Continuing on our essential Australia series we now look at one of Western Australia’s lesser known gems. We knew nothing about the Kalbarri before planning our journey north from Perth. What we found was a wondrous quaint coastal town and a huge National Park full of splendor.
The town is set on the coastline and river inlet, it has a very relaxed atmosphere and a range of wonderful restaurants and eateries. Even though it is a coastal town and can become quite busy due to its proximity to Perth (1 days drive). However it retains its authentic feel, unlike some of the small towns of the East Coast that can be overwhelmed with tourists. This maybe due to the draw of the park to hikers, explorers and wilderness enthusiasts instead of the party/beach scene.
Although the town does have a small beach, it primarily faces the river inlet meaning that it is usually calm and ideal for a quick swim. The inlet itself is protected from the coastal elements by impressive sea cliffs that span in both directions. Sunset over the town is sublime, as it turns the sand a golden orange colour and sets into the ocean.
The National Park itself is very pretty, but wouldn’t rank as one of our favourites. It’s two biggest draws are its river gorge and its spectacular rock formations. Unfortunately when we visited the river gorge was very dry and a little less impressive, however the natural rock formation ‘Natures Window’ is worth the drive itself. Nature’s window is a natural rock formation at the top of a cliff face, whereby that the elements have created a hollow in the rock. This provides a spectacular photo opportunity of the surrounding valley through the hollow/window itself.
The park is known for miles of hiking trails into the true Australia bush, and although we didn’t experience it’s true wilderness, the sense of quiet and tranquility is intoxicating. Hikers go for days in these parks, becoming one with the elements and natural sense of the world. We imagine the park would be incredible at night, due to the clear skies and natural wildlife that thrives here.
All in all the Kalbarri offers a little something of everything for all tourists exploring Australia. Although not as remote or awe-inspiring as its northern counterpart, the Karijini it is a much safer and easier option. For those who are travelling the West Coast of Australia, it is an essential location to savor and explore.
Please see the Essential Australian series on A Wandering Memory below: