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.
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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