When you think of Kalbarri town located along the Coral Coast of Western Australia, the first thing that comes to mind is the national park. You may wonder if there is anything else to do or see around Kalbarri. l felt this way too, especially when many accommodation providers insist on a seven-day booking. But after our weeklong holiday, I discovered there are so many things to do in Kalbarri.
Join me as I share with you all the Kalbarri attractions we found from national parks, beach activities, adventure tours to family-friendly theme parks; helping you to plan your Kalbarri itinerary for a seven-day trip.
In this article Discover What to Do in Kalbarri for a Week’s Holiday
- Seven days of Kalbarri attractions and activities
- Tips to Plan your Kalbarri Trip
- History of Kalbarri
- Where to Stay
- Eating Out
- What to Pack
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Things to Do at Kalbarri Attractions for Seven Days
Join me as I show you why Kalbarri has become a popular tourist location and all the things to do on a Kalbarri holiday for a week’s stay.
Day 1. The Drive
Day one of your week trip will be driving to Kalbarri. For many, this will mean the 570km drive from Perth. To break up your journey there are several scenic places for rest stops. We eat a picnic lunch at the beachside park in Jurien Bay, meander along Geraldton’s foreshore and check out recent sculptures, see leaning trees in Greenough and Hutt Lagoon’s Pink Lake. What is supposed to be a six and half hour drive turns into eight, but it is relaxing and enjoyable.
Meanwhile, others could be driving into Kalbarri from north of Western Australia. Again, there are sights to stop and enjoy like seeing the Stromatolites and the heritage Telegraph Station at Hamelin Pool.
Learn about all the stops we enjoyed with this…
Day 2. The Beach and Foreshore
After settling in during the first night at your accommodation it’s time to explore your new surroundings. Get your walking shoes on, slap on a hat and head to the waterfront.
One of the first things to see in Kalbarri is the Pelican Feeding. At 8:45am every morning a Kalbarri Tourism Volunteer comes down to the designated Pelican Feeding Station. As the pelicans are wild sometimes, they come and sometimes they don’t, but it is well worth going to listen to the great information that the guide has to offer about all the services available in Kalbarri. You’ll learn about local facilities like the bowling club, tennis courts, golf club and the Town Hall’s seniors’ games day – all of which are available to tourists.
If like us, pelicans don’t appear, because they have had a feed from the fisherman earlier in the morning, walk towards the jetty along the sand and you will find pelicans.
After the pelican feeding, pop into the Kalbarri Visitor Centre to get more information, maps and book tours for your stay.
Then it’s time to head back to the calm white beaches. There are boats, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and canoes for hire.
If you are into surfing, head to Jakes Point just south of town. Though I do warn you that it is for experienced surfers as the water breaks over the red sheets of rock.
If snorkelling is your thing, head to Blue Holes. The calm coral rocks have an abundance of small deep blue holes of water. If you are not a snorkeller wear some sturdy trekking sandals and walk out onto the coral.
Top Trip Tip: Book your tours early at the Visitors Centre or online* as they fill up quick
Day 3. Kalbarri National Park (inland section)
There are two sections to the Kalbarri National Park the inland park and the coastal cliffs section. There is a lot to see so I would suggest focusing on each section on separate days.
The inland Kalbarri National Park is located approximately 15km east of Kalbarri town. Please be aware there is no freshwater or fuel station and only one small café at the Skywalk attraction within the park. Take money with you as you will need to pay the $15/car (as of 2021) entrance fee
It gets very warm at the inland park so I would suggest heading out early. We arrive at the park by 8:30am and there are already crowds at the newest attraction, the Skywalk. Here you can walk out over the Murchison River Gorge edge on two enormous metal arcs that cantilever over the cliff. Back on land, there are lots of signs explaining the process that the gorge was formed and about the local Nandi Aboriginal population.
The next stop is your Instagram moment. A varied striated red iron and sandstone rock that is roughly 5m high and 10m long with a “window” in the middle. Be prepared for a short wait to get your Instagram moment. When we are there are about 10 groups in an orderly calm queue. There is nobody monitoring this queue, it is just about being polite and waiting your turn.
Once you’ve taken your photo there is a 9km hiking loop over the gorge and down to the river. Alternatively, you can take a shorter 20min hike straight down the steep descent to the river and back up.
The inland park offers several more locations for hikes with scenic lookouts including:
Plan your day trip with this…
Day 4. Kalbarri Coastal Cliffs and Pink Lake
On another day visit the Kalbarri Coastal Cliffs section of the park that extends from south of the township for 12km along the coastline, this section is one of the many free things to do in Kalbarri. To see each of the sights you will weave in and out from the main road to each scenic location that has bitumen-marked car bays before making your way on foot to the various lookouts.
Many of the more popular lookouts have concrete boardwalks to easily navigate to the lookouts and there is also lots of signage detailing how the striated cream sandstone cliffs were created along with some local history of shipwrecks in the area. While other locations have loose gravel pathways, and you may need to traverse across large sheets of rock.
Some of the popular eleven sights include:
- The Arch
- Natural Bridge
- Mushroom Rock
- Blue Holes
- Red Bluff
Top Trip Tip: Wear sturdy walking shoes
Once you have visited all the Coastal Cliffs continue further south for approximately 30 mins to view the Hutt Lagoon’s Pink Lake. Whilst you may have seen the lake on your drive up to Kalbarri the pink hue in the lake changes according to the time of the day and the weather. When we were there, we saw the lake three times and each time it was a different shade of pink.
Explore the 11 sights along…
Day 5. Whale Watching or Fishing Boat Tours
The coastal cliffs are really stunning from land but seeing from the water really puts them into perspective.
Depending on the time of the year you can combine this with a Whale Watching Tour. From May to August the Humpback whales are migrating north, looking for warmer waters to breed. Then from August to November, they migrate back south for feeding.
