Back to home
in Travel, Travel Australia

Kalbarri National Park Inland River Gorges

  • March 28, 2017
  • By 50 Shades
  • 16 Comments
Kalbarri National Park Inland River Gorges
Whoever decided to protect Australia’s spectacular countryside by designating areas as national parks should be applauded for their foresight. Generally our national parks are some of the best you will see anywhere in the world. National parks are areas of land protected for their unspoilt landscapes, ecosystems, Australian native plants and animals, and places of cultural significanceOne such place is the Kalbarri National Park inland river gorges.
Kalbarri National Park Inland River Gorge

Kalbarri town located on the Murchison River Estuary

Kalbarri

Kalbarri is a picturesque seaside town located 590 kms north of Perth, midway along Western Australia’s Coral Coast. Just south of the town the area is also renowned for its rugged towering coastal cliffs, that will simply take your breath away.

A stunning sunset shot on the Murchison River Estuary

Murchison River

We came to this town, with its picturesque location on the estuary of the Murchison River, to discover that is was an ideal playground for all types of water sports such as swimming, kayaking, fishing or snorkelling in the aqua blue waters. Not only this, but we also discovered that the Kalbarri National Park, covering a staggering 186,000 hectares, was a short drive out of the town. The park has plenty to offer so we were dying to get out there to explore some of the deep Murchison River gorges.

Kalbarri National Park Inland River Gorge

Views over the River Gorge

Kalbarri National Park

On reading the information signage at the entrance to the park, we learnt that the spectacular scenery of Kalbarri National Park is the result of millions of years of geological formation. Apparently as the Murchison River carved its way to the sea, these magnificent russet red and white banded gorges were formed and cut by the flow. These stunning gorges meander 80 kms through the vast park.

Z-Bend River Gorge in the National Park

 
You can visit this park of marvels by heading approximately 40 kms east of Kalbarri. The roads into the park are accessible by all types of vehicles even though some of the roads are unsealed. We set off early in the morning before the heat of the day hit us like a furnace on the mostly treeless rim of the gorge.

Walkway to Z-Bend Gorge Lookout

 
Our first stop was to the Z-Bend Gorge, considered to offer the most breathtaking views of the park, reached by a 1.4 km return walking trail from the car park to the lookout. The gorge plunges 150m down to the river below where red river gums create a striking contrast against the earthy sandstone cliffs.
Kalbarri National Park Inland River Gorge

View looking straight down the Gorge

Nature’s Window

A short 11 km drive away is one of the most iconic natural attractions – Nature’s Window. This rock has a window which frames the river perfectly and is top on the list of photo opportunities. In fact you have to queue up and wait your turn to sit in the window and take your shot. For some tourists it was a lengthy photo opportunity with many selfies snapped before they would move aside and allow the next person into the window!
Kalbarri National Park Inland River Gorge

The iconic Nature’s Window

Kalbarri National Park Hikes

If you are a more adventurous and experienced walker, you can embark on a hike starting and ending at Nature’s Window. The 8 km loop track takes you through moderate to challenging terrain with spectacular scenery from the rim of the gorge.

The hiking track around the rim of the River Gorge

Midway along the hike you can descend deep down into the river gorge onto the sandy white banks of the river fringed with lovely red river gums. This is a great place to find some welcoming shade and stop for a cool drink and a bite to eat.
Kalbarri National Park Inland River Gorge

Sandy river bed at the bottom of the gorge

 
For those seeking a more challenging experience, there are overnight hikes available in Kalbarri National Park. You can arrange this with the Department of Parks and Wildlife Office in Kalbarri. The river gorges in Kalbarri National Park are also popular with adrenalin junkies for abseiling, rafting and canoeing, (but only after heavy rains). 

