After doing a little reading on the area, Andy and I were both looking forward to going to Kalbarri. It sounded like the town and surrounding area had plenty to offer in terms of coastline, wildlife and national parks bearing in mind the town itself only has a population of about 2,000 people.
On arriving in Kalbarri we checked into the Kalbarri Tudor Holiday Park which was a 1 minute drive from town and the beach. In town, there are two supermarkets (the IGA has a great selection of products), a pub, a bottle shop, butcher and a few other shops. The shops meet all your everyday needs.
The main road, where most of the shops are located, runs parallel to the Murchison River and continues south following 8 km of cliff paths and cycling tracks that gives you fantastic views of the various beaches below. Start at Chinamans Beach where you can fish from the shore, snorkel at Blue Holes and catch a left hand barrel at Jakes Point. There are plenty of lookouts along the way so you might be lucky enough to spot whales just off the coast (I was!).
About 30 km drive out of Kalbarri town is the Kalbarri National Park. If you read our post on Cervantes and the Pinnacles Desert, the National Park Holiday Pass mentioned can also be used here. If you don’t have one, it costs A$12 per vehicle to enter the national park.
The first day we visited the park, we headed to Nature’s Window. It is a 1 km return walk from the carpark and gives great views over the red river gorge. It makes for a great photo opportunity too!
If you fancy the walk then carry on to The Loop. This walk is a further 8 km return and you need to ensure you have plenty of water with you as the walk is unshaded. It was quite hot when we did this walk and we got through about 2 litres of water in the 2 hours 45 minutes it took us to get around (this included lots of….ooooh, look at that, let’s take a photo). I doubt I have the words to describe how awesome the sights were on this walk so I’ll leave it to the photos to do all the talking.
The following day we returned to the Kalbarri National Park to check out the Z-Bend which also has great views. The Z-Bend is a 1.2 km return walk from the carpark. Once again, there is an option for a longer walk which we did. Another 2.6 km return walk takes you down the rocks to the gorge bottom. This walk is down hill and includes climbing down two ladders and clambering over some large boulders through a corridor of rock. There were people abseiling the rock face as we walked past and if this is your thing, you can organise an abseiling trip in town. The walk to the gorge bottom wasn’t as challenging as described to us but once again, the views were great as the photos below show.
Before leaving Kalbarri, if you are up in the morning by 8:45, head down to the grassed area next to the Murchison River opposite the IGA to watch wild pelicans being fed. Some years ago, a fisherman spotted some pelicans here and started feeding them fish. Funnily enough, the pelicans started coming to the spot regularly and now the feeding of these birds has become an attraction. Bear in mind that the pelicans are wild so there is no guarantee they will appear everyday. The day that we visited, there were about 6 pelicans but the previous day only 1 turned up for breakfast. This is a free attraction but donations are greatly appreciated to cover the cost of the fish!
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