls.

As with all visits to our natural spaces, adhere to the Leave No Trace Principles: meaning don’t leave any rubbish out there, don’t pick wildflowers and try your best to look after the surrounding area. Make sure you also adhere to any fire restrictions or bans that might be in place.

Anything else?

If you’re looking to extend your trip there are plenty of great campsites in Karijini National Park. The Karijini Eco Retreat and Dales Campground are great options but are still quite some distance from the remote Hamersley Gorge. Don’t underestimate how big the Karijini National Park is. Always be prepared with petrol, food, and water before your trip.

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