billing. It has a fine licensed restaurant and both dormitorystyle and deluxe tent cabins, as well as sites for independent camping. I opted to test a deluxe tent cabin. It came with a wooden floor, power, king bed and an ensuite bathroom that had eye-level cut-outs in the walls. They allowed a stunning view of dawn rising over the Hamersley Range during one early morning shower.
Pete’s tours run between April and November. By April, the Wet is usually over, as are the 40Cplus temperatures. The winter is generally drier, with temperatures around the low to mid 20s – perfect for trekking.
But at night, winter temperatures can fall as low as zero and there’s no heating in the tent cabins. I came to regret turning down the offer of a hot water bottle.
After Dales Gorge, we tackled other gorges such as Hancock and Weano. Some had man-made steps, others did not and required more care.
At times the trekking was testing and the “spider walk” along Hancock Gorge involved a tricky section along a narrow length of gorge above shallow but cold water.
Total concentration was required. However, dressed in wetsuits and reef sandals to get a grip on the smooth rocks, everyone greatly enjoyed the thrill – even the group member who slipped into the water.
And yet as challenging as Karijini was, I decided Pete wasn’t totally correct to portray the old girl as being a demanding beauty. The truth is there are some sensational views from lookouts within easy walking distance of carparks.
But then what’s a breathtaking view without suffering a bit of breathlessness to make it all the more worthwhile?
The writer was a guest of T-QUAL.