We started off the day with about a 100km drive to another section of the park. The first gorge we did was Hancock. After a steep decent on rock steps and steel ladders we reached the bottom of the gorge. We loved how the parallel lines in the rock faces curved around corners.
The walk notes said ‘may need to walk through water’… which turned out to be ‘will need to walk through thigh deep water’ (in the picture above). As we talked to people coming the other way we also discovered that there were some parts after the water where the ledges to be negotiated were quite narrow. Dazz took his boots off and went through the water to have a look and took some photos of people clambering around the rocks. When he came back he decided there was too much risk of being put off balance with our backpacks and camera gear – and he certainly didn’t want his camera and lenses to go swimming!
I took my boots off and put my little point and shoot camera in my pocket and scrambled around the rocks to the amphitheatre and the beginning of the spider walk.
It involved having one foot on each wall on either side of the stream/waterfall, and climbing down like a four legged spider. I decided that was far enough for me, so neither of us got to see the Kermit Pool, which was the end of that walk. We consoled ourselves with the knowledge that there was so much light bouncing around in the amphitheatre that it was difficult to take a good photo, and the Kermit Pool probably would have been the same. By this time we were already running late on our schedule, so we raced back up to the top of the gorge, with a couple more quick photos on the way.
Next stop was the Junction Pool and Oxer Lookouts, which show how deep the gorges are that we were walking in.
After a quick lunch we did the Weano Gorge loop, starting at the ‘shallow’ end. Much of the beginning of the walk was through spinifex and a slightly more open narrow creek environment.
As we got further down the gorge it narrowed and the rock formations became more prominent. There were also some deeper pools.
There was one narrow ledge to climb around, a little more rock hopping along the creek and then a narrow section of gorge that opened to a small pool surrounded by cliffs.
The end of the walk is Handrail Pool, named for the handrail that is needed to get down the final section.
The little waterfall was nicely in shadow when we arrived, but there was far too much contrast on other side of the gorge for a photo. The best we could do was the reflection in the pool.
Coming back out of the handrail pool the reflections in the water and the swirling rocks made for an interesting effect.
Another lot of rock steps, and that was the end of Weano Gorge.
While we were in that section of the park we decided to also have a look at the Joffre Falls and Knox Lookouts to see if it was worth another 200km round trip to do the walks to the bottom of each of those gorges. We could see enough of the bottom of both to decide we probably wouldn’t be missing any stunning photo opportunities. Joffre Falls would be amazing after rain, though.
We also had a nice sunset view of Mount Bruce.