MOUNTAINS OF IRON

KARIJINI NATIONAL PARK

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The Karijini landscape is dominated by the Hamersley Ranges. These are probably the oldest mountains on earth, the rocks dating back 2,500 million years. Driving through the Hamersleys is unique and beautiful. The undulating hills are covered with spinifex and broken by exposed weathered faces of deep red rock.

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Cutting through the landscape are numerous gorges. Some are accessed by a short walk, others require climbing and scrambling over rocks and ledges, and some can only be reached with ropes and climbing equipment.

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Some of the gorges narrow down to passages just wide enough for a person to squeeze through

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Others are broad and open with clear pools at the bottom

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Looking down into the deeper gorges is an awesome sight. The surrounding country is undulating and fairly unspectacular, but the gorges seem to drop way below the surrounding landscape.

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Passing sculptors have installed some impressive structures using just rocks and gravity.

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Waterfalls and waterholes are found throughout the gorges

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The water is usually freezing cold but, somehow, backpackers seem to be tolerant to near freezing water

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Whistling Kite – Pentax K20D 18 -250mm lens

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Scattered through the gorges are veins of blue asbestos. The Wittenoom and Yampire gorges have been closed because of the high concentration of asbestos

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KARIJINI VISITORS CENTRE

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Architect John Nicholes designed the Karijini Visitors Centre to weather into the landscape. Most of the exterior of the structure is built from heavy welded steel panels. These are acid washed to rust, echoing the iron ore outcrops of the landscape.

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It is an impressive building that also hints at the rusted remnants of the areas pastoral history.

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Old rusted Pilbra sheepyards, built from flattened oil drums

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Power is provided by a large solar array with a thumping big diesel generator, waiting for a rainy day.

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