Kalbarri Things to Do

  • View from memorial
    View from memorial
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    Blue Holes
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  • Blue Holes
    Blue Holes
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Most Recent Things to Do in Kalbarri

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    SHELLHOUSE & GRANDSTAND & BIRGURDA TRAIL

    by balhannah Written Jan 3, 2015

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    The Shellhouse and Grandstand are more impressive limestone cliff formations that have been shaped by the wind and the force of the Indian Ocean. It's a short easy 200m walk to each lookout to view them.

    This area is part of the 8km Birgurda trail we begins or ends at Castle Cove and Eagle Gorge, passing by Island Rock, Grandstand and Shellhouse. The trail is named after the Bigurda kangaroo, only found in this region, best time to see them is at dawn or dusk, you may even see Emus. The trail is a variety of flat going with some gorges to navigate. There are wildflowers on the plateau, I even saw a lovely Butterflly.

    Stick to the trail as cliff edges are unstable and could crumble under you weight, death would result. As all along this coastline is very windy, take this into account when choosing your starting point, it could make walking much easier! Also, don't venture to the brittle cliff edges at anytime as high winds and wind gusts are stronger near the cliff edges - BE CAREFUL!
    If you continue onto Island Rock and Natural Bridge, a large shelter shed is there for a well earnt rest and Toilets.
    Come in Whale season and your nearly guaranteed to see whales breaching and travelling up the coastline. Approximately 22,000 Humpback whales pass along the Kalbarri coast line around June through to November on their migration every year.

    Grandstand & Shellhouse Grandstand & Shellhouse
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    NATURAL BRIDGE & ISLAND ROCK & CASTLE COVE

    by balhannah Written Jan 3, 2015

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    Another Natural Bridge, one of many in Australia. This is our next stop as we travel to the end of the coastal road where three lookouts are located.
    We parked our car then went for a walk along a new boardwalk which connects the two sites, total of 1.4kms return. Each has a proper platform look-out area from where there a fantastic views.
    Once again, it is the forces of the ocean, the wind, waves and even salt spray that has sculptured these landforms into a Sea-Stack and a Bridge. The cliffs aren't the usual red I had been seeing, instead the beige/cream Tumblagooda coloured sandstone that is 480 million years old. Sand and silt has formed layers in different colours, then has compacted. The tops of the cliffs are a white rock made from Tamala limestone, only 2 million years old. This was made from wind blown sand dunes which later converted to limestone. All of this information I found on interpretive signage at the sites.

    Castle cove is a 300metre return walk to where there is another proper lookout over Island Rock. I stood there taking in the beauty of these cliffs, watching and waiting for that big wave to come in and make a huge splash!

    The tracks are classed moderate to easy, paved which made for easy walking - really anybody should be able to do them.
    Toilets are located here.

    Between June - November, this is one of the good places to look for Hump-back Whales.

    NOT TO BE MISSED!

    Island Rock Natural Bridge Natural Bridge Coastal views by Natural Bridge
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    EAGLE GORGE

    by balhannah Written Jan 3, 2015

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    We are travelling along Red Bluff Road in the Kalbarri National Park, noticing a name change to George Grey Drive. It's on this section of road, where we take another turn off towards the ocean to see Eagle Gorge. Eagle Gorge is named such, as wedge-tailed eagles live in the gorge and can often be seen in nests and soaring in the sky on a look-out for food.
    There is a proper look- out platform from where you look down to a small beach and at the beautiful coloured rugged cliffs. The beach can be reached by foot, I didn't do this though. It is meant to be ok for swimming.

    View from Eagle Gorge look-out View from Eagle Gorge look-out
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    SPECTACULAR RAINBOW VALLEY # 3

    by balhannah Updated Jan 3, 2015

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    Would you believe there is still more to see in Rainbow Valley and this was something I have never seen elsewhere either~!

    Have you heard of a Skolithos? Well I hadn't! The rocks in Rainbow valley are riddled with what looks like tubes or straws, once the home of the ancient worm Skolithos.
    They are everywhere and are in all different shapes and sizes, colours, another interesting formation that SHOULD NOT BE MISSED!

