Kalbarri is an up-and-coming holiday hotspot in Western Australia, with plenty to do for families and outdoorsy types. The town is situated at the mouth of the Murchison River along the Coral Coast, which ensures great fishing opportunities. Beyond the shoreline, visitors can take in stunning red rock formations and breathtaking gorges. Kalbarri’s year-round Mediterranean climate and direct connection to Perth by bus make it a perfect choice for those wishing to get away from it all. Holiday homes of all sorts, from entire houses to self-contained apartments, will place to you close to the action.
Right in town, there’s plenty to do if you’re bringing the little ones. Every day from late April to early February, visitors can head down to the river foreshore to watch Kalbarri’s famous pelican feeding. Make sure to wake up early, as feeding begins at 8:45am. To let go of pent up energy later in the day, take the kids to Kalbarri’s Family Entertainment Centre, where you’ll find a selection of activities from minigolf to trampoline jumps. You can even rent out bikes and explore Kalbarri at your own pace. And on those days meant for total relaxation, head over to Chinaman’s Beach, a safe, sandy stretch at the mouth of the Murchison River, which is perfect for year-round swimming.
Kalbarri is bordered by a national park of the same name, which lets visitors see the region’s natural beauty for themselves. Several lookout points have been erected around the park, showcasing either coastal or inland views. Head up to Nature’s Window, which offers sweeping vistas of Murchison Gorge or venture along the coastline, where lookouts such as Mushroom Rock and Pot Alley let you take in Indian Ocean panoramas. Throughout migration season, these lookouts represent some of the best whale watching spots around Kalbarri.
Other activities in the park include bushwalking, canoeing and for those more adventurous, rock climbing. Group wilderness excursions can also be organised with operators such as Kalbarri Tours: for the experience of a lifetime, why not go canoeing in the park’s stunning gorges?
Travellers interested in the region’s flora and fauna have ample opportunities to immerse themselves in the natural world. Birdwatchers will particularly appreciate a trip to Rainbow Jungle, a breeding centre for endangered tropical birds. The sanctuary harbours Australia’s biggest free-flight zone for parrots of all kinds, ensuring colourful entertainment for all. Rainbow Jungle equally hosts an outdoor cinema which plays the latest releases under the stars.
Alternately, spend some time at the Wildflower Centre, where you can find out more about local plant life while strolling along a 1.8km trail showcasing over 200 species. The Wildflower Centre also houses a nursery and herbarium. Finally, horse riding enthusiasts are in luck with Big River Ranch in the vicinity. Spend a leisurely afternoon discovering Kalbarri’s countryside on horseback and gaining a different perspective of your surrounds.
After busy, active days, nothing is more important than a satisfying meal. Fortunately, Kalbarri, known for its seafood, boasts a number of highly rated restaurants, enjoyed by both locals and travellers. Stroll down Grey Street for your pick of eateries. You can’t miss out on Black Rock Cafe, which serves the best, freshest seafood in town. For a waterfront meal, head over to the marina where you’ll find the Jetty Seafood Shack. Of course, fishing enthusiasts may prefer to catch their own dinner, which can be done at the mouth of the Murchison River and in many other spots around Kalbarri.
To some, Kalbarri may seem like an out-of-the-way destination: after all, the town is roughly 600km from Perth. However, Kalbarri’s enticement and unique geological disposition render it an appealing holiday destination in its own right. Not only can fishermen get the best, easiest catch in all of Western Australian, but lovers of the great outdoors, more generally, have a national park, a river mouth and a stunning coastline right at their doorstep. Best of all, you get the feeling of unlimited space, all the while being grounded by the region’s unique landscape. Kalbarri will seep into your mind and linger there long after you’ve taken the TransWA bus out of town.