Tom Price and Paraburdoo are working towns that sit around the edge of the Karijini National Park, making them an idea base to stay at while exploring the magic of Karijini.
WHAT TO SEE AND DO
The scenery in the Karijini National Park is unbelievable and has to be seen to be believed. It is difficult to describe the beauty of the place with words.
The park is 627,422 hectares of spectacular rugged beauty that is best seen from late autumn, through winter into early spring, this means late March through to early November when the weather is at it’s best.
There are many beautiful gorges, waterfalls, pools, trails and lookouts within the park. Photo’s, while lovely, only capture a small portion of what you can see and not the full expanse of what is before you.
There’s Hancock Gorge that takes you to Kermit’s Pool, Oxers, Junction Pool, Jofre Lookout, Knox Gorge & Lookout, Dales George, Fortescue Falls, Kalamina Gorge and Hamersley Gorge and there’s lots of fantastic information at the Karijini Visitor Centre which is within the park.
Several of the locations have walk trails that allow you to absorb the spectacular views of the area. Always remember to carry plenty of water with you and stay away from the cliff edges. The area is full or adventure from scrambling down the trails to the pools to swimming in the cold waters. You will feel awestruck standing in a gorge looking up at the red cliffs around you.
The Karijini Visitor Centre has alot of information and is worth visiting. The shape represents a goanna moving through the country and it has a range of static and interactive displays that give a great insight into the area.
View the stars in the unpolluted skies of an evening and be amazed at the quantity that you can see.
I’m sure the photo’s give you a glimpse of the magic of Karijini. It really needs to be seen to be believed.
Tom Price was named after Thomas Moore Price who worked for Kaiser Steel and saw the mining potential of the area.
If you wish to see an open-cut mine, Lestok Tours run a Rio Tinto Mine Site Tour, it is one of the world’s largest open cut mines which also feature some of the largest iron ore-extracting machinery.
Mt Nameless, also known as Jarndunmunha by the aboriginal people can be walked to the summit. It is one of WA’s highest mountains and it is best to walk it early in the morning, allow 3 hours and to carry plenty of water. The views from the summit are over Tom Price.
Paraburdoo takes it name from the Indigenous word Pirupardu meaning “Meat Feathers” due to the large resident White Corrella population.
Paraburdoo is generally a stop-over for most visitors, though it does have a golf course if you like chasing a little white ball and an Olympic sized swimming pool if you’re feeling the heat.
WHERE TO STAY
There are many places you can stay, however if you are travelling with Integrity Coach Lines then the Tom Price Tourist Park is a good option as the coach sets down and pick ups passengers from there.
Wherever you stay in Tom Price or Paraburdoo, we suggest pre-booking as accommodation does book out at times.
HOW TO GET AROUND IN THE KARIJINI, TOM PRICE & PARABURDOO
Within the town sites of Tom Price and Parabardoo, the main form of transport will be Tom Price Taxi Service. You can also travel from Parabardoo to Tom Price with Integrity Coach Lines on Monday evenings.
However, for visiting the Karijini National Park, we’d highly recommend “The Old Skool Karijini Tour” with the Flying Sandgroper. The tour takes you through the park over two days and you see a range of the wonderful sites, this includes Hancock George to see the stunning Kermit Pool passing through the Spider Walk. The tour also includes Oxers, Junction Pool, Jofre lookouts, Knox Gorge, Dales Gorge, Fern Pool and Fortesque George. The tour sees many of the highlights of the area and includes all meals and sleeping arrangements are at their dedicated camp so the cost of this tour includes everything.
(Hancock Gorge (L) and Spider Walk (R) – Photo Credit: The Flying Sandgroper)
The tour allows some time to check out the Karijini Visitor Centre as well. The tour guides ensure you are looked after all the way as they meet you off the Integrity Coach on a Monday evening at the Tom Price Tourist Park and they drop you back to the Integrity Coach on a Wednesday afternoon at Auski Roadhouse.
(Taking a dip at Karijini National Park. Photo Credit: The Flying Sandgroper)
Although we think this tour is the best value for money, if you have more time and do not wish to be on a tour then contact The Flying Sandgroper about hiring a car from them. You can then explore the area for a week: you can catch the Integrity Coach to Tom Price arriving on the Monday evening, collect the car on the Tuesday and explore the area at your own pace and including Karijini National Park, Karijini Echo Retreat, a Mine Tour and perhaps visit the Cheela Plains Cattle Station as well. Drop the car back to The Flying Sandgroper the following Monday and catch the Integrity Coach out of Tom Price that evening.