    Skolithos Skolithos Skolithos Skolithos Skolithos
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    SPECTACULAR RAINBOW VALLEY # 2

    by balhannah Written Jan 3, 2015

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    After my first discovery, then it was time to take a closer look at the unique formations shaped by wind and wave erosion. I marvelled at the amazing colours in Rainbow Valley, lucky there was and information board nearby to give me some information.

    The formations along this part of the coast are made of Tumblagooda Sandstone, deposited here approx. 420 million years ago during the Silurian period when the Earth underwent considerable changes.
    You can read more about this period here.....
    http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/silurian/silurian.php

    As a result, layers of silt, sand and minerals have compacted and formed layer upon layer of different colours. It is an amazing sight to see, one I had only previously seen at Natures Window in the Kalbarri National Park.

    A MUST SEE!

    Rainbow Valley Rainbow Valley Rainbow Valley Rainbow Valley Rainbow Valley
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    SPECTACULAR RAINBOW VALLEY # 1

    by balhannah Written Jan 3, 2015

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    Rainbow Valley would have to be one of the most beautiful and different natural sites I have ever seen. Photos do not do it justice, you just have to go and see for yourself.

    I continued along the trail from Mushroom rock to Rainbow Valley and was blown away by what I saw!
    What attracted me first, was the colours of minerals that had compacted and weathered to make a rainbow formation in the stone, although this apparently isn't why it's named Rainbow Valley, it's the Rainbows seen in the mist is where the name comes from.
    I went closer for a look and felt wet sand beneath my feet. Wondering where the water came from as I was quite a distance from the sea, I looked up to find a rocky overhang where water was dripping over making what looked like small Stalactites forming. I guess there is a proper name for these, but this is best I can do for description.

    They were wet and dripping just like Stalactites in Caves, and on the ground where the drip landed, a small formation like a Stalagmite was beginning to form. This and the colours were amazing!
    You will be able to see them in my photos.

    A MUST SEE!

    .

    Rainbow Valley Rainbow Valley Rainbow Valley Rainbow Valley
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    MUSHROOM ROCK TRAIL

    by balhannah Written Jan 2, 2015

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    At the car-park the Interpretive sign on the Mushroom Rock Trail states it is a 1.5km trail or 3km loop that will take you to Rainbow Valley, approx. 2hours to do. The Australian classification for this trail, is a Class 4 which means it is one of the more difficult to do. Markers on this trail in some places weren't the clearest, so I looked for well trodden areas to find my way in some places.

    Beginning from the car-park was the easy part, walking along a dirt track and in amongst some different wildflowers, all I had to look for were the white posts, really didn't need them as here I was on a well worn pathway. It was different when I reached the rocky gorge where I had to walk along the rocks, cross the gorge and do the same on the other side, eventually clambering to the top and out of the gorge. This is where I saw Mushroom rock, a rock that has been so windswept that it looks like a Mushroom. I saw plenty of unusual rock creations formed by the strong winds and water erosion around here.
    I sat there for a while watching the pounding and crashing waves making their way onto the brilliant dark red rocks. Plenty of noise, plenty to look out and just me sitting all alone in what felt like the middle of nowhere. I loved it!

    If your fit enough, do this walk, it's an excellent one!

    Mushroom rock View of Mushroom Rock Mushroom Rock trail Mushroom Rock trail Mushroom Rock trail
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    ARE THERE WILDFLOWERS ON TOP OF THE CLIFFS?

    by balhannah Written Jan 2, 2015

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    I had a map which listed wildflowers on this harsh sandstone & limestone cliff top plain. It showed the areas where to find different shrubs, what they were and how many species were found there.

    At Red Bluff, I found a dirt track that lead across through the vegetation to the next look-out. I did this to see if I could find anything as there didn't look to be much colour around. Around Red Bluff 71 native plants have been found. That was a lot, so I walked slowly and looked carefully for flowers. I found a few in bloom, not a lot, but one was quite different and pretty. I found Thryptomene in flower, what is mostly growing in the area. Other plants I don't know the name of. I may have been too early or too late to find more in flower, worth a look around if your interested in plants and flowers.

