Classic Kalbarri scenery on the Loop trail
Located about a 6 hour drive north of Perth lies Kalbarri National Park, a region filled with quintessential Australian landscape backdrops around every corner which I was fortunate enough to visit last spring. The drive up is long and is a good reminder of the vastness of the Australian outback, but also reminds me that there are many places to explore within our very own backyard.
Situated along Australia’s Coral Coast, the park features incredible inland gorges juxtaposed against jaw dropping coastal cliffs. I would definitely recommend spending more than a few days here so that you can properly relax and soak in the scenery. There are plenty of places to explore and get lost in this beautiful region of Australia.
Take a peek through Nature’s Window, Kalbarri’s iconic lookout
Spend a day or more inland and visit the spectacle of Nature’s Window, the perfect frame to the park shaped by Earth’s natural processes over many years. If you have some time and a spring in your step, consider hiking the Loop trail that takes you down into the gorge and back around, but be wary of the climate as temperatures can easily reach 50°C so bring plenty of water. There are some great viewpoints along the way to admire the brilliant rock formations that nature has carved. Time your visit between July and October and you’ll see the scenery speckled with wildflowers as an added bonus.
Get lost among the river red gums and sandstone cliffs
Just minutes away from the Nature’s Window is the Z-Bend Lookout, a great vantage point of just one of many kinks in the Murchison River that cut through the sandstone gorges. For the more adventurous, you can tackle the Z-Bend River trail which takes you along a narrow path, climbing down ladders and scrambling across boulders to reach the bottom of the gorge. It only takes a couple of hours, but you’ll soon find yourself surrounded by stunning red gums and towering cliffs, allowing you to fully appreciate the grandeur of the landscape.
Go for a rock scramble down to the Murchison River
If you prefer a sea breeze while you hike, Kalbarri has many trails that take you along the rugged coastline to marvel at dazzling rock formations and discover secluded beaches. And if you’re lucky you may even spot some whales saying hello out at sea. There are some great snorkelling spots to explore right off the beach too, such as the Blue Holes just out of the town. Spend your evenings relaxing on one of many beaches, perhaps even try your luck at fishing, although hopefully you have better luck than I did. Either way, you’ll have a great time watching the sunset.
Fishing off Red Bluff Beach – the Singi Trekking Shirt is perfect for chilly sunsets on the beach
Once it is finally time to head off to your next destination, be sure to check out the surrounding areas as there are plenty of nearby towns to drop past. About half an hour to the south you’ll find Hutt Lagoon, the brilliant bubblegum pink salt lake sitting next to the Indian Ocean. The lake is pink due to the Dunaliella salina algae that live in the waters. This is a great stop for some last photos and to say goodbye to the region before heading back to civilisation.
Go for a stroll on the salt shores of Hutt Lagoon
Written by Jeremy Lee