Written by: WA Adventurer

Top 12 Things to Do in Kalbarri

Kalbarri, located on Western Australia’s rugged coast, embodies the quintessential beauty of nature and adventure. With its breathtaking coastal cliffs, pristine beaches, and the awe-inspiring Murchison River Gorge in Kalbarri National Park, it offers a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Visitors can explore hiking trails with stunning vistas, encounter diverse wildlife, and partake in thrilling activities like rock climbing and fishing. During spring, the region’s wildflower blooms add a vibrant touch to its natural charm, making Kalbarri a captivating destination where adventure and the wonders of the natural world converge.

Below are our top 12 things to do in Kalbarri for those wanting to go at their own pace. But first, here are some awesome some pre-arranged tours that are the perfect way to get the absolute best of Kalbarri.  

4 of the Best Kalbarri Tours

1. 2 Day Pink Lake and Kalbarri Tour
Image: Viatour
2. Kalbarri Whale Watching Tour
Image: Viatour
3. Kalbarri Sunset Cruise along the Coastal Cliffs
Image: Viatour
4. Morning Cruise Murchison River Cruise
Image: Viatour

Things to Do in Kalbarri

1. Get a stunning picture at Nature’s Window

If you can manage the 1.1km return walk, you can’t come to Kalbarri and not get an iconic picture from Nature’s Window. The wind-eroded red sandstone creates the perfect frame around the Murchison River gorge, making it the perfect photo opportunity. Though the terrain can mildly rough, it shouldn’t be an issue for anyone with no mobility issues. We can’t stress enough how worth it is for the view at the end. Get there early morning to avoid to crowds. 

2. Hike The Loop and Nature’s Window 

The Loop and Nature’s Window hike in Kalbarri National Park was the highlight of our most recent visit. This magnificent route is 9.2km and takes approximately 2.5 hours to complete. Start the hike taking in the epic views from Nature’s Window, then get views of the Murchison River gorge from different angles and vantage points over the next couple of hours. 

Taking a dip in the gorge to cool off half way through the hike was beautiful, although absolutely freezing. We’ve been asked before, so we’ll just mention now that there are no crocodiles this far south of Western Australia, so no need to worry about them here. 

Parts of the hike can be challenging with a couple of scrambles and one section in particular which has a narrow ledge. It is, however, manageable for most people with good fitness levels. The gorge gets extremely hot, sometimes as much as 10’C hotter than elsewhere in Kalbarri, which has devastatingly been fatal for some hikers. Temperates can reach 50’C in the gorge during summer so between November to March the Loop Walk is closed after 7am. Whatever time of year you intend to do this hike, make sure you set off early morning, take plenty of water, wear suitable clothing (pack a fly net) and footwear, and tell people where you’re going. 

3. Kalbarri Skywalk at Sunrise

An early start and short drive to Kalbarri Skywalk is well worth it for the epic sunrise over the Murchison River gorge in Kalbarri National Park. The two platforms are suspended 100 meters above the gorge makes for a short but exhilarating walk to the edge with breathtaking views. Though it was an especially windy morning on our last visit, we enjoyed the Skywalk to ourselves and sipped on flasks of coffee whilst watching the sun gradually light up the contrasting colours of the gorge.   

4. Whale Watching (June – November)

Every year, between the months of June and November, tens of thousands of whales make their journey along the coastline. If you’re lucky to be there during their peak migration time (which varies), book yourself onto a whale watching tour to be in with the best chance of spotting these majestic creatures. 

5. Cruise along the Murchison River

Taking a cruise along the Murchison River is a great way to take in the breathtaking views of the red rock formations on either side of the riverbank and observe wildlife as you drift downstream. As you enjoy a peaceful journey through nature’s beauty, you could spot an abundance of birdlife including Ospreys, Kites and Black Swans, as well as Emu, Goats and Kangaroos basking on the riverbanks. 

Whether it be by boat or kayak, there are plenty of options available to explore the River. For a truly unforgettable experience, book yourself onto one of the guided cruises where you can learn about the history and culture of Kalbarri. 

6. Trek the Z Bend River Trail

After resting your legs from the Loop and Nature’s Window hike, head to the Z Bend for another epic trail. Shorter than the Loop route at only 2.4km, this hike will take approximately 1 hour to complete. The Z Bend, aptly named for the tight river bends that have been carved into the sandstone, can be appreciated from a lookout situated at the top of the gorge. There is a well-set path that leads to the viewing platform but for the real fun, continue further for the challenging hiking trail. The hours long hike descends to the river through passages, down ladders and climbing over boulders. When at the bottom you can choose to cool off and swim in the river or climb higher and enjoy the views from a different perspective. 

7. Watch boats tackle the treacherous Murchison River Mouth 

Take a seat on the bench at the top of Chinaman’s Beach and watch where the Indian Ocean meets the Murchison River. This creates a channel were vessels navigate their way out to sea or back to land. The force of the water and the way it moved is impressive to watch in itself, but watching the boats tackle their way through the river mouth is awe-inspiring. Head here for sunset and be sure to stay after the sun has set for the most spectacular sky. 

8. Snorkel at Blue Holes

To get up close and personal with Kalbarri’s sealife, head to Blue Holes. The calm and shallow waters make great conditions for a snorkel or swim on a warm day. You can look out for sea sponges, seagrasses, moon wrasse, raccoon butterflyfish, humbugs and western rock lobster, to name a few. During low tide, Blue Holes opens up as a great rock pooling spot, perfect for kids to explore.

9. Visit the Pink Lake

Located a 45 minute drive south of Kalbarri, Hutt Lagoon Pink Lake is a must visit either on your way to or from Kalbarri. The hue of the lake can change slightly, but if you catch it on a good day it can appear bright bubblegum pink. The contrast of the pink water meeting the blue sky is definitely a sight to behold and makes for an insta-worthy post for sure. 

10. Feed the Pelicans

Head to the foreshore at 8:45am for daily pelican feeding. Watch these fantastic birds have their breakfast from the hands of local volunteers whilst learning more about them. This is a great experience, especially for children, and a lovely way to start the day in Kalbarri. 

11. Bigurda Coastal Trail

Another exceptional hike to add to your itinerary is the Bigurda Trail. The full length is 16.7km but there are shorter, half-length, trails available too. You can expect the full length route to take around 4-5 hours and the half length to take around 2 hours. You’ll be spoilt with stunning, rugged coastline views along the whole route. You can expect to see kangaroos, birds and during migration season, you may also be able to spot whales frolicking in the surrounding ocean. Be sure to take plenty of water, binoculars and a fly net to fully appreciate this trek.  

12. Try to spot a Thorny Devil

Thorny Devils are small, harmless reptiles with an impressive exterior. We’re yet to spot this awesome creature in Kalbarri but we know they’re there! If you manage to find a Thorny Devil in Kalbarri please tag us on Instagram @wa_adventurer so we can be envious!

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