Located about 600km (373miles) or a 7 hours drive from Perth, Kalbarri National Park is one of the most popular spots to visit in Western Australia. Stepping into this park is like stepping into another world – the four million-year-old landscape is truly something you’ve got to witness with your own eyes!
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The park encompasses the estuary of the Murchison River and the Indian Ocean. It’s riddled with sandstone cliffs, gorges, and millions of wildflowers waiting to bloom.
There are two sections of this park – Kalbarri Coastal Park and Kalbarri Inland Park. With varying landscapes, an abundance of wildlife, and plenty of hiking options – there are enough things to do in Kalbarri National Park to keep you busy for a full two days!
The park has an entrance fee of $10 USD/vehicle and is open 6am – 6pm.
Best Time to Visit Kalbarri National Park
Peak tourist season is, of course, summertime. Between December and May, thousands of visitors flock to the park. And with good reason – the temperature is warm but not too warm and doesn’t cool down too much at night.
But we actually recommend visiting in September or October – you’ll get to witness the humpback whale migration AND the world-famous wildflower season. The park truly transforms during that time!
What to do in Kalbarri National Park
As previously mentioned, there are two sections of Kalbarri National Park – the coastal zone and the inland zone.
The coastal section of the park is a stunning view of the west coast. The high sea cliffs can be enjoyed via flat, easy walking trails.
This stop is the #1 reason we recommend visiting in the springtime (September/October). This area has a perfect lookout for whale watching, and just up the trail from the gorge, you can walk among the wildflowers as they bloom.
Mushroom Rock Nature Trail
This 3km(1.85 miles) loop will take you about 2 hours to complete if you’re soaking it in at a leisurely pace. It’s a great way to see the varying rock formations created over the last 4 million years. And if you go for sunset – you can see kangaroos grazing on shrubbery right along the coast.
You can take a rocky, winding path down the coast to a stunning beach and get a feel for the majesty of the coastline.
Just a short walk from the parking lot, the Island Rock is another breathtaking view of the coast!
The inland portion of the park is where you’re going to spend the majority of your time while visiting Kalbarri National Park – there’s just so much to see!
This lookout is widely considered the most beautiful in the entire park. From it, you can see massive gorges that look like they’ve been painted red they’re so vibrant!
Natures Window is the most famous attraction within Kalbarri National Park, and truly all of Western Australia! Layers of Tumblagooda Sandstone have stacked on top of each other for millions of years to create the perfect arch framing a breathtaking view of the river.
If you continue along the trail that led you to Natures Window, the trail will lead you along the gorges and Murchison River. It’s an 8km (5 miles) loop and can be slightly challenging at parts – but it is BEYOND worth it. Definitely prioritize this hike while in the park.
There is a downstream canoe tour of the Murchison River. Though you do get to paddle your own canoe, it is a guided tour with experienced professionals to teach you about the area and help you at any time. This is a 4~ hour tour that includes a meal and is $85/person.
As we’ve mentioned, September and October are the migration months for humpback whales. Your odds of seeing whales while along the coast are high!
If you want to get closer to the action and increase your chances of spotting them, join a tour. The expert guides on the Whale Watching Tour will be able to point the whales out to you immediately!
Important information about Kalbarri National Park
Prepare for flies
The park is a hot spot for flies – odds are you’re going to encounter quite a few of them on your hikes and trail walks through the park. Pack a natural insect repellant or even better, purchase a reusable black fly head net so you don’t have to wrap yourself in a funny head wrap as we did.
There’s No Camping Inside the Park
Actually – there’s no accommodation at all inside of the park. And free/wild camping is not allowed either. So you’re most likely going to need to stay in the town on Kalbarri itself.
In Kalbarri, accommodation options are plentiful. Here are our favourites:
Kalbarri Beach Resort
The Kalbarri Beach Resort is comprised of several fully functioning apartments and is located at the mouth of the Murchison River. The full kitchen is a great money saver – and perfect for prepping snacks to take into the park!
Murchison River Caravan Park
Equipped with several drive-thru spots, the Murchison River Caravan Park is perfect for anyone traveling by campervan. Even if you are just passing through in a rental car,they’ve got beautiful cabins available for rent as well!
There’s No Drinking Water Inside The Park
There are no water fountains or fill-up stations anywhere inside the park, so make sure to bring your own water supply! We suggest bringing a Camelbak or a Hydroflask water bottle– it’s especially nice to have water that’s still cold hours into a hot day of hiking.
There are also no convenience stores or souvenir shops within the park – so make sure to pack your own snacks/lunch if you plan to stay all day.
Kalbarri National Park is the perfect place for your next outdoor adventure. With incredible hikes, surreal and beautiful landscapes, and a variety of wildlife for you to encounter – get ready for the experience of a lifetime!
Are you going to be adding Kalbarri to your Western Australia itinerary?
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