Karijini National Park, in the state’s outback north, is cliché country. It will take your breath and leave you open-mouthed at the gobsmacking geology. At the park’s heart is the Hamersley Range, a 450km long battlement of red-rock mountains and escarpments rising from plains dotted with spinifex, stitched with wildflowers and riven with gorges. The twin short walks (about 5km all up) into neighbouring Weano & Hancock gorges are adventures for kids big and small alike.
The Hancock Gorge walk is often referred to as journeying “to the centre of the earth”. It leads down a narrowing corridor to a point past which you can proceed only by clambering along centimetres-wide ledges of polished, banded sedimentary rock or swimming a lap of sun-roofed yet always-cold water. You proceed because beyond is shadowy, stone-roofed Kermit’s Pool (no entry).
Steep steps the other side of the ridge put you in Weano Gorge. Here, a longer return walk through narrower, darker passageways of beautifully striped stone leads to Handrail Pool, where you can take a bracing dip – if you dare!