The Land of Flies and Blue Skies
Our alarm went of at 5:50am. Michael thought it was a crazy idea, but Cassie was keen. As we drove closer and closer, the sky started getting lighter and lighter. Worry set in. Had we slept in too long and missed it? We parked the Jeep and ran! We were heading towards Kalbarri National Park to catch sunrise at Nature’s Window.
WE ARE HERE
As we raced down the path to Kalbarri’s famous Nature’s Window, we saw a handful of other families and couples all patiently waiting. We’d made it! Beyond the natural window created in the incredible layers of sandstone, was the mighty Murchison River that runs right through the National Park. The gorges that weaved through the linear bands of red and white earth were gradually being brought from the shadows into the new day. Then there she was, peeking above the horizon line, the glowing orb of the sun took everyones attention.
After sunrise and some breakfast, we headed to do some hiking. There’s a number of hikes available in the National Park, from the full on Class 4, 9km (return) Loop Hike, to the awesome views of the Class 3, 1.2km (return) Z-Bend Lookout.
We checked out the Z-Bend River Trail first, which was a great way to get a feel for the park, scrambling over rocks as we worked our way down to the Murchison River below. At the beginning of this track we took the small detour to Z-Bend Lookout that provided some of the most awesome views in the park. If you take some time to read the information signs you may also catch a glimpse of a fossilised creature from many years ago. The Z-Bend River trail didn’t take up much of our day, so we headed across to the Four Ways Trail after a bite to eat. It’s a 6km return hike, with tons of trampling over rocks along the river bed. There are plenty of signs warning of the risks of heat stroke, and they should definitely be taken seriously. Its tough and hot, and the flies…oh the flies! Everyone had warned us of the flies when talking about Kalbarri. They weren’t lying! We were probably some of the very very few people who were exploring without the ‘safety’ of a fly net. Many looked at us as if we were crazy, and to be honest, the flies almost did drive us to insanity. So take it from us, a fly net is a sterling idea!
Apart from the National Park, Kalbarri has a few other gems to offer while you’re in town. Blue pools is a beautiful section of beach that provides crystal clear waters for rock pooling or a snorkel and the water is noticeable bluer! Just make sure to check it out when the swell and winds are down to get that amazing clear view. If you’re keen to get up close and personal with some of the locals, you can join them for breakfast every morning! The Pelican feeding happens each morning from 8:45 – 9:15am. It is run totally by volunteers and they are amazing! They have a wealth of information and stories about the pelicans and they’ll let you have a go at feeding the pelicans too. It is all run from your generous donations, so please do take a gold coin and show your appreciation, it’s well worth it. While you’re on the main foreshore, drop a line in where the Murchison River meets the Indian Ocean. We strolled down to Chinaman’s Rock just in time to see one lucky fella snag a meter long Mulloway!
We didn’t find any free camping options near the main town of Kalbarri, and there’s no camping within the National Park, so we set up stumps at Murchison House Station on a farm stay. It’s the closest spot to stay to the National Park (which was perfect for our morning dash to sunrise at Natures Window!) and not to far from the main stretch of town. It’s right on the Murchison River with plenty of history to explore and Michael’s favourite, kid goats! So whether you use it as a base to explore the area, or want somewhere peaceful but entertaining to spent a few days, we’d highly recommend this one.
Looking a little further afield check out the quirky Principality of Hutt River, pretty sights of Pink Lake Hutt Lagoon or some 4WD tracks out to the old Geraldine Lead mine, all within reach of Kalbarri.
Our next blog will be from: The most west we can get!
Until our next update - see you on / off the road 😉
Cassie and Micky