Exploring 11 Kalbarri Coastal Cliffs Attractions

The town of Kalbarri in Western Australia is situated 590km north of Perth.  With a local population of only 1600 people this seaside town comes alive when the tourists flock in during the holiday periods. 

Why have they driven so far you may ask?  It is to experience the calm white beaches at the mouth of the Murchison River, fish, canoe and see Kalbarri National Park.

Kalbarri National Park covers a total area of 186 000 hectares.  Inland you’ll find 80km of rugged gorges and the newly promoted Skywalk.  But the national park also extends to the coast with 13km of stunning 100m high cliff tops known as the Kalbarri Coastal Cliffs.

Discover why you won’t want to miss adding the Kalbarri Cliffs to your Kalbarri itinerary.

In this Article You Will learn About the Kalbarri Coastal Cliffs

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people walking along sheets of red rock cliffs at Red Bluff Beach
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11 Things to See Along the Kalbarri Coastal Cliffs

The coastal cliffs start at the far southern end of town and extend a further 12km south.  We start our tour at this far southern end of the Kalbarri Cliffs which takes a mere 15 minutes to drive from Kalbarri township.

Natural Bridge

Having turned off the main road (George Grey Drive) we drive a further 4km on the wide sealed access road to reach a large bitumen car park.

The paved walkway makes it an easy 250m stroll to reach the galvanised metal fenced lookouts.  They offer stunning views along the creamy layered sandstone cliffs. 

Of course, the main attraction is to our right a natural bridge formed from many thousands of years of the surf pounding away at the cliffs creating a tunnel through one strong section jutting out into the ocean.

cream natural bridge formation along the Kalbarri Cliff edge
Natural Bridge

Halfway back along the path is another lookout across Castle Cove and Island Rock with a sheltered seat a bit further along to just enjoy the view out to sea.

creamy sandstone cliffs along the Kalbarri Coast with an Island Rock separed off the cliff edge
Island Rock

Top Trip Tip: This is one of only two toilet stops available

Island Rock

From Natural Bridge we could walk 800m along the white timber boardwalk to Island Rock lookout or drive around.

white timber boardwalk along the coastline cliff top
The Boardwalk

Reaching the Island Rock lookout gives you the view of the island from the opposite direction.

cream rock cliffs and Island Rock Kalbarri just off the coast
Island Rock

Grandstand

Back in the car we drive halfway back towards the main road and take the next turn off.  Again, the roads are sealed with a large, marked bitumen car park.

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The bitumen extends to a walking path takes us along the coastline to reach the Grandstand.  Here the cliff rocks have turned a red colour from iron deposits and the rugged coastline makes its way up the cliff as if it were a grandstand looking out to sea.

layered rocks up the Kalbarri coast
Grandstand

Eagle Gorge

Back on the main road our next turn off is to Eagle Gorge.  Alternatively, if you are really keen there is the 8km (one way) Bigurda Class 3 Trail to hike along the top of cliff coastline from Natural Bridge.

Red jaggered cliffs against the blue ocean
Eagle Gorge

We admire Eagle Gorge from above, however, you can also walk 1km downhill return to the beach.

Top Trip Tip: If you choose to hike along the coastline take lots of water

Pot Alley

Pot Alley is another beachside stop though swimming is not recommended along this portion of the rugged coastline.

Rainbow Valley

We next stop at Rainbow Valley.  The paths here are rock-lined dirt tracks, there is a marked 3km loop trail that will take you to Mushroom Rock.

cream and red dirt track
Rainbow Valley

Top Trip Tip: Wear good quality hiking shoes

Mushroom Rock

Alternatively, you can drive around to the Mushroom Rock stop and traverse over sheer rock ledges to view Mushroom Rock from above or hike to the lower cliffs to get a closer look at the mushroom-shaped dark red rock.

red and black rocks by the ocean with a mushroom shaped rock on top
Mushroom Rock

Top Trip Tip: If you have young children be careful as there are no barricades

Red Bluff Lookout

The Red Bluff Lookout is the highest lookout along the Kalbarri Cliff trail.  But it is not at all arduous to reach.  The sealed road ends at the carpark only a 500m walk along the slightest of inclines cream concrete path to the lookout. 

