The annual migration north for winter is about to begin, and one of the first stops is a little beach town in WA called Kalbarri. Don’t be fooled though, this little town is full to the brim with adventure and you might find it hard to fit it all in in just a couple of days.
Kalbarri is an all seasons kind of place, although summer can get very hot, with temperatures increasing as you descend into the gorges.
There’s a bit of something here for everyone, so here’s a quick guide to seeing the best of Kalbarri.
The gorges in Kalbarri are just one of the spots you should see.
1. The Pink Lake
Heading north, at Northhampton head toward the coast, taking the scenic route through Horrocks and Port Gregory. Both are small sleepy villages dotted with beach shacks. You will find a stunning reef just off the shore at both towns. Hutt Lagoon is just inland from Port Gregory and you can’t miss it, the unnatural looking pink is hard to miss.
The hues of pink you will see depend on the Dunaliella Salina algae blooms and the different angles of sunlight throughout the day. Mine service roads separate the lagoon into different sections, each section has it’s own variety of pink. Head over to the eastern side, where you will be able to walk out on these built up roads for a better view.
The pink-hued Hutt Lagoon is a must see.
2. The cliffs of Kalbarri National Park
On the way into Kalbarri be sure to check out the abrupt coastal cliffs of the National Park. Similarities can be drawn between these cliffs and those at the Twelve Apostles when you’re looking out at Island Rock. You will need a pass to get into the National Park, which can be purchased from the Visitor Centre.
The colours are like layers in a multicoloured birthday cake, and at The Grandstand it seems like crumbling steps into the deep blue sea. The cliffs are a magic place to see the sunset.
Check out the sunset from the cliffs of Kalbarri.
3. Eagle Gorge
Take the time to walk down to the beach and be surrounded by the rusty layered rock walls that stand high above the sea. To the left-hand side of the beach, you’ll find a few little rock pools to cool off in.
Take a dip in the rock pools at Eagle Gorge.
4. Snorkelling at Blue Holes
This small marine sanctuary zone offers a protected area to get up close and personal with some fishy friends. It’s best getting here early before the wind picks up and effects the visibility. You’ll see octopus, a variety of parrot fish, crays hiding under ledges and cute little angel and clownfish.
Hire a boat or kayak and enjoy the water at Chinamans Beach.
5. Chinamans Beach
When the wind picks up you’ll find shelter and calm waters at Chinamans Beach near the entrance to the Murchison River mouth. Just nearby you can hire boats, kayaks and stand up paddle boards to really make a day of it out on the water.
Nature’s window is a must-see and one of the park’s most famous spots.
6. Nature’s Window
This is one of Kalbarri’s biggest attractions. Just 500m metres from the carpark you will see this perfect picture frame that encompasses a stunning view down into the gorge. Throughout the day the colours here change rapidly with the brightest reds lit up at sunrise and sunset.
For a great view of the park, don’t miss the Z-bend lookout.
7. Z Bend Hike & River Walk
Temperatures can reach 50° down in the gorge and the hike down is short but not easy. The Z-Bend lookout offers one of the loveliest views of Kalbarri National Park and is only 600m from the car park, and then down into the gorge is another 1.6km.
The hike down is somewhat of a clamber, down ladders and between huge boulders, before you reach the water’s edge. If you’ll willing to put in a bit more time and effort it is worth a rock hop down the gorge toward the left. Here you will most likely find a place to cool off in a larger pool of water with some overly friendly perch.
You’ll have to climb down ladders on this hike to reach the gorge.
8. Wildflower season
July to October is when Kalbarri National Park becomes flushed with the colour of wildflowers. Some flowers are particularly special to the area and draw big crowds. The best places to see some of these colourful blooms are at the top of the cliffs near the gorges.
Rock hop and cool off in the water.
Where to camp
Unfortunately, there are only a few rest stops out on the highway that allow you to free camp a night or two. There are about five caravan parks in town all offering similar facilities for similar prices. The Murchison Caravan Park, however, offers the best outlook in the heart of town and close to all activities.
What’s your favourite national park in Western Australia?
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