We visit Kalbarri during late September and get to enjoy a mother and calf frolicking in the water. Now my photos aren’t the best. A word of advice from our tour guide “just enjoy the experience and capture the moment in your mind, you’ll struggle to get the perfect photo.”
At first, I am trying to capture some magic moments of the whale jumping out of the water and breaching onto its back or seeing its ruddy brown hump diving so close under our boat. But I’m not having much success, so it’s all in my mind but not on film.
As we sail close to the cliffs, we also encounter four dolphins, the guides had hoped to find seals as well. But no luck on our cruise. You must remember the whales, dolphins and seals are all wild animals and there is no guarantee of animals, so I really liked that part of our cruise we chose included tracking along the stunning cliff line.
There are lots of options for boat tours out of Kalbarri including:
Top Trip Tip: Take seasick tablets before the tour
Day 6. Adventure Tours
One of the cool things about Kalbarri is it is not just a sedentary travel destination. Yes, you can just sit back and soak up the sights. But you can also get out there and immerse yourself in it completely.
Quad Bike Tours
Now earlier on I mentioned booking tours on your first day. We tried to book Quad Bike Tours on our first day and they were fully booked out for the entire week.
The quad biking tours sound like so much fun as you zip over the crisp white sand dunes and along the coastline of Wagoe Beach.
Safari Canoe Tours
Instead, we opt for a Safari Canoe Tour. This involves a 4wd journey on dirt and sandy tracks along the edge of the Murchison River. We get to areas that only those who are experienced with four-wheel driving can access.
Then it’s into the canoes and we continue to paddle up the Murchison River. We pass campers who are staying at Murchison House Station and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the river.
Kalbarri Scenic Flights
If you would prefer to view the gorges or Pink Lake from above, then there are scenic flights that depart from the small Kalbarri airstrip just outside of town.
Day 7. Theme Park Options
Then for something completely different, there are a couple of theme parks.
Before I get into theme parks there are other parks/playgrounds in town:
- The Foreshore Nature Playground
- The Skate Park
- Golf Course
- Tennis courts
- Lawn bowls
Family Entertainment Centre
For something a little more energetic the Kalbarri Family Entertainment Centre offers:
- Mini golf
- The Spider climbing tower
- An Amusement Arcade
Prices vary according to which activity you partake.
Rainbow Jungle and Maze
In case you have heard about this attraction, it is sadly now closed.
Final Tips for Planning Your Week in Kalbarri
Kalbarri is really worth a visit and as you can see there are a lot of things to do in Kalbarri for a week-long stay. We thoroughly enjoyed our week’s holiday and found the location to be really relaxing, the history interesting, and the locals helpful and friendly.
Kalbarri and its surroundings were originally inhabited by the Aboriginal people known as Nanda. They believed as part of their Dreamtime mythology that the mythical creatures sculptured the land, including a serpent named Beemarra that made its way down the Murchison River, however, it got scared by the pounding waves and fled back inland creating tunnels in the red cliffs and holes for fresh drinking water.
In 1712, a Dutch ship named Zuytdorp shipwrecked on the limestone cliffs off the coast of Kalbarri. It is believed the survivors were helped by the local Aboriginal people to find food and water as some of the large shipments of silver coins have been found at Aboriginal watering holes.
However, Western Australia was settled by the British until 1829 and it wasn’t until the 1940’s that Kalbarri became a popular fishing and tourist location.
The town of Kalbarri is approximately 570km north of Perth and takes at least six and half hours’ drive or more with stops. The town is located at the mouth of the Murchison River which provides a sheltered calm beach albeit a bit windy at times.
Where to Stay
Whilst this town isn’t big it does off lots of options for places to stay. We really enjoyed our seven nights at the Blue Ocean Kalbarri Villas. Alternately there are large apartment complexes, three caravan parks, backpackers and private homes to rent.
Read our full review of the…
Eating Out in Kalbarri
Many of the accommodation options include self-catering facilities. If you haven’t packed an Eski full of food, there is a well-stocked IGA, Kalbarri bakery and butcher.
If you don’t feel like cooking, there are several takeaway restaurants. We eat fish and chips from the Jetty Shack, pizza at Kalbarri Pizza and Pasta 555 and kebabs from Kalbarri Kebabs. All the food is tasty, a little bit more expensive than Perth, but that’s to be expected when you are in a country town.
There are also several restaurants along the beachfront. We are visiting Kalbarri in October 2020, many country towns including Kalbarri are facing staff shortages due to the lack of backpackers being in Australia. So, many of the restaurants are short-staffed, resulting in reduced patrons being able to dine. Bookings are essential!
What to Pack
With so many diverse Kalbarri activities to do you need to be prepared for all. Not to mention the sudden changes in weather when the wind picks up. It can go from hot and sunny to chilly quite quickly.
You will want:
- Swim wear
- Sun protection
- Good quality walking shoes
- Something to keep you warm
Don’t forget a thing, use the…
As I have also mentioned many of the Kalbarri accommodations have cooking self-contained facilities. To help keep costs down and avoid worries of restaurants being booked out, pack an Eski full of food.
To help you plan your meals and pack use the…
More Kalbarri Information
As you can see there are so many Kalbarri attractions you can easily fill in a week’s stay. Learn more about what to see in Kalbarri:
Check out all our articles on Kalbarri and we also have lots more information on other Western Australia destinations.
- 7 Day Itinerary of Kalbarri Attractions
- Things to Do in Kalbarri National Park: Planning Guide
- Kalbarri Coastal Cliffs Attractions
- My Review of the Blue Ocean Villas
- Family-Friendly Activities in Kalbarri
- The Perth to Kalbarri Road Trip Stops Itinerary
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