Located 167km North of Geraldton and on the 2nd largest river in Western Australia, the Murchison River, Kalbarri is the place for tranquillity as well as an adrenaline rush! With white, sandy beaches, turquoise water, jagged cliff edges and a National Park full of psychedelic wildflowers, this coastal town truly contains nature’s best in one place!
Kalbarri is, surprisingly, a relatively new town, having been surveyed and gazzeted only in 1951. Prior to this, it was home to the local Nanda aboriginal people, hence the name of Kalbarri after a man from the Nanda tribe. It has also been argued that the name could’ve come from an edible seed found in the region named, ‘Kalbar’. The coast of Kalbarri however is home to many notorious shipwrecks that occurred much earlier than European settlements, such as the Batavia wreck and mutiny in 1629 and the Dutch Zutydorp destruction in 1712.
Kalbarri is home to some of the most picturesque and iconic trails in Western Australia. The coastal walks of the Bigurda Trail and Mushroom Rock Nature Trail take you on a spectacular path along the jagged cliffs of the Indian Ocean. Both trails provide amazing views of the coast while still being a somewhat challenging walk.
Further inland, The Loop and Z-Bend walking trails take you through some impressive scenery and into an ancient but beautiful gorge walk. Both trails offer brilliant views of the Kalbarri National Park but are also quite challenging walks, recommended only for the experienced hiker.
An easier walk to see Kalbarri’s most iconic attraction is the Nature’s Window walk. This 1km return walk takes you to the famous rock arch, resembling a window, that overlooks the Murchison River, giving you the chance to get an unforgettable photo! During wildflower season, from July to November, these trails are even better with a kaleidoscope of colours from the 800 species of native flora, adding to the serenity of the Kalbarri National Park!
For those looking for water activities, Kalbarri offers them all! The Murchison River is perfect for kayaking, canoeing, sailing and stand up paddle boarding, with tours and equipment hire all available. The Murchison also offers some good fishing, with charters often going down the river. The activities don’t just stop at the ocean though with stunning snorkelling found at the Blue Holes! These protected waters and rock pools are very safe and are home to 70 species of fish, living amongst the limestone reef system. Sensational surfing can be done down at Jacques/Jakes Point with surfers all over the nation making the journey up to Kalbarri to catch some of these world class waves. If you’ve out fished the Murchison, then Chinaman’s Beach should be your next stop with tailor and mulloway often being pulled up!
Hutt River Province
One of the more bizarre but remarkable attractions is the micronation of Principality of Hutt River, also known as the Hutt River Province. This unrecognised Sovereign state was founded on 21st of April 1970 by Leonard Cosley after a dispute over wheat production quotas. As a result, his area of 75km2 became a one man fight against the Australian and High Court, alas to no avail. However, in defiance and as a push to make his own micronation, he produced his own currency, stamps and passport as well as naming himself Prince Leonard Cosley. This dispute carried on through to the present day, with a stalemate looking like the only likely outcome. However, this area is a quirky tourist attraction with the opportunity to get your passport stamped, collect some local currency and have Prince Graeme, the son of the deceased Prince Leonard, meet you and show you around his own nation! This is a unique opportunity that shouldn’t be missed!
Distance from Perth: 592km North
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