Kalbarri is a small town along Western Australia’s main highway that has world-class surfing, hiking, and will have you feeling like you’ve stepped back in time. The Kalbarri National Park hosts geological feats like Nature’s Window and has a variety of challenging hiking trails that will weave you through gorges and rivers. In Kalbarri, there are more kangaroos, emus, and cat-sized marsupials than people. No wonder it’s on often on the lists of the best places in Western Australia!
It’s the perfect weekend getaway for those who love to spend their time admiring geology, exploring the outdoors, and spending time in the sea.
The best time to go to Kalbarri
Visit Kalbarri from the end of March to the beginning of September.
In summer, temperatures in Kalbarri climb well above 40 degrees Celsius — bringing in the flies who will swarm you more aggressively than Donald Trump to his pageant girls. No matter how hard you swat, you won’t be able to get them away. Expect blistering heat and little shade in summer, wildflowers in spring, a little rain in winter, and ideal conditions in fall.
How to get to and around Kalbarri
The town of Kalbarri is walkable, but you’ll need to rent a car or join a tour to see the major sights that make Kalbarri worth a visit.
TransWA has a bus running from Perth to Kalbarri and the ticket is about $80 each way.
Lola Rose B&B: Lola Rose B&B is a friendly, quaint, and homey B&B located in town. Lola, the owner, is very cheerful and upbeat. Perfect for romantic getaways and family travel. The site has a full kitchen you can use to save money on eating out.
Kalbarri Anchorage Campsite: Clean, great location, and my favorite place to camp in Kalbarri. Customer service is A+ here.
Amenities: Enclosed kitchen with multiple fridges, freezers, two stovetops, barbeques, sink, and seating area. Bathrooms are clean with hot water.
Murchison Caravan Park: The most centrally located campsite in Kalbarri across from the Murchison River.
Amenities: Barbeque, communal kitchen, laundry, powered sites, playground. Also has cabins.
Where to eat and drink in Kalbarri
The Gorges Cafe: Famous among locals for its big breakfasts and friendly customer service.
Pelican’s Cafe: Overlooks the river and the perfect stop after watching the local pelican feeding. BYO wine. Known for its salads and cakes.
Bean Drifting: A cafe-on-wheels usually parked near Jake’s Point that serves coffee, cookies, and sandwiches. Perfect fuel before a surf. Bust out the camping chairs to enjoy a quirky meal with a view.
Gilgai Tavern: Watering hole for salty locals who love to tell surfing horror stories and tourists wanting to have a rowdy night at the pub. Food is your typical small town pub fare, so come for the lively atmosphere and cold beer.
Adventurous things to do in Kalbarri
Whale watching: Humpback whales migrate along the coastline from July to November. Watch these gentle giants jump and fin slap from one of Kalbarri’s many viewpoints.
Go abseiling: Abseil down the tall gorges in Kalbarri National Park.
Kayak, canoe, and swim on the Murchison River: Join a tour or rent equipment on your own.
Viewpoint hopping: Red Bluff, Island Rock, Eagle Gorge, and Natural Bridge are picturesque and secluded.
Get your passport stamped at the Principality of Hutt River: Once upon a time (April 1, 1970 to be exact), an Australian man named Leonard Casley found a loophole in Australian law and established his own sovereign state called the Principality of Hutt River — all because of a dispute over wheat. It’s roughly the size of Hong Kong and has official prince and princesses, a post office, a church, and governmental buildings.
Snorkel at Blue Holes: A fish sanctuary with corals, fish, and other marine life.
Where to surf
Jake’s Point: The most famous (and beautiful) wave in the region, Jake’s Point is strictly for experienced surfers only. Barreling left over very shallow reef. Swell: SW Swell, 6 ft.+ Tide: Mid tide
Blue Holes: Left and right reef break that’s fast and often barrels. Swell: S-SW Swell, 6 ft.+ Tide: Low and mid tide
Where to hike
Z Bend and The River Trail: Find the best view in Kalbarri National Park at the Z Bend (1.2 km return), then walk along the River Trail (2.6 km return) where you’ll be taken down to the mirror-calm Murchison River. Though the River Trail is quite short, it’s very steep and involves ladders.
Nature’s Window and The Loop: Take a picture inside Nature’s Window at Kalbarri National Park and then embark on The Loop, a strenuous 8 km trail that takes you through a variety of terrain. Bring water!
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