Kalbarri National Park
This national park is truly something special and should be on the top of your Western Australia travel itinerary. The Kalbarri National Park is hands down one of the most amazing national parks in Western Australia. With nearly 200,000 hectares of outback and coastal land just waiting to be explored there is a little something here for everyone.
The coastal town of Kalbarri is just a “quick” 6.5 hour drive north of Perth and is a popular getaway for many Western Australians as well as international travelers. Situated at the meeting point of the Murchison River and the Indian Ocean your eyes will feast upon deep red rock river gorges and soaring coastal cliffs.
The national park is split up into two very diverse sections. Inland you will find 400 million year old gorges carved out of the striking red sandstone by the tidal flats of an ancient sea. On the coastal side you will find soaring cliffs that meet the deep blue waters of the Indian ocean with many unique rock formations and picturesque lookouts that are perfect for whale watching.
The inland river gorges are the perfect spot for a bushwalk, abseiling, canoeing, sightseeing, and wildflower displays in season. There are a few walks here but two of our favorites are the Loop walk and the Z Bend walk. The Loop walk is an 8km loop trail that leads you past the popular Nature’s Window and then along the upper ridge and eventually down into the lower gorges of the park. This walk is not for the faint of heart and can be challenging at times but it is definitely worth the effort. With stunning views this walk is a must do if you are up for the challenge. Be sure to pack plenty of water with you though because it can be quite hot!
The next walk we recommend not missing out on while visiting the National Park is the Z Bend walk. This trail is a bit shorter than the Loop walk and a bit easier as well. You will only need about 1.5 hours to complete this walk 2.6km return hike which takes you down into the heart of the massive gorges. And of course no visit to the national park is complete without a visit to Nature’s Window. This is the most iconic spot in the National Park so be sure to check it out and get a photo that is perfectly framed by the naturally formed rock arch with views of the river 100 meters below. The last stop we will recommend to you for the inland gorges is the newly constructed Skywalk. This is the perfect spot for all ages and abilities as it is even wheelchair accessible. Here you can venture out on a platform that extends 25 meters into the gorge.
Once you have had your fill of the inland sites head on down the coast to see the other half of this spectacular park. Here you will find soaring coastal limestone cliffs carved out by the ocean. Some of these towering cliff formations are 100 meters high. Choose your favorite lookout for some whale watching during their annual migration between the months of July and October.
One great thing about the coastal cliff sites is that they are all free of charge. Be sure to check out the Natural Bridge and Island Rock. Natural Bridge is a great spot for spotting dolphins and migrating whales in season. Island Rock is also exactly as it sounds, a solitary stack of rock that was once part of the shoreline and is reminiscent of the famous 12 Apostles site in Victoria.
As you can see Kalbarri National Park is a unique and special place where ancient red soil and rugged terrain collide with pristine white sandy beaches and towering limestone coastal cliffs. Adventure awaits around every corner in the diverse National Park.