    Red Bluff flowers Red Bluff flowers Red Bluff Thryptomene Red Bluff trail I followed
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    RED BLUFF

    by balhannah Written Jan 2, 2015

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    I have just been to Red Bluff Beach, now we have driven to the Red Bluff parking area so I can walk to Red Bluff Look-out. At the start of the paved footpath is an interpretive board with a map, details about Red Bluff and how to be safe, as these high cliffs have undercut edges and can be unstable - KEEP TO THE TRACK! Always watch your children, its a long way to the bottom!

    Halfway along is more interpretive signage and then finally I reach the end. It was wow! what an amazing view of the coastline! what high cliffs! what a dramatic coastline! no wonder there were so many shipwrecks!
    The red rock landscape of Red Bluff is something I cannot get enough of, the colour is amazing and even more amazing is its been around for 400 million years. These cliffs were discovered by Dutch Explorer, "Willem de Vlamingh" in 1697 and run along the coastline of the Kalbarri National park for 13 km. The Dutch named it "Roode Hooge." when translated meant "red high" an important landmark for early Explorers to use as their guide.

    From the look-out I could see for miles, including many of the beaches we had called into on our way here. Look to the north to find Wittecarra Creek believed to be the site of the first "permanent" landing of Europeans in Australia. The 100metre high cliffs would make it easy to spot aHumpback Whale in the ocean below.

    What is good, is this pavement is suitable for wheelchairs, how nice is that!

    A MUST VISIT!

    Views from Red Bluff Walk to Red Bluff point Views from Red Bluff Views from Red Bluff Views from Red Bluff
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    JAKE'S POINT

    by balhannah Written Jan 2, 2015

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    Our next stop after Blue Holes was at the Jake's Point beach, a national Surfing Reserve. As I am not a surfer, all I can tell you is what I read> Jake's Point is home to the iconic left-hander. Jakes breaks from two foot and up are best ridden by experienced surfers only."
    Lots of the locals are surfers and people come here as it is one of Western Australia's remotest surfing breaks.
    Bottlenose dolphins are frequently seen playing in the water, once again, I didn't see any!

    After a day of surfing, settle back on the sand to enjoy the famous Western Australian sunset over the horizon.
    All of these beaches are great places to enjoy the evening and sunset.

    Jake's Point Jake's Point Jake's Point beach
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    RED BLUFF BEACH

    by balhannah Written Jan 2, 2015

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    We are travelling by car along Red Bluff road, when we see the turn-off to Red Bluff Beach. A short drive and we are at the carpark, once again in the Kalbarri National Park. On my walk, I found a life-buoy and wondered if it does get dangerous here, even though it is known as a popular swimming, snorkelling and fishing beach, probably because it's located in a small cove.
    The cliffs and rocks that border this beach are a brilliant deep red, the flat rocks in the ocean are the same colour, stunning scenery! This is a dog-friendly beach too!

    Above the beach is the actual "Red Bluff" which you can walk to from the beach, be warned, it is a steep and rocky climb of 1.8km return. I took the easy way and drove to the Bluff.

    A short time after we were here in August 2014, a 12m humpback whale washed up on beach, accompanied by a school of sharks. The poor thing had horrific injuries and could not be saved.

    You can read about it on this link
    https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/regional/gascoyne/a/25053561/whale-washes-up-at-kalbarri/

    Red Bluff Beach Rocks @ Red Bluff beach Red Bluff Beach
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    BLUE HOLES

    by balhannah Updated Jan 2, 2015

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    We are leaving Kalbarri and heading south towards Geraldton driving along Red Bluff road. Along here are many points of interest, so every road and tourist sign we see, we followed.

    Blue Holes, located on the outskirts of town sounded interesting and was the first we came across.
    This area is part of the inshore coastal limestone reef system, parts are permanently submerged by the ocean and others are exposed at low tide. This made rock pools which I love exploring - I never know what I will find!