Along the way we pass interpretation signage telling the story of Dutch shipwrecks dating back to the 1700’s and how historians believe that some of the sea crew survived and were welcomed into the abundant local Nanda Aboriginal community.

From the lookout we get a lovely view across the Red Bluff Beach.  From here you can also walk down to Red Bluff Beach.

looking over the red Kalbarri cliffs and along the coastline
View from Red Bluff Lookout

Red Bluff Beach

Or you can drive as we do, directly onto the Red Bluff Beach rocks.  You can see that fishing and swimming off the rocks can be dangerous as there are life buoys hanging on posts hammered into the rocks.

We clamber over the glittery red striated rocks, taking in water holes, crabs living in the rocky cracks and what looks like broken oyster shells encrusted onto the sheer rock ledges.

sheet of red rock jutting out to sea with people walking along them
Red Bluff Kalbarri

Looking back, we can see a white beach perfect for swimming.

Jakes Point

This is a surfing location for experienced surfers.  We view Jakes Point from onboard a boat during our Whale Watching and Cliff Tour.  I can’t believe the surfers our there navigating around large flat red rocks that jut out into the ocean as they ride each wave.

Top Trip Tip: This is not suitable for young kids

Blue Holes

This is a popular swimming and snorkelling location.  We arrive late in the afternoon, the breeze has picked up, so we are not so keen to swim.  But I do go out onto the, what looks like, oyster encrusted coral reefs.  They are beautiful, with clear blue small swimming holes no bigger than a metre in diameter.  Some are shallow and other are quite deep considering how small the holes are.                                           

yellow/green coloured coral around deep blue water
Blue Holes

As Blue Holes is a popular swimming location for locals and tourists alike there are toilets and picnic tables available near the large tarmac car park overlooking the white sandy beach.

Top Trip Tip: Don’t forget to include your snorkelling gear and wear reef sandals to explore the holes

Learn what to include when you

Top Trip Tips: Information for Visiting the Kalbarri Coastal cliffs

Location

Kalbarri is located 570km from Perth CBD which takes approximately six and half hours to drive.  There are no commercial flights to Kalbarri and so if you don’t own a car you will need to hire one.  You’ll be glad of this as you will need the car to access the main natural attractions.

map of location of town of Kalbarri

As with most West Australian national parks dogs are not allowed in any parts of the Kalbarri National Park including the cliffs.

Cost

Whilst the Kalbarri Coastal Cliffs are part of the Kalbarri National Park you do not need to pay to enter this part of the park.

Facilities

Kalbarri’s Natural tourist attractions have undergone recent renovations.  All the roads to access the coastal cliff sites are sealed.  Many provided a paved walking trail to access the lookouts.  Some even included shaded picnic table.  Toilets can be found at the natural Bridge and Blue Holes.

There was also signage at each location to advise you of what you are looking at and some local history.

What You Need

Where comfortable walking shoes (lace up or all terrain sandals).  Whilst there were many paved paths there were also times that we climbed across large sheets of rock, jumped over gaps in the uneven rocks and hiked along loose gravel.

Don’t forget to take in you day bag:

  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Water
  • Jumper
  • Camera

If you plan on swimming take a beach bag with at least:

  • Swimsuit
  • Towel

More Information on Kalbarri

Official Websites

More Kalbarri Articles

We spent a wonderful week in Kalbarri, there were so many things to do and see.  I have lots of articles planned to be published over the coming weeks.  Please sign up to our e-newsletter or follow us on Facebook to learn when they are published.

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DISCLOSURE:

Sally-Ann
Hi, I'm a Perth born and bred travel tips blogger/writer with 20+ years experience in airlines, hospitality and tourism. I love sharing my travel lessons learned to help you plan for your travel dream with my travel tips for trips. Please follow along to receive all my travel planning tips, packing lists and destination inspirations.
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