Joffre Falls

Karijini National Park / Pilbara Region / near Tom Price, Western Australia, Australia

Rating: 2.5     Difficulty: 1
Joffre Falls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Joffre Falls was an attractively tall seasonal waterfall tumbling into a natural amphitheater at the head of the red-cliffed Joffre Gorge. Like the other waterfalls of Karijini National Park, a distinguishing feature of the falls was the contrast of bold colors between the bright reds of the gorge cliffs, the green of the foliage growing atop the gorge itself, and the blues of the cloudless skies as well as the bluish hues of the shadows we encountered during our visit.

We happened to have timed our trip to maximize the likelihood of the waterfall flowing (i.e. as close to the Wet Season as possible) while also trying to maximize the waterfall's accessibility on unsealed roads (i.e. as deep into the Dry Season as possible). It certainly seemed like the deeper into the Dry Season you get, the drier the falls would become. So given these competing requirements, the state you see the falls in on this website reflected how well we timed our visit in June 2006 though admittedly, we were helped by an unusual late season cyclone (Cyclone Monica) in early May.

The timing also impacted our waterfall visit in a different way. In this sense, we happened to show up a little bit too late in the afternoon. As you can see from the photos on this page, there were shadows that dominated the Joffre Gorge, which conspired to subject our photos to the extremes of light and dark contrasts. In other words, the shadowy regions were either too dark or the light regions were too washed out. We couldn't achieve a happy medium of the light and dark zones. Thus, our photos were always split by shadows, and I'd imagine that the best time of day to photograph the falls would be right at the height of the day where shadows would be less of a problem.

Joffre Falls was said to be around 50m tall so that set it apart from many of the other reasonably accessible waterfalls in the state of Western Australia (or WA) which tended to be on the shorter side. We were easily able to appreciate the falls from a lookout platform just a short walk from its car park (see directions below). As for going into the gorge itself, from what we could tell, it wasn't safely possible. Thus, this place could not really be looked upon like a swimming hole, unless the other waterfalls of Karijini National Park.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Contextual view of Joffre Falls and its narrow shadowy gorgeContextual view of Joffre Falls and its narrow shadowy gorge
The Oxer Lookout was just minutes of driving from the Joffre Falls Lookout, and it was a dramatic demonstration of just how deep the watercourses here have cut into the red rock gorgesThe Oxer Lookout was just minutes of driving from the Joffre Falls Lookout, and it was a dramatic demonstration of just how deep the watercourses here have cut into the red rock gorges
About 6 hours west of Joffre Falls was the town of Coral Bay and the Ningaloo Reef, which we thought was an excellent place to detour to or from the remote Pilbara RegionAbout 6 hours west of Joffre Falls was the town of Coral Bay and the Ningaloo Reef, which we thought was an excellent place to detour to or from the remote Pilbara Region
Further to the south of Ningaloo Reef was the quaint coastal town of Monkey Mia, which might be most known for a pod of dolphins that reliably show up in the mornings as they did when we were thereFurther to the south of Ningaloo Reef was the quaint coastal town of Monkey Mia, which might be most known for a pod of dolphins that reliably show up in the mornings as they did when we were there
West of the Karijini NP Visitor Center, the Banjima Drive became unsealedWest of the Karijini NP Visitor Center, the Banjima Drive became unsealed

Contextual view of Joffre Falls and its amphitheaterContextual view of Joffre Falls and its amphitheater

Full context of Joffre Falls and the surrounding area around the Joffre GorgeFull context of the falls and the surrounding area around the Joffre Gorge

Closeup view of Joffre Falls being split by shadowsCloseup view of the falls being split by shadows

Before leaving Karijini NP, we made a quick stop at the Oxer Lookout not far from Joffre FallsBefore leaving Karijini NP, we made a quick stop at the Oxer Lookout not far from the falls

It looked like there were a lot of birds within the gorges converging at the Oxer LookoutIt looked like there were a lot of birds within the gorges converging at the Oxer Lookout

More unsealed driving on the Banjima Drive on our way back to the sealed Karijini DriveMore unsealed driving on the Banjima Drive on our way back to the sealed Karijini Drive


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS




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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

The car park for the Joffre Gorge Lookout (and the hence the falls lookout) is about 31km west of the Karijini National Park Visitor Center. The driving becomes unsealed west of the visitor center (at least when we were there).

Look for a signed turnoff for the Joffre Gorge and Knox Gorge to the right off the unsealed Banjima Drive and take it for another 2km to the car park. From there, it's a less than 10-minute walk to the platform looking into the shadowy gorge.

For directions to Banjima Drive from Karijini Drive and surrounds, see the directions on the Fortescue Falls page.

To provide you some context of the remoteness of Karijini National Park, it's about 101km (over 90 minutes drive) east of Tom Price, 337km (4 hours drive) south of Port Hedland, and 702km (8.5 hours drive) east of Coral Bay.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES




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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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RELATED PAGES



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