Karlamilyi National Park is Western Australia’s largest National Park, and the second largest in Australia. This does not mean it is the most well known. When people in Broome asked where we were headed even the locals were not familiar with the park. This place does not even have a sign letting you know when you enter the park boundary. In fact there were no signs anywhere and we only saw one other car the entire time we were in the park. After almost five months on the road Karlamilyi is one of the few remote destinations we have found.
Desert Queen Baths was our main destination in the park and it is a stunning place to explore. Just the name sounds exotic and was enough to pique our interest – together with a Ronny Dahl YouTube video Andrew had watched as part of his research for the trip.
The camp was a bit rocky and windy but it had some shade and the most amazing rock formations and cliffs surrounding it. An amazing hill made of rocks that appeared to be teetering on each other stood as the backdrop to our tents. It honestly looked like if you plucked one out, they would all come toppling down.
Of course this was not the case and upon climbing it we got stunning views of the Pilbara.
The first of the pools the camp is named after was a short stroll, only about 80m, from camp. The pool was nestled in the gorge, with a sheer rock face on one side and a nice little beach on the other. This made it a great place to relax and bathe. We spent a lot of time here during the heat of the day swimming and relaxing.
Andrew, John and I explored further afield, wandering up the gorge to find several more pools nestled in the gorge. The second was next so some caves with rock art and the most amazingly huge active bee hive I have ever seen.
Criss crossing over the river led to further pools until we reached a series of three pools as the gorge narrowed. From there the cliffs came down to the pools on both sides so we could only continue by swimming. It was simply stunning to swim and relax and just take in the stunning country.
At night we could see the glow of a distant fire burning and hear an abundance of frogs and birdlife. The cliff faces also made from some amazing echoes.
The drive out from this camp was also awe inspiring. It had been dark on the way in but on the wat out we could see the red rock faces and tufts of green spinifex, the white bark of the gums and occasional black marks of fire. Every now and then some vibrant green tufts of grasses burst from the ground. The line, formation and colour of this landscape really do catch your breath.