Covering an area of approximately 628,000 hectares, Karijini is the second largest national park in WA and was formed over two billion years ago. The atmosphere contained much less oxygen and the only forms of life were simple iron and silica-rich bacteria and algae. Over many millions of years, these iron-rich deposits gradually turned into the tough, well-bedded rock you find in the park today.
Formerly known as Hamersley National Park, its modern name originates from the traditional Aboriginal land owners. The Banyjima, Kurrama and Innawonga Aboriginal people have lived in Karijini National Park for over 20,000 years. The diversity of vegetation and animal species found in the park today are a result of their ancient land management practices.
European explorer F.T. Gregory explored the area in 1861 and named the Hamersley Range, a major feature of Karijini National Park, after his close friend Edward Hamersley.