The coastal town of Kalbarri has developed in recent years from an
isolated community of fishermen and holiday shacks to a holiday
destination offering a wide choice of activities and accommodation.
Kalbarri is so popular these days, during peak holiday season the
population of Kalbarri increases substantially to the degree that it is
advisable to book accommodation in advance at these times. The two
drawcards that have made this so are the Murchison River gorges off the
road leading to the town and the stark, dramatic coastline to the
south. It is around them that most of the activities on offer to
Sandboarding, canoeing and quad biking are popular activities. There
are several companies offering cruises up the magnificent Murchison
River, departing from the Jetty in Kalbarri; canoes or kayaks can be
hired for those who prefer a more 'hands-on' trip up the river, either
for travel as part of 12 km guided safari, or on their own.
Several aerial tours are available that take in the Zuytdorp Cliffs,
Murchison River Gorges (Kalbarri National Park, Abrolhos Islands,
Monkey Mia, Coral Bay, Ningaloo Reef and more. For the Monkey Mia tour,
the plane can land at Shark Bay airport and the tour can continue at
the beach with the dolphins before flying back to Kalbarri. Visitors
who don't have the time to visit the Shark Bay region find this flight
the perfect way to incorporate them into a visit to Kalbarri.
The coastal gorges and cliffs provide many excellent photo
opportunities, as well as coastal walks, swimming and surfing on the
beaches up and down the coast. Recreational fishing is also popular,
with good catches being taken from the beaches at Wittecarra Creek and
Blue Holes as well as from the cliffs.
The highlights of the coastal Gorges are:
Red Bluff - From the lookout you can view the notorious Zuytdorp Cliffs to the north.
Mushroom Rock - a rock shaped as a mushroom
Rainbow Valley - Layers of different coloured minerals form a spectrum in stone
Pot Alley - The view from the top shows the beauty of the coast while rock steps lead down to a secluded beach
Eagle Gorge - panoramic view from the top or wander down to the beach
Shellhouse and Grandstand - See the effects of the Indian Ocean
continually crashing against the soft limestone cliffs. Island Rock -
Part of the limestone cliff which has been isolated from the shoreline
like the twelve apostles in Victoria.
Natural Bridge - The waves have slowly carved a hole in the limestone to form a natural bridge.
Castle Cove - Another lookout point to view the cliff formations.
Aquatic wildlife is plenteous in and around Kalbarri. Dolphins are
regularly seen off the coast as are whales during the migratory season
of June to October. Rain, hail or shine, the Pelicans are fed in
Kalbarri each morning of the year at 8:45. There is also a Seahorse
Sanctuary, Kalbarri Oceanarium and Rainbow Jungle Australian Parrot
The Rainbow Jungle (The Australian Parrot Breeding Centre), located
a few kilometres south of the town centre, features hundreds of exotic
species of birds in their native habitat plus a walk-in cage allowing
humans to interact with the birds. Red Bluff and other coastal cliffs
and formations are located south of the town.
Kalbarri National Park
Inland activities tend to be focused around the Murchison River,
which winds its way through a series of very scenic sandstone gorges on
its way to its estuary at the township. The gorges that lie within
Kalbarri National Park can be accessed by a series of well maintained
unsealed roads that lead from the main road into Kalbarri to a number
of lookouts. Walking tracks lead from these lookouts into the gorges
themselves. There are plenty of optional walking and hiking trails
through the gorges which are clearly marked. Wildflowers bloom in
abundance between August and October after winter rains.
The most popular walking track in Kalbarri National Park can be
found at the Nature's Window, called The Loop. It is an 8km trek which
takes you along the top of the gorges, then slowly winds down to a
sandy beach at the river front (great spot for a packed lunch). The
Loop then follows the river around the gorges and cliff faces and
eventually arrives at another sandy beach from where, you can see the
marked path leading back up to Natures Window. To walk the whole track
requires a fair amount of fitness and agility as there are several
difficult spots, mainly along the cliff face. Allow 3-4 hrs. which is
adequately takes in rest stops and photo taking.
There are also longer walks throughout the National Park. A 38km
trek from the Ross Graham Lookout to The Loop requires up to 4 days to
cover. Two day hikes can also be done from either the Ross Graham
Lookout to the Z-Bend or the Z-Bend to The Loop (where Nature's Window
is). Maps and further information are available from the Kalbarri
National Park information centre which is situated on the
Ajana-Kalbarri road just before you enter the town of Kalbarri itself.