THINGS TO DO IN AND AROUND KALBARRI
The Murchison River is the heartbeat of Kalbarri. It is broad, calm, yet alive and vital – and without a doubt, spectacular.
With a catchment area bigger than some Australian states, there is a majesty and mystery about the Murchison, whatever the season. The winter rains are the river’s life force. They mark the life cycles of 200 bird species and herald the annual carpeting of wildflowers. They flood the tidal reaches full of bream, whiting, mulloway, blue mannas and mud crabs. And they welcome the arrival of the humpback whales, migrating to birth their young, mate and rest, before returning to the Antarctic.
Big River Ranch Horseriding - Explore the riverside and flood plains by taking a ride through ‘Kalbarri Country’. Cross the Murchison River on horseback and enjoy the magnificent bird life up close.
Riverside Sanctuary offers inspiring guided tours on a beautiful and protected section of the Murchison River. The Sanctuary is an award winning Landcare property and an operational farm, 80 km east of Kalbarri. A diverse range of guided tours operate, day and night. Brush up on your astronomy in the wide open night sky of the outback. Try spotlighting for marsupials. Look for the three local species of kangaroo, find night birds and maybe the occasional wild feral.
Murchison House Station is one of the oldest and largest pastoral stations in Western Australia, just 13 kms from the Kalbarri town centre. The Station includes 60 km of rugged Indian Ocean coastline and 30 km of Murchison River floodplains. Bring your own 4WD on the Tumblagouda Tag-a-long guided day tour, and explore this extraordinary piece of West Australian outback. Thanks to permanent springs and soaks and several year round creeks, wildlife is abundant. Large flocks of birds abound, kangaroos and emus are plentiful and feral goats are everywhere. On the half-day tour of Murchison House Station, you will hear the history of the past settlers, see the wildflowers and wildlife, and experience modern day station life. Enjoy a 4WD tour, with morning tea served on the homestead lawns overlooking the Murchison River.
Messing about on the River - Nearly 200 bird species call the Kalbarri area home. A Kalbarri Wilderness Cruise is your opportunity to see them in their natural habitat.
Search the trees, the sky and the water for eagles, kites, kestrels, pelicans, cormorants, egrets and more. Look for western gray and red kangaroos lazing on the sandstone edging of the river. See walleroos on the river’s rocky outcrops. Watch emus race along the flats, disturbing the feral goats as they graze by the river’s edge. The tranquil lower reaches of Murchison River are fun and easy to explore, so there is no need to limit yourself to organised tours. Kalbarri Boat Hire offers surfcats, windsurfers, canoes, motor boats, paddle boats and row boats on the wide expanse of the river opposite Kalbarri town centre.
Action for Adventure-Seekers
Come jump with Skydive Kalbarri and LAND ON THE BEACH!!! Your skydive will take you on an exhilarating freefall ride of 220kph for up to 60 seconds, followed by a scenic 5 minute parachute ride with views of the Coral Coast, and the Murchison river and gorges like you’ve never seen them before! Our world class instructors having done thousands of skydives, will take care of all the work for you. All you have to do is SMILE. If you’re here to fish, river fishing along the Murchison will always produce a good catch. Four wheel drive along the river, stopping to fish as you go. Or simply fish in town on one of the town beaches where whiting, bream, small tailor and alike are plentiful.
Wagoe Beach Quad Bike Tours can pick up in town at your accommodation and take you to Wagoe Beach (just south of the Kalbarri coastal cliffs) to a magnificent pristine ocean beach to explore 100’s of KM’s of untouched coastal Western Australia. The tour goes for 4 hours and is likely to be a memory you will keep for years to come.
Murchison River Boat Hire For a fun day out ocean fishing and diving, Murchison Boat Hire has 5.3, 6.1, 6.5 and 7.8 metre motor boats for hire. Quality, up-to-date safety equipment is standard on each boat. With their fishing tips and local maps, your fishing or diving expedition is off to a great start.
Kalbarri Quad Bikes experience fun, adventure and nature in the stunning Western Australian outback.
Locals call it the Sahara-near-the-ocean. For visitors it’s the backdrop for a heart stopping morning of sandboarding fun. Kalbarri’s 45 degree razor back dunes are an extraordinary spectacle of nature. Strap on a helmet, jump on your sandboard and test yourself on the nursery dunes. Progress to the medium dunes and finish up, if you dare, at the adrenaline pumping Superbowl, a 280 foot sand crater. This Lonely Planet TV clip gives you a taste of sandboarding in Kalbarri.
Cool off with a swim and snorkel in Lucky Bay Lagoon, home to mainland WA’s most southerly population of tropical fish and coral.
