Karijini is famous for its spectacular gorges, towering sheer sided chasms up to 100 metres deep, dramatic waterfalls, creeks, waterholes, and colours ranging from rocks that are pindan red-orange to deep blue-purple and jade green water.
This is an ancient part of the Earth. The slow process of erosion has carved the shape of the land out of rocks that are 2.5 billion years old to form this intriguing landscape and complex ecology.
Karijini's climate can best be described as tropical semi-desert. A highly variable, mainly summer rainfall of 250–350mm, often associated with thunderstorms and cyclones, is accompanied by temperatures frequently topping 40°C. The ideal times to visit are late autumn, winter, and early spring. Winter days are warm and clear, but nights are cold and sometimes frosty.
A party led by explorer F.T. Gregory explored the area in 1861. He named the Hamersley Range, on which the Park is centred, after his good friend Edward Hamersley.
The Park is the traditional home of the Banyjima, Kurrama, and Innawonga Aboriginal people. The Banyjima name for the Hamersley Range is Karijini. The name of the Park recognises the historic and continuing significance of the area to the people and their involvement in park management. Evidence of their ancestors’ occupation dates back more than 30,000 years. During that period, Aboriginal land management practices such as 'firestick farming', resulting in a diversity of vegetation types and stages of succession, have helped determine the nature of the plants and animals found in the Park today.