Freelance writer living in Perth, Western Australia.
Published March 13th 2021
I've recently had the opportunity to get out of Perth and for a few months, work up north in the small mining town of Tom Price. The perfect chance to explore the surrounding countryside, including the natural wonders of Karijini National Park. First adventure - Fortescue Falls and Fern Pool.
Approximately 55kms from Tom Price, Karijini National Park boasts a multitude of natural gorges, pools and untouched beauty formed over thousands of years of weather, rock sediment build up/erosion and shifts in the earth. To see chasms stretched out across the landscape, flashes of greenery amongst the stark red rock that's rich in iron ore is a contrast worthy of seeing in person.
Within Karijini, Fortescue Falls and Fern Pool are nestled within Dales Gorge. There is a car park, toilet and camping is available should you be a keen outdoors type! More information is available at the Karijini visitors center or at the visitors center in Tom Price. Circular Pool is also part of the Dale Gorge stretch but, due to a recent rockfall, it is currently closed.
Currently closed to due a recent rockfall
Fortescue Falls can be reached by stairs, which have been built with frequent rest stops along the way, should you want to take a breather or just soak in the ambience of the natural landscape. When you reach the base of the steps, Fortescue Falls is right there and it is definitely a sight to behold. Currently, thanks to a generous wet season, the falls are flowing and the water is fresh and clear, perfect for a swim!
Steps have been cut away into the rock so you can climb down and be closer to the water. All the trails, steps and climbs have been rated by classes, depending on their physicality and all this information is available at the visitors centers and online.
A few hundred meters further lies Fern Pool. A cascading waterfall you can easily swim up to, refresh yourself under the cool waters or simply float and take in the beauty of nature. There is a little jetty and ladder provided so you can easily get in and out of the water. There's even little fish that nibble at your heels, nature's pedicure!
Being so close together, I found Fortescue Falls and Fern Pool to be the perfect introduction to my Karijini experience. Word to the wise-we are currently in March fly (also known as horsefly-a pesky insect whose bite can leave a very itchy and irritating impression. Some people have been known to even have an allergic reaction!) season so apply insect repellant VERY liberally. If you're planning to drive out to Karijini yourself in your own car, be sure to check the road conditions via the Main Roads website, as heavy rain can sometimes flood them. Also, be sure to pack plenty of water as well as sunscreen. Happy exploring!