GET­TING THERE

Sunday Mail - Travel/Escape - - REMOTE WALK -

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.

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