The Heavy Hiker

Sharing Hiking Experiences in Western Australia

Kalbarri National Park

This week we headed for Kalbarri for some much needed R & R and the spectacular coastal walks and gorges certainly didn’t disappoint!

With the Restless Hiker in tow we were only able to hit some of the shorter walks but thankfully the Kalbarri National Park doesn’t require you to walk 100’s of kilometres to enjoy the scenery.

Kalbarri is a coastal town in Mid-West Western Australia, approximately 592 kilometres from Perth making it a leisurely 7 hour drive from the city. Cautious of the notoriously bad Indian Ocean Drive we took it easy and stopped at the Pinnacles on the way up; offering some respite from looming cabin fever in the car for an hour’s walk through the conservation area.

Arriving at Kalbarri we were delighted to find that we had managed to snag a ‘River View’ room at the mouth of the Murchison River. Kalbarri itself is only a small town so you’re never far from the river, coastal cliffs and sandy beaches. First, we headed to the “Mushroom Rock” walk along the coastline. This whole area has a number of walks that all join up and so you could easily spend an entire day just walking the coastline to explore the various inlets and gorges and it would certainly be worth the effort!

Mushroom Rock is only a short 1.4 kilometre walk down a gorge to the coast and back up. It’s a very casual walk but could prove a little taxing on the way back up if you’re out in the baking hot sun, so best to check this walk out when it isn’t roasting. We thankfully arrived on an overcast morning and were able to get some very moody photos of the waves crashing against the cliffs. Stunning.

Mushroom Rock itself is actually quite unremarkable but it is a good marker just to get people to explore this area of the coast I suppose. Keep an eye out for rock crabs, coastal wildflowers and whales off the coast. 

Later in the week we took the drive out to Nature’s Window. Again, the car-park is placed nice and close to the landmark which is great if you are exploring with less fit people. The walk down to Nature’s Window from the car-park has been sealed making it a very casual stroll (We were also pleased to find that the entire 25km road into the park has now been completely sealed). There are stairs at the walk however, so Nature’s Window is not accessible by wheelchairs. That said, there is still a remarkable view up near the car-park so a visit out this way will  still not disappoint.

The gorges on the approach are really beautiful. The red rock formations are truly something to see however the gorge system itself is not as deep as those further north. For a casual nature lover without hiking experience this little spot is lovely and well frequented by tourists. There’s some nice picnic spots near the car-park overlooking the gorges and there are also long drop toilets.

Note: Beware if you’re using the long drops don’t leave your phone in your back-pocket. I managed to lose my phone straight down the loo as I ’embarked’ it’s little notification light glowing atop a mountain of you-know-what. I imagine it’s still down there, it’s little light getting dimmer and dimmer with every ‘visitor’. -Sigh-.

Top Tips for Kalbarri:

  • Get out in Spring Time for the wildflowers and to avoid the super hot weather
  • If you leave now you can make it in time to see the whale migration – we went out with Reefwalker and got to see some massive whales playing off the coast
  • You could easily spend 2 days just exploring the parks and various walking trails
  • Check out Wagoe Beach Quad Tours 
  • Hire a motorboat for a couple of hours to get up and down the river, or go on the river tour
  • Big Breakfast at Black Rock Cafe is epic!

Hope you all have a chance to hit the trails this weekend as I’m convinced the warm weather is on the approach. Don’t waste a minute – get out there! Hh.

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