Be prepared to journey to the centre when you visit Handrail Pool in Karijini National Park.
This surreal swimming hole is one of the best experiences Karijini has to offer! But beware, this adventure isn’t for the faint-hearted as reaching the pool can be tricky.
If you’re ready to take on the challenge and be rewarded by the beauty of the spectacular Handrail Pool, keep reading to find out everything you need to know.
What is Handrail Pool?
Handrail Pool is a stunning swimming hole located within Karijini National Park. The secluded pool is surrounded by beautiful earthy-toned rocks that will make you feel like you’ve just journeyed to the “centre of the earth.”
To reach the calm waters of Handrail Pool, you’ll have to tackle a tricky 1.5km hike first. The short trail begins at the Weano Gorge and travels through some narrow crevices and steep cliffs before taking you down to the pool. But you’ll be rewarded for the challenge once you reach the pool and witness the panoramic views and mesmerising clear waters.
Where is Handrail pool?
Handrail Pool is in the lower Weano Gorge near the north-western end of Karijini National Park. To reach Weano Gorge you’ll need to turn off Karijini Drive onto Banjima Drive and continue north for about 25km. You’ll then turn off on Weano Road and follow it until you reach the Weano Day Use Area.
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.
What to do at Handrail Pool:
Before you can enjoy the cool waters of Handrail Pool, you’ll have to tackle the short trail through Weano Gorge. This grade five hike includes some challenges and obstacles, so be prepared before you start.
Beginning at the car park, you’ll travel down into the gorge. You’ll want to take your time as the gorge narrows quite quickly, and the rocks will be slippery. You’ll also have to navigate through some small pools along the way, so be ready to get wet.
You’ll know you’re close to the pool when you come across a metal handrail on the track, which will guide you down into the serene waters of Handrail Pool. Kick off your shoes and enjoy the icy cold water of the pool and reward yourself for conquering the trail.
Take your time and enjoy the spectacular scenery and a well-deserved swim in the calm waters of the pool. Allow yourself to soak it all up before you have to trek back to the top of the gorge.
If the difficulty of this trail seems too much for you, there are several easier walks around the top of the gorge. You can also opt to join a tour group to help guide you through the experience.
If you’re keen to keep exploring, Weano Gorge has some more scenic walking trails you can tackle. There is also a picnic area which is the perfect spot to stop for lunch.
What not to do at Handrail Pool:
As we’ve mentioned, the trail to reach Handrail Pool is one of the more challenging ones in Karijini National Park. The grade five track will have you climbing over boulders and through narrow passages, so be prepared before you enter and know your abilities. Also, be sensible as you enter the water and don’t attempt to dive or jump into the shallow.
The rocks can also be very slippery when entering the gorge. It is important not to rush and to take your time. Waterproof hiking shoes with good grip are the best option for this trip.
Flash flooding can also occur in the gorges after rainfall, so don’t enter if it has recently rained or if rain is expected.
We don’t want to scare you off, but there have been numerous accidents at Handrail Pool over the years, so be extra cautious on this journey.
Finally, make sure you adhere to the Leave No Trace principles so that this natural beauty is left as you found it.
Handrail Pool is an unforgettable experience to add to your Karijini adventure.
However, since it is a popular spot, you may want to head there early to beat the crowds. A great option is to head to Weano Gorge to watch the sunrise and then make your way to Handrail Pool.