Life Origins of Life

Pilbara & Karijini NP


August 2025
Expression of Interest

Embark on an unparalleled expedition with the distinguished Prof. Martin Van Kranendonk, a leading figure in astrobiology and geology. As you journey with him through the prehistoric landscapes of Pilbara & Karijini National Park, you’ll delve into the profound mysteries of life’s early beginnings on our planet. This extraordinary voyage is more than a simple tour—it’s a comprehensive exploration that connects the ancient world beneath our feet to the vast possibilities of life beyond Earth.

OVERVIEW

Pilbara & Karijini NP
12 People Max.

6 Days
August 2025

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YOUR XPEDITION LEADER

Prof Martin Van Kranendonk

With Professor Van Kranendonk as your guide, you will trace the critical evolutionary pathways that life on Earth has taken, glimpsing into the past through the lens of the world’s oldest stromatolites. These structures are not only windows into early life on our planet but also serve as critical analogs for the type of life scientists hope to discover on other planets and moons.

Trip Highlights

  • Discover the oldest evidence of life on planet Earth –
    3.5-billion-year-old stromatolites
  • Stay 1 night in BQX Base Camp, an abandoned mining camp
  • Visit Geoheritage reserves – Trendall & Buick stromatolites & Schopf microfossil sites
  • Insight into the local geology with Prof Martin Van Kranendonk exploring stromatolites, aboriginal petroglyphs and gold fossicking sites
  • Journey back in time to ancient gorges, and banded iron formations in the stunning Karijini National Park
  • Private tour of one of the worlds largest open
    cut mines
  • 4WD the remote railroad access tracks to Karratha
Xpedition Highlight

Insight into the local geology with Prof Martin Van Kranendonk exploring stromatolites, aboriginal petroglyphs and gold fossicking sites.

Qantas Travel Insider magazine feature

How did life begin? Are we alone in the universe? The answers to these big questions – and their impact on space exploration – might lie in the ancient landscapes of Australia’s North West.

Read about Sam McCue’s experience of the Pilbara and Karijini National Park Xpedition in her article for Qantas Travel Insider magazine.

The Booking Details

Pilbara & Karijini NP
  |  
August 2025
A 6 day Xpedition to the Pilbara and Karijini NP with Xpert Prof Martin Van Kranendonk.
What's Included
  • BQX Tour Leader
  • In field exploration with BQX Tour Xpert
  • 6 days 4WD Xpedition in the Pilbara and Karijini NP
  • Flights Perth to Port Hedland & Karratha to Perth included
  • Accommodation, meals, drinks & activities – as per itinerary
What's Not Included
  • Transfers on first day from Perth airport to hotel
  • Sleeping Bag at BQX base camp
  • Visas, travel insurance, vaccinations, laundry & other
    personal expenses

Expression of Interest

Make An Enquiry

For questions or booking please call +61 (0)2 9216 9056 or email bookings@bqx.com.au
Overview

Xpedition Itinerary

Pilbara & Karijini NP

Day 1
Arrive Perth

Join our Xpedition for a welcome dinner this evening.

1 night – Intercontinental Perth City Centre
dinner
Day 2
BQX CAMP

Start early morning with a flight from Perth to Port Hedland. On arrival meet the BQX Team and 4WD deep into the outback to reach our base camp located near Normay, an abandoned mine. Time to settle in and have lunch at camp. In the afternoon Prof. Martin Van Kranendonk starts our exploration into the rocky outcrops in the Trendall Reserve. Return to camp for sunset drinks and BBQ dinner.

1 night – Base Camp – Dome Tent
breakfast
lunch
dinner
Day 3
Marble Bar

This morning continue our drive to Marble Bar for a picnic lunch. An afternoon hike with our Tour Xpert takes us to Schopf microfossil site at Chinamans Creek. This evening’s dinner is included at the historic Iron Clad Hotel.

1 night - Travellers Rest, Marble Bar
breakfast
lunch
dinner
Day 4
Karijini National Park

After breakfast our Xpedition takes us to the spectacular Karijini National Park with its ancient rocks and iron banded formations. Enjoy the comforts of our deluxe tents and incredible scenery of the nearby Joffre gorge. Dinner is included in the restaurant this evening.

1 night – Karijini Eco Retreat – Deluxe Eco Tent
breakfast
lunch
dinner
Day 5
Karijini National Park

A full day to explore the dramatic gorges, swimming holes and enjoy the stunning scenery this remote park has to offer.

1 night – Karijini Eco Retreat – Deluxe Eco Tent
breakfast
lunch
dinner
Day 6
Depart Karratha

An early start with a private visit to the Rio Tinto mine near Tom Price. See the enormous trucks and machinery as you learn about the operations of the mine. Continue by 4WD along the rail access road and see the trains transport iron ore as we drive to Karratha.

Our Xpedition finishes at the airport
breakfast
lunch