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2018 Karijini Experience

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by Newt (subscribe)
Freelance writer, PR person, loving the Perth lifestyle of fabulous food and wine, great weather and wide open spaces.
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Bucket list must for music, food and scenery
Karijini is not an easy destination to get to, but its remote location, tucked away in Western Australia's North West Pilbara region, somehow adds to its allure.

Making it even more attractive is its annual Karijini Experience, a celebration of culture with music ringing through its gorges, stunning degustation meals and revealing Aboriginal culture.

It's an event well worth putting on the bucket list.

Karijini, opera in the gorge, Pilbara, Nintirri
Karijini provides a beautiful backdrop for a host of events. Image Supplied.


The event, which has quietly grown in stature each year, will celebrate its sixth year in WA's second biggest national park for six days from April 17 to April 22, 2018.

It will take a bit of planning to get to, located in the heart of the Pilbara, around 1400 kilometres from Perth and 80 kilometres north-east of Tom Price.

But those who make the pilgrimage come back raving about the magical nature of the mix of music, food and Aboriginal culture.

Karijini Experience, Nintirri, opera under the stars, Pilbara gorges, Deborah Cheetham
There's a bit focus on families at the Karijini Experience. Image supplied.


Timed to take advantage of Pilbara weather at its best and with the kids on school holidays, there is some camping available in the national park and glamping in the Karijini Eco Retreat, but spaces are limited.

It's a great opportunity to take in the unspoiled nature of the region and to participate in six days of events.

While some of the events are ticketed there are also many free, family friendly activities with workshops focused on art, culture and enrichment.

Karijini, Karijini Experience, Tom Price, Nintirri, Pilbara
Karijini is a photographer's paradise. Image supplied.


Food lovers will enjoy the flavours of Paul Iskov and Fervor with two degustation meals featuring native ingredients and locally sourced produce, along with a bush tucker high tea from Aboriginal chef and television celebrity Mark Olive.

The Karijini Experience is packed with music events including celebrated Aboriginal soprano, Deborah Cheetham with a WA Symphony Orchestra string quartet performing in a beautiful gorge setting, holding a choral workshop at the Karijini Eco Retreat and a family friendly Opera Under The Stars.

Singers Archie Roach and Gina Williams will be performing and there will be music workshops.

The clear skies of the Pilbara should provide a good opportunity for Astronomy WA who will be celebrating World Astronomy Day to celebrate the new moon with telescopes doing sky tours and astrophotography workshops, teamed with cultural stories about the night sky.

There will be plenty of Aboriginal culture with a Welcome to Country ceremony and corrobboree, cultural workshops and presentations, gorge walks and bush culture walks.

Karijini, Tom Price, Nintirri, Pilbara
A wide range of musicians will perform. Image supplied.


Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal kids have produced a locally developed dance piece and there will be a new and exciting collaborative art piece.

A Karijini Kids Zone will add another layer to the activities during the day and a Makers Markets will have a wide range of quality Aboriginal work for sale.

The Karijini Experience evolved from a dinner in 2013 with the inaugural Karijini Dinner Experience hosted by the Pilbara Inland Chamber of Commerce (PICCI).

Since then it has grown into a thriving annually recurring multi-arts event with a focus on celebrating local Aboriginal culture.

Banjima, Karijini, Pilbara, Nintirri, opera in the gorge
The event celebrates Aboriginal culture. Image Supplied.


The latest event had 1235 visitors to the park, featured 90 artists, headlined 37 individual events, representing 13 Aboriginal language groups and was supported by 74 partners and sponsors.

The event is held on the traditional lands of the Banjima people and features the culture and traditions of the Aboriginal language groups who are connected to the inland Pilbara.

For tickets and event information go to the website or Facebook.
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Why? A bucket list experience of music, food, culture and scenic splendour.
When: See website for event times and dates
Where: Karijini National Park, WA
Cost: See website for ticket cost for various events
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