A six-hour drive from Perth, residing at the mouth of the Murchison River is the geographically impressive resort town of Kalbarri.
A family-favourite holiday destination along the Coral Coast Highway, the region is popular for its outdoor adventures and promises both land and water-based thrills. It’s also home to one of Australia’s most spectacular national parks, Kalbarri National Park:
What is it?
Stretching over 186,000 hectares, Kalbarri National Park is millennia old and contains endless traces of early life and evolution. The flow of the Murchison River over the past 400
million years has created magnificent deep red and white banded gorges through the landscape which makes for a spectacularly world stopping view.
Winter is also wildflower season, when you can delight in the myriad unique wildflowers that grow around the National Park’s inland gorges and coastal cliffs.
Where is it?
Nestled between Geraldton and Monkey Mia, Kalbarri is located 575km north of Perth. Kalbarri National Park is found at the lower reaches of the Murchison River, with access from the West via Anja-Kalbarri Road.
What to do:
Offering endless adventure and entertainment, this National Park has something for everyone, including:
Opening in 2020, Kalbarri Skywalk features twin skywalks which expand 25m and 17m beyond the gorge rim, with both sitting more than 100m above the Murchison River. Truly a view to experience with interpretive signage sharing the stories and history of the local Nanda people, a nearby kiosk, shade and toilets.
Nature’s Window, a rock formation perfectly framing the upstream view of the Murchison River, is one of WA’s most iconic natural attractions (and as a result one of its most Instagrammed spots). Located just a short walk from ‘The Loop’ carpark, Nature’s Window marks the beginning and end of The Loop Walk, an 8 kilometre walking trail (Class 4 hike).
Further south you’ll find the Z-Bend Lookout, a 600m walk delivering amazing views, and walk trails. Follow the Z Bend River Trail and descend down deep ladder climbs into the gorge for an adventurous experience while your hiking friends enjoy the 6km Four Ways Trail (Idinggada Yina) as a continued and increasingly challenging option.
Other Lookouts include Ross Graham Lookout, which is an ideal location to enjoy a walk or picnic along the Murchison River’s banks, Hawk’s Head, to enjoy views from the Hawk’s Head picnic area (wheelchair accessible lookout), and Meanarra Hill, the perfect vantage point for 360-degree views of Kalbarri and the Murchison River.
Magnificent towering coastal cliffs plummet 100 metres down to the ocean waves below and extend 13 kilometres into the national park from Red Bluff, just south of Kalbarri town.
For more spectacular vantage points, wonder at views from Shell house Grandstand, Natural Bridge and Island Rock, Eagle Gorge, Pot Alley and Mushroom Rock.
Or you can trek 8 kilometres (one-way) along the unique Birgurda Trail to truly take in the stunning coastal views. Showcasing a vast array of wildflower species from July to November, it’s common to spot pods of dolphins and migrating humpback whales on your journey.
While Kalbarri National Park is an undeniably unforgettable experience, the town is not missing its fair share of thrill-seeking adventures.
The scenic Wagoe Beach offers a fully guided self-drive Quad Bike & Beach Buggy Tour 20 kilometres south of Kalbarri where you’ll ride along the beautiful sand dunes. If quadding isn’t your thing, then maybe you’d prefer a relaxing horse or pony ride through the forest along the Big River?
Kalbarri Scenic Flights range from 20-minutes to full day experiences and tour over the gorges of the Murchison River, Coastal Cliffs and Hutt Lagoon (Pink Lake) making for unbeatable views.
You can also tackle the iconic Pink Lake on the ground by simply driving past, or teeing up a guided Pink Lake Buggy Tour from Port Gregory.
June to November, when humpback whales embark on their annual migration along the Western Australian coast, is the perfect time to enjoy whale watching from the coastal cliffs or on a water tour with Kalbarri Rock Lobster Tours and Charter.
Stargazers should also set coordinates to Kalbarri – it’s an awe-inspiring place to marvel at the starry nights and Milky Way skies. Astrology lovers can experience the skies through a telescope on tour with D’Guy Charters.
Start planning your next Kalbarri adventure at the Australia’s Coral Coast website.
Image Credit: Australia’s Coral Coast, Alexandra Casey