    This area is a fish sanctuary, so NO FISHING ALLOWED.

    No wonder there is an abundance of aquatic animals and fish, they must know they're safe here! There is a lovely clean beach next to the rock pools and views to the cliffs. I thought it wouldn't be any good swimming here because of all the rocks with jagged edges and oyster shells. I guess if I had a good look, I would have found somewhere for swimming. I understand the snorkelling is very good here.
    It might be a nice place to come in the evening and enjoy a Western Australian sunset!

    Blue Holes Blue Holes Blue Holes Blue Holes Blue Holes
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    ZUYTDORP MEMORIAL

    by balhannah Updated Jan 1, 2015

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    Halfway along the track to Chinaman's Rock Look-out is a track to the left which took me to the memorial in memory of the Zuytdorp, a Dutch East India Company ship

    The Zuytdorp was travelling to Batavia (Indonesia) with a rich Cargo which included 248,000 silver coins and 200 passengers and crew. Many of these ships travelled these waters as it was found to be a faster route from Africa, the problem was when to alter course and head north to Batavia. Many Captains misjudged the timing and ended up shipwrecked on the Western Australian Coast.

    Was this the case with the Zuytdorp, which in 1712 crashed against the cliffs leaving no survivors to tell the story of what happened. it has remained a mystery, probably what happened will never be known.

    The Memorial commemorates the 300th anniversary of the wreck of the Zuytdorp.

    There is plenty of seating surrounding the Memorial, as it is also a lookout with more nice ocean views.

    View from Memorial View from memorial
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    CHINAMAN'S ROCK LOOKOUT

    by balhannah Updated Jan 1, 2015

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    The Murchison River flows for 820kms, making it the second longest river in Western Australia. It is at Kalbarri where it enters the Indian Ocean.
    Kalbarri has really catered for nature lovers with lots of trails and viewpoints. At the southern end of town where the River mouth is, there is a free car park and trails that lead to view points, Chinaman's Beach and to Chinaman's Rock. Other trails lead to sheltered picnic areas. We sat here for quite a while, watching the waves and looking for Dolphins, no luck with the Dolphins.

    Then I went for a walk along the trail, not right to Chinaman's Rock look-out as I was feeling tired after a day of walking in the heat, but I did do enough to see and enjoy watching the rolling surf hitting the sandbar at the River entrance. The river enters the ocean through a narrow, shallow channel, only during Rock Lobster fishing months, the opening is dredged so the fishing boats can pass through ok.

    Near our car-park was a fishing platform provided for Anglers as this is a good spot to catch fish!
    From the shore, Tailor and Mulloway,Garfish, Whiting, Shark, Dart and Tarwhine can be caught. In the Murchison River estuary, Whiting, Mulloway, Mangrove Jacks and Black Bream. Blue swimmer and Mud crabs are caught too!

    Do take notice of signage as some areas can be dangerous in rough conditions, including the river mouth. It's good for safety there is now the fishing platform

    You can walk to here quite easily from in town.

    Murchison river mouth Chinaman's Rock l/out Murchison river mouth Murchison river mouth & fishing platform Chinaman's Beach
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    FEEDING OF THE PELICANS

    by balhannah Written Jan 1, 2015

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    In Esplanade Park, across the road from the Caravan Park, is a sign stating "Pelican feeding."

    This takes place daily at 8.45am and is run by volunteers who feed the Pelicans fish. All you have to do is wait near that sign for the wild Pelicans to waddle up from the water to be fed.
    A small crowd of people had gathered, the Pelican group was small too, only five! A couple were rather nervous and flew back to the water, then plucked up courage to come closer again. If you have never seen an Australian Pelican up close, then this is a great chance to see one, and there are plenty of photo opportunities. For me, it was disappointing that more Pelicans hadn't zoomed in on the free feeding like they have done elsewhere in Australia.

    The Pelicans are not silly and know when to head here for the feeding.
    They are not fed a lot so they still have to use their fishing skills to find enough fish in the ocean for their fill each day.

    On our way for a free feed! A bit frightened! Patiently waiting!
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