The red and white banded sandstone walls of the Gorge

At less than 600 kms north of Perth, Kalbarri National Park is achievable for those who would maybe like to experience some of Australia’s rugged countryside, rather than trek to North Western Australian and The Kimberley to see similar terrain. I was completely blown away by the magnitude and the splendour of these wonderful river gorges and Kalbarri town is a pretty little spot to idle away a few days or even a week.

Linking up with Travel Photo Thursday

 

By 50 Shades, March 28, 2017 Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 4 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now 60. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland. She enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, movies, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
  • 16

50 Shades

Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 4 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now 60. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland. She enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, movies, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.

16 Comments
  • Anne
    March 28, 2017

    I love Kalbarri, except for the flies!

    • Kathy
      March 28, 2017

      Oh yeah I’d forgotten about the flies. They were pretty bad! Gorgeous place though. :)

  • Nina
    March 28, 2017

    Hi Kathi, love the photos and such a good reminder to go back there again. I’ve seen a lot of coverage of Kalbarri on international travel websites recently and don’t think us West Aussies give this spectacular part of the state enough credit. I would recommend visiting in spring time during the wildflower season and check with the tourism office before you go, as parts of the national park have been closed for upgrades.

    • Kathy
      March 28, 2017

      I would rate Kalbarri as one of the most astounding places I saw on our travels around Australia. Those coastal cliffs and the dramatic gorges were superb. Plus Kalbarri itself is a pretty little town with its location on the Murchison River estuary. We were there in Autumn, but would love to return to see the wildflowers in bloom in Spring. :)

  • Leanne
    March 29, 2017

    Kalbarri is a favourite spot for us too – and I particularly remember the flies too! One year they were shocking, other times not so bad. I think mid Summer is the killer for them. The scenery is beautiful and majestic isn’t it?

    • Kathy
      March 29, 2017

      Yes it was a very scenic spot. I really enjoyed our few days here. The flies were only bad out in the National Park at the river gorges. :)

  • budget jan
    March 30, 2017

    We’ve been there in pre-blogging days and can’t wait to get back again. Natures Window is so impressive.

    • Kathy
      March 30, 2017

      Kalbarri was one of the many highlights of our travels in WA. Nature’s Window simply took my breath away. I couldn’t believe how impressive these gorges were and the rock formations surrounding them. :)

  • Lyn aka TheTravelling Lindfields
    April 2, 2017

    Great timing. We have a Coral Coast road trip planned for later in the year. I am going to add this to our itinerary.

    • Kathy
      April 3, 2017

      You should definitely add Kalbarri to you itinerary Lyn. It is a fabulous spot. The coastal cliffs are also spectacular here. :)

  • Michele {Malaysian Meanders}
    April 3, 2017

    Nature’s Window is spectacular. I like both its formation and that it does indeed frame such a wonderful view. I can see why it’s so popular for photos. Looks like a great place for a hike.

    • Kathy
      April 3, 2017

      It was a very popular spot for a photo opportunity the day we visited. The park has some spectacular terrain and is definitely worthy of spending a day here. :)

  • Jo
    April 3, 2017

    WE visited Kalbarri in winter in 2009 and loved it. It was a great time for bicycling, although it was still hot in the gorge – we went canoeing which was fun. Your photos are lovely and brought back some great memories.

    • Kathy
      April 3, 2017

      Thanks Jo. Kalbarri is a spectacular place. I remember how stunning the coastal cliffs were and how we saw massive pods of dolphins surfing in the sea from the top of the cliffs. We were also here in Winter and yes it was very hot in the gorge.

  • Ruth
    April 4, 2017

    This place is breathtaking! Love the rawness of the place, the colors and the river. Reminds me a lot of the landscapes in the Colorado Plateau. Would be fantastic to visit.

    • Kathy
      April 4, 2017

      There is a lot of rawness about Kalbarri. The initial post I wrote about this place in 2014 described it as being a kaleidoscope of colours. I could imagine it being similar to the Colorado Plateau. :)

Comments are closed.

Subscribe To Blog Via Email

Don't miss new posts! Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
Find us on instagram

@50shadesofage