Kalbarri National Park, WA
Surrounding the coastal fishing and holiday town of Kalbarri, the Park is arguably one of the best National Parks in Australia. A main feature is the winding Murchison River, which has cut magnificent red and white banded gorges for 80 kilometres through the Park, as it carves its way to the sea. Gravel roads lead to some of the more interesting gorges where you can explore the river and take in the incredible scenery.
‘The Loop’ gorge has an incredible rock formation known as Nature’s Window, a natural rock arch that frames the view of the river below beautifully.
Along the coast are dramatic rugged sandstone cliffs with names like Red Bluff, Eagle Gorge and Mushroom Rock. They make for exciting exploration and wonderfully romantic sunsets.
Hiking tours are marked out in the National Park, providing visitors with a chance to discover the Park their own way and in their own time.
Springtime (September to December) is one of the best seasons to visit, as the region comes alive with colour. Literally thousands of blooming wildflower species cover the land, attracting enthusiasts from all over.
There are no provisions to camp in the Kalbarri National Park, however the town of Kalbarri is nearby and offers an excellent range of accommodation.
Colours of the Rainbow
The spectacular scenery of Kalbarri National Park is the result of multi-coloured sands deposited by an inland sea some 400 million years ago.
Today the landscape is made up of red and white bands of rock rippled by ancient waves, and riddled with age-old burrows left behind by worms sheltering in the wet sand. Tracks and trails on flat surfaces also show where animals once crawled across the damp sedimentary surface. The park is also marked by dramatic gorges and coastal cliffs, which feature extensive views overlooking colourful limestone and sandstone ledges.
Kalbarri is also famous for its wildflowers, most of which bloom from late July through spring and into early summer. There are vivid gold and orange banksias, grevilleas in white, yellow and red, green and red kangaroo paws, feather flowers in many coloured shades, smoke bushes, starflowers, and many more.
Kalbarri is also a rich environment for birds and other animals. Most of the native mammals are nocturnal, but look out for western grey kangaroos and emus during the day. Ospreys soar from the sea cliffs and wedge-tailed eagles patrol the gorges. The bizarre and ferocious-looking thorny devil lizard also thrives in this unique natural wonderland.