Kalbarri National Park

By Jude Dineley 13 June 2014
Reading Time: 2 Minutes Print this page
Kalbarri National Park has spectacular gorges and a rugged coastline. Nature-lovers go for the spring wildflowers, fun-lovers go for the sandboarding.

IT WAS NEAR the present-day site of Kalbarri that Australia’s first two white settlers arrived in 1629. The unfortunate sailors were marooned as punishment for a violent mutiny on their ship, the Batavia, which was wrecked on the Houtman Abrolhos Islands. A cairn at Wittecarra Creek outside the town commemorates their arrival.

Kalbarri came into being in 1951. The pretty fishing and tourist town has a population of 2000 that triples in summer.

Driving into Kalbarri, you pass through the national park, which encircles the town. The park has spectacular gorges, formed as the Murchison River carved its way through the sandstone. The western edge is lined by sheltered beaches and 100m cliffs that are prime spots to see the dolphins and humpback whales that migrate along the coast between June and November.


Walking: The 8km Bigurda trail takes in spectacular views, following the coast south from Eagle Gorge lookout to the Natural Bridge, where the ocean has carved a hole in one of the headlands. Inland, there are short walks to impressive lookouts over the Murchison River. An 8km loop trail from the Nature’s Window lookout gives more of a workout, taking you into the gorge system. There are toilets, a picnic shelter and a gas barbecue at the lookout.

Sand dunes: Kalbarri Sandboarding runs 4WD tours of the sand dunes south of the town. Boards and helmets are provided and guides will get you started on the smaller, gentle dunes before trying larger ones, including the 840m ‘Superbowl’. Tours include a cool-down swim at Lucky Bay Lagoon. Quad bike dune tours are also available.


Location: Kalbarri is 590km north of Perth via the North West Coastal Highway.

Accommodation: Kalbarri has caravan parks and self-catering accommodation.  There is no camping in the national park.

Food/drink: Seafood brought in by the resident fishing fleet can be sampled at local restaurants and cafes. There is a supermarket in the town.

Points of interest: From July to November, Kalbarri National Park explodes into colour as more than 1100 species of wildflowers come into bloom.

Maps: Trail maps are available at the park visitor centre.
More info: www.kalbarri.org.au and the app at www.everytrail.com/guide/kalbarri-national-park.