Karijini 2013

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Karijini 2013

Hancock & Dales - Sat 13 April

We split our group into two. One half would visit Weano Gorge with Christian and Bruce, the other half walked into Hancock Gorge with Tony and me.

Hancock is a challenging gorge if you don't want to get wet, but easy as pie if you're happy to swim and can put your camera into a waterproof wet bag.

Entry to the gorge is down a bush track and then a climb down two sturdy metal ladders. You need a backpack so both hands are free for the ladder, and a backpack that lets you tie your tripod onto the outside is best.

Hancock Gorge is quite narrow at the base - in some places less than a metre wide, but probably 10 metres on average. At various points, the gorge is barred by long pools of water that are deep (overhead) in some places. You can shuffle around the edges of the pools without getting wet, or you can put your camera gear into the wet bag and swim your way through.

After the main swim, the gorge opens into a small amphitheatre, and then drops into the Spider's Walk, a narrow gap in the gorge barely wide enough to walk through with your backpack on. It's an amazing section of rock which opens into an idyllic rock pool - Kermit's Pool - before cascading down a steep rock face into more pools below

This is as far as you can go without climbing gear, but the photograph from the top of the cascades in Hancock Gorge is probably Karijini's most iconic angle. And while you can photograph it at any time of the day, picking the right time is important to get the gold and contrasting blue reflections.

We had good intentions of getting back by 10.00 a.m. for a late breakfast, but everyone had such big smiles that the decision was made to continue shooting and aim for lunch.

That afternoon we drove to Dales Gorge, a much larger complex of gorges, pools and cascades, with rich green waters and vibrant red reflections off the canyon walls as the sun set. Dales Gorge offers lots to photograph, so one short visit can never do it justice and every time you visit, you find something new to explore. For instance, at the top of the gorge at sunset, you can look across to the far side with its trees and low hills. The contrast of the blues in the sky, the greens of the trees and the yellows in the spinifex against the rich red of the gorge itself is simply breathtaking.


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