Things to do in Kalbarri National Park, WA | 2023 Guide

Located about 600km (373miles) or a 7-hour drive from Perth, Kalbarri National Park is one of the most popular spots to visit in Western AustraliaStepping 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 coastal 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.

Oksana and Max, Kalbarri National Park
Oksana and Max, Kalbarri National Park
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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 river gorges zone.

Coastal Park

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.

Coastal Section, Kalbarri National Park
Coastal Section, Kalbarri National Park

Eagle Gorge

This stop is the #1 reason we recommend visiting in the springtime (September/October). Eagle Gorge’s 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.

Pot Alley

You can take a rocky, winding path down the coast to a stunning beach in Pot Alley and get a feel for the majesty of the coastline.

Island Rock

Just a short walk from the parking lot, the Island Rock is another breathtaking view of the coast!

Bigurda Boardwalk

The Bigurda Boardwalk is an elevated pathway linking Island Rock to Natural Bridge. Along the way, there’s a shaded shelter where you can take a seat, relax, and enjoy the breathtaking views of the coastline along the Natural Bridge.

Inland Park

The inland gorge sites of the park is where you’re going to spend the majority of your time while visiting the stunning Kalbarri National Park – there’s just so much to see!

Visiting Kalbarri National Park
Murchison River Gorge. Inland part of the Kalbarri National Park

Z Bend

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!

Z Bend River Trail

For seasoned hikers seeking a challenge, the Z Bend River Trail covers a more demanding 2.6-kilometer round trip. Starting from the Z Bend Lookout path (Z Bend Walking Trail), this trail involves a steep descent into the gorge, ladder climbs, walks along natural rocky routes, and encounters loose rocks.

Nature’s Window

Nature’s 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.

Visiting Kalbarri National Park
Nature’s Window, Kalbarri National Park

Loop Hike

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.

Murchison River Gorge
Murchison River Gorge

Activities Available

Canoe Safari

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.

Whale Watching

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! 

Visiting Kalbarri National Park
Watching out for some whales

Hiking, Surfing, and Swimming

Enjoy surfing and swimming in the Indian Ocean at Red Bluff Beach. Begin by hiking down from the Lookout to Red Bluff Beach along the beach trail, also known as Gaba Gaba Yina. Along the way, take in the incredible views across the Indian Ocean and witness impressive rock formations. Reward yourself with a refreshing swim or surf at the bottom.

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 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.

Oksana at Kalbarri National Park
Oksana at Kalbarri National Park

Wear Appropriate Hiking Gear

The sun can get pretty intense, so it’s important to wear suitable hiking gear, hiking shoes, and don’t forget a hat and sunscreen! If you’re hiking during the warmer months, it’s a good idea to start early in the day. Keep in mind that the Loop Trail is off-limits for hiking from 7 am, especially from November to March, and if you’re visiting in the warmer months, consider bringing swimwear. It’s a great way to cool off in the river.

Visiting Kalbarri National Park
Being prepared for flies is essential. We clearly weren’t!

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.

Western Australia Kalbarri WA 4886

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Where to Stay in Kalbarri 

In Kalbarri, accommodation options are plentiful. Here are our favourites:

Gecko Lodge Kalbarri

If you’re looking to splurge, we recommend Gecko Lodge Kalbarri. It is a romantic, adults-only bed and breakfast just a 5-minute walk from the beautiful coastline and Murchison River, also conveniently close to local shops and cafes on Grey Street, you can also explore the gardens and visit rare parrots at Rainbow Jungle Kalbarri. The lodge offers a total of 6 rooms, each featuring an en suite bathroom, you can also enjoy plenty of facilities they provide like a lounge, BBQ area, and a contemporary kitchen. They are committed to going the extra mile for the Earth with their sustainable initiatives.

Kalbarri Palm Resort

If you’re after an eco-friendly hotel that’s budget-friendly, Kalbarri Palm Resort comprises several fully functioning apartments and is located at the point where the Murchison River meets the Indian Ocean. They offer shared dormitory rooms and private rooms with a total of 78 beds, some with en suite bathrooms and all the amenities you need. The resort has free wifi, a car park, and recreational facilities like a cricket pitch with netting, a children’s playground, and a barbecue area. The full kitchen is a great money saver and perfect for prepping snacks to take to the nearby beach before swimming, fishing and pelican feeding! 

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!

Kalbarri National Park, Western Australia
Kalbarri National Park, Western Australia

 

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