HOW TO GET THERE AND BACK
Perth to Paraburdoo or Tom Price (closest access to the Karijini National Park)
Integrity Coach Lines have a bus that travels from Perth to Paraburdoo or Tom Price once a week. leaving Perth on Sundays at 7pm arriving in Paraburdoo on Monday at 7.55pm or Tom Price at 9.20pm. Passengers can also get on at other stops along the way such as Geraldton, Carnarvon, Coral Bay or Exmouth to name a few. The departure point in Perth is at the Tourist Bus Stop, which is on Wellington Street, out front of the Perth City Train Station. This makes it easy to take the train into the city to catch the coach from Perth to Paraburdoo or Tom Price. Tom Price is the closest departure point to the Karijini National Park and a tour can be taken from there.
Broome to Paraburdoo or Tom Price (closest access to the Karijini National Park)
Integrity Coach Lines have a bus that travels from Broome to Tom Price or Paraburdoo, once a week, though a nights accommodation is required at either Nanutarra Roadhouse, Exmouth or Coral Bay, depending where you’d prefer to spend a little time. The coach leaves the Broome Visitor Centre on Saturdays at 8pm arrives at Nanutarra Roadhouse on Sunday at 9.40am, at Exmouth on Sunday at 1.10pm and Coral Bay on Sunday at 3.10pm. Spend a night in one of these locations and then catch the coach the following day ie: leaves Coral Bay at 11am on Monday, Exmouth at 1.15pm on Monday or Nanutarra at 4.55pm on Monday, arriving in Parabardoo on Monday at 7.55pm or Tom Price at 9.20pm. (It is possible to have more than one night in these locations by leaving Broome on a Thursday night service rather than the Saturday night service)
Return or continue from Parabardoo or Tom Price to Perth or Broome.
Integrity Coach Lines travel from Parabardoo at 7.55pm and Tom Price at 9.20pm to Perth once a week, leaving on a Monday evening and arriving in Perth on a Wednesday morning at 7am.
To travel from Parabaroo or Tom Price to Broome (if aren’t doing the Old Skool Karijini Tour) then catch the coach mentioned above to either South Hedland or Karratha arriving in the early hours of the morning. Spend a couple of days checking out the locations before catching the next coach to Broome which leaves Karratha on Wednesday at 10.25pm or South Hedland on Thursday at 1.30am, arriving in Broome on Thursday morning at 8.15am.
(Map of Parabardoo Milkbar departure point)
(Map showing Tom Price Tourist Park deaprture point on left and Tom Price Visitor Centre departure point on the right).
Passengers that did the Old SkoolKarijinitour will be taken to Auski Roadhouse by the tour guide where they will catch Integrity Coach Lines on Wednesday at 4.05pm, arriving in Broome on Thursday morning at 8.15am.
(Map showing Auski Roadhouse which is part of the Auski Tourist Village).
What to expect on an Integrity Coach Lines journey
1) Short comfort stops approx. every three hours. This allows you to stretch your legs, use facilities at the roadhouses (there is also a toilet on the coach) and purchase food and drinks it you wish. You may also wish to bring dry snacks or meals that do not have distinctive odours such as eggs and tuna. And, of course, your water bottle is most welcome.
2) Capture glimpses of various towns along the way if you are using an Express ticket (point to point ticket). If you are using a Hop on Hop off pass then you may wish to stop and enjoy other towns for a couple of days rather than just pass through. The choice is yours!
3) Friendly, Personal and Knowledgeable Drivers. Drivers are knowledgeable on all locations and can provide tips and hints as needed. Two professional drivers per trip ensures they are well rested to get you to your destination safely. Best of all, they are a friendly crew that are very approachable.
So, why not catch a bus from Perth to Tom Price or Parabaroo, or Broome to Tom Price or Parabardoo and visit the Karijini National Park. There is so much to see and do, it really is a magical experience full or adventure. Call Integrity Coach Lines now on 08 92747464.
Courtesy of Judy Purkiss