Kalbarri Tours - Join an organised canoe tour and experience the rugged beauty of the Murchison up close. Kalbarri Tours starts the day with an hour-long trek through some of Kalbarri’s most breath-taking scenery. There is even a choice of another canoe tour for the not so adventurous visitor that explores the lower reaches of the Murchison River and includes a hearty bush BBQ breakfast.
Then cool off with 3-4 hours of canoeing, swimming and relaxing, deep in the heart of Kalbarri National Park.
Kalbarri Abseiling - Check out Kalbarri’s famous river gorges from a different angle with Kalbarri Abseil. No experience is necessary for thrill seekers wanting to take the challenge. You have five opportunities to descend the rock face, including two forward run-downs to really get the adrenalin pumping. Don’t forget your bathers for a swim!
Walking in Kalbarri National Park -The Kalbarri National Park offers coastline and gorges with a wide choice of walk trails. Red Bluff, Mushroom Rock, Rainbow Valley, Pot Alley, Eagle Gorge, Island Rock Natural Bridge and the Shellhouse and Grandstand are all coastal cliffs to the south of Kalbarri. They each offer excellent scenery and features that are well signposted from the road.
Intermediate bushwalkers will enjoy try Mushroom Rock Nature Trail – a leisurely two-hour walk with geological and botanical features signed along the way. The beach can be accessed at Eagle Gorge, where eagles can be seen soaring on the air currents.
Rainbow Valley offers rainbows in the sea mist and shows layers of different rock colours and types. There are longer hikes for experienced bushwalkers.
The Coastal Trail is a one-way, 8 km hike offering magnificent seascapes from coastal cliffs, and takes three to five hours.
Around the Loop is a six-hour walk that begins and ends at Nature’s Window in the Murchison River gorges. This trail is not marked but is easy to follow with directions. Several lookouts are positioned around the Loop and give different perspectives on the switchback course of the Murchison River. Nature’s Window is a natural rock arch which superbly frames the upstream view (look at the photo in our website banner).
The Z Bend is an easy 500 metre walk to a lookout overhanging the Murchison. Hawks Head provides a spectacular gorge view, while the Ross Graham Lookout gives a similar view and an easy walk to the rock pools on the gorge’s river bed.
And to the Ocean
Try fishing for snapper, groper, dhufish, Spanish mackerel and tuna with Kalbarri Reefwalker Tours. Have a local give you the tips to reel in a monster, and take home a fishing story worth telling.
If you have had enough adventure, take a sunset cruise along the coastal cliffs and gorges. Bring your camera to capture the brilliant colours of the rocks, the dolphins and the spectacular sunsets. Witness Red Bluff turning the colour of flames as the cliffs take on a life of their own at this time of the day.
The seasonal migrations of humpback whales brings them close to the Kalbarri shoreline in winter and spring. The whales give birth to their calves, mate and then rest before their return journey to the Antarctic.
View the humpbacks from Kalbarri’s coastal cliffs. The best coastal vantage points are high above the water, at Natural Bridge, Eagle Gorge, Red Bluff or the “Viewing Tower” at Rainbow Jungle.
Kalbarri and Beyond Tours will drive you to all the hotspots for whale-watching. Choose the beach or cliff edge viewing, and be dazzled by one of Kalbarri’s glorious sunsets at the same time.
If you want to get close to these beautiful creatures a whale-watching cruise is essential. Cruising with Explorer Ocean Charters you will usually encounter whales within 30 minutes of departing Kalbarri.
Around the town
The West Australian coast is known worldwide for its natural beauty and for its abundant marine life.
Walk the Interpretive Nature Trail or take a guided walk through Kalbarri’s Native Botanic Garden. Browse through the floral art or take home some wildflower seeds for your garden.
Rainbow Jungle - said to be Australia’s most beautiful parrot habitat, with the largest free flight parrot aviary. With around 350 birds, including 50 species of Australian parrots and cockatoos, Rainbow Jungle is well worth a visit.
There is more to the Rainbow Jungle than first meets the eye! Try Cinema Parrotiso, a modern outdoor cinema showing all the latest movies. Check the Visitor Centre for movie titles and session details.
Kalbarri’s Family Entertainment Centre has something for suitable for all ages, with eight in-ground trampolines, mini putt golf set in beautiful gardens, amusement arcade and bike hire.
Kalbarri Golf Club - Visitors are always welcome! The 18 hole grass course is within the Kalbarri Nature Reserve, offering spectacular views of the Indian Ocean and Murchison River.
Kalbarri Bowls Club - has two well maintained grass bowling greens surrounded by well kept gardens. All bowlers are made welcome at the famous Swallows Return tournament held in August.
And finally .. if that isn’t enough for you, you can find more options at the WA Tourism website.