Region: Western Australia
Outdoor activities: Hike, snorkeling, horse riding …
Sustainable tourism rating:
Australia has lots of natural treasures for the Surfonaleaf Sportrotters. Kalbarri National Park is one of them and it is definetly worth a visit if you are on the west coast! You will enjoy all the outdoor activities you wish in this spectacular park.
You can start with a hike on the coastal cliffs, south of the city, and you can enjoy the great views over the Indian Ocean. Several hikes are possible along the cliffs with durations ranging from 15 minutes to 8 hours. The lookouts, scattered over several kilometers are all exceptional: Pot alley, Mushroom Rock, Eagle Gorge to name a few of our favorites.
We advise you to do the Bigurda Trail or at least enjoy a sunset on the cliffs of Red Bluff and meet joyful kangaroos.
Keep heading north and stop at the Blue Holes. A pristine white sand and beautiful turquoise water waves vigorously crashing on rocks have created a lagoon with colorful fish where you can go snorkel straight from the beach.
On your second day put on your hiking shoes, head east and at only 30 km from the town of Kalbarri, you will enter the Australian red colored territory. The gorges of the Murchison River will leave you breathless!
The lookouts are easy to access to all vehicles but the last kilometers of the road to Z Bent and Loop are gravel and sand and can be closed in case of bad weather. The Nature Window (at Loop Lookout) is the most popular with tourists (you’ll see on all the pictures).
Once you get yours to make your friends jealous, we advise you to continue with The Loop, a hike of eight km (Level four, three to five hours). This hike begins on the cliffs offering spectacular views, but don`t let yourself carried away and mind your steps too:)
Then the trail follows the river on the rocks with a some obstacles but the beautiful landscapes will reward you. The end (or the beginning of the hike depending which direction you choose) goes through sand dunes with desert vegetation all along the river. You will be surprised to see watermelons in the middle of nowhere but we don`t think that you can eat them if you are thirsty. It is better to carry your own bottle of water, it can get very hot and there is no drinking water in the Park.
The most exceptional view of the park is the Z Bend. This lookout situated on the cliffs looks over the gorge. If you want to get rid of the dust of of the flies you can go for a swim in the river!
Yep, we have only told you the bright side of the park but unfortunately, it has its not so nice sides also, and one of them is your new friends THE FLIES ! The parking Z Bend lookout is also the starting point of a 6km hike (Four Ways trail, Level 4).
Finally, you can also go to Ross Graham and Hawks Lookout at about thirty kilometers from here. They also offer many points of view on the river and you can also swim but we found them less impressive.
You should stay at least three days in Kalbarri to explore the park and enjoy the outdoor activities offered in the heart of the park: Abseiling, canoeing / kayaking, horseback riding, scenic flight … You can also try to fish because the fishing spots are numerous and local will give you valuable advice. And also because the restaurants are very expensive 🙂
The park entrance is $ 12 per vehicle or free if you bought the parks Pass WA. Finally for the logistics, you will find everything you need in the small town of Kalbarri accommodation, campsites, a small supermarket …
-Many outdoor activities for the Sportrotters and unforgettable views just a few kilometers from Kalbarri.
-On the road between Geraldton and Kalbarri, do not miss the Pink Lake at Port Gregory.
The cons :
Flies are everywhere in the park and on the cliffs, this may spoil the moment. We advise you to go hiking early in the morning while it’s still too cold for these small pesky beasts. Equip yourself with a mosquito net or a veil to protect your face. Long sleeves and pants are also recommended.