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Kirsten conquers her fears in Karrijini

Updated: May 11, 2023

One of our goals is to encourage our staff to adventure out their comfort zones and make lasting memories along the way. Kirsten Neil recently embarked on an outback adventure to Karajini National Park in northern WA that did just that.

Kalamina Gorge view

Not too long ago, I headed up North to Karijini National Park and I couldn’t think of a better time to use the 2 days of my adventure leave. The trip was filled with massive amounts of hiking, bordering on climbing some days, which in itself was worth using my adventure leave, but it was swimming to make it up under the waterfall in Jubula (Fern Pool) that was the biggest win for me!

Sitting under the fern Pool waterfall

Last time we were there I had a panic attack while swimming up to the waterfall. It’s a deep pool and eery when you get close to the waterfall, the water changes from a lovely greenish blue to a deep black (due to rocks closer to the surface). I remember the last time when I couldn’t find any footholds, it woke some ancient instinctual part of my brain, and told me to GET OUT! So, making it to the waterfall this time, despite the anxiety and pushing past to get up the rocks and sit under the overhang was an amazing feeling that I will never forget.

I also conquered some of my other fears on this trip; I pushed myself to do a long swim down one of the gorges which was further than I would normally feel comfortable and faced a number of VERY large spiders with little to no drama. One of them in particular was sitting on a ledge in the washroom above my head. When I noticed it, I calmly flushed the toilet and walked quickly out of there which is a big win for someone with arachnophobia who prior to coming to Australia definitely would have screamed, ran out, and likely requested to immediately drive home!


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