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Kalbarri is a small coastal town in Western Australia that is the perfect place for travellers who want to get away from the city and explore some of WA’s impressive landscapes. From Kalbarri National Park, known for iconic sights, walking tracks and more to beaches and rugged coastline. We give you our list of the best things to do in Kalbarri Western Australia with kids!
Kalbarri is a small town on the Coral Coast, growing in size and popularity as more people discover the beauty of the area.
The town has a National Park on its doorstep, boasting spectacular views and plenty of activities for visitors of all ages, as well as beautiful beaches for swimming, fishing and relaxing.
While you won’t find the typical offerings of a city escape here, Kalbarri is the perfect place to enjoy the feel of the sand (or red dirt) between your toes and the sea breeze on your face.
Kalbarri was a must-visit for us on our WA road trip itinerary and the first part of our trip that we locked in when we started planning.
Where is Kalbarri?
Kalbarri is located in the mid west region of the Western Australian coast, along the Murchison River. It is situated approximately 6 hours north of Perth and 19 hours south of Broome.
This region is fairly isolated with the closest large town from Kalbarri being Geraldton, approximately 130km to the south.
Best Time To Visit Kalbarri
It can get extremely hot in Kalbarri during the summer months. With this in mind, the best time to visit Kalbarri is during Autumn (April-September), where you can expect comfortable days, cooler nights and little rainfall.
Although the winter months are also a popular time for outdoor enthusiasts since Kalbarri is a perfect destination for hiking. Some hiking trails are prohibited after a certain hour of the day during the summer months due to the risk of heat injury.
Here is a summary of Kalbarri weather:
Summer – December to February: The summer months are hot and humid, with temperatures averaging 33°C but sometimes reaching up to 45°C. Some hiking trails are prohibited after a certain hour of the day during the summer months due to the risk of heat injury.
Autumn – March to May: The most popular time to visit Kalbarri is Autumn, as the heat of summer has eased somewhat, especially from April, and the winter chill hasn’t yet set in. The coastal winds are typically calmer too making this a great time of year for fishing.
Winter – June to August: In winter, the temperatures are around 22 degrees during the day with lows of 10°. This makes it a great time of year for hiking and other outdoor activities. Plus winter is wildflower season too!
Spring – September to November: With spring temperatures average around 26°C during the day. This season is best for humpback whales viewing although this can also bring in the crowds.
How To Get To Kalbarri
The easiest option for getting to Kalbarri is by car. Depending on how you are arriving in Western Australia, either with your own car or by hiring a car or campervan at the airport.
You can easily reach Kalbarri from Perth in a single day, taking approximately 6-8 hours, depending on how often you stop.
You have the choice of two routes between Kalbarri and Perth: The Brand Highway onto the North West Coastal Highway at Geraldton or the scenic route following the new Indian Ocean Drive. Both routes take a similar amount of time.
We absolutely loved our stay in the 2 bedroom cabin. The cabins were so well equipped it almost felt like home, right down to a dishwasher, USB ports, 3 televisions and plastic picnic dining ware. Plus a 2-minute walk to Red Bluff Beach is a nice bonus!
They also have ensuite campsites for tents and vans and a large swimming pool with a view of the Red Bluff coastal cliffs.
Now that we’ve given you a little background on Kalbarri, here are our top things to do in Kalbarri WA!
Kalbarri National Park
Kalbarri National Park is one of the most popular things to do when visiting Kalbarri and is a popular road trip stop for anyone travelling the Australian West Coast. With its iconic red rocks and gorges, it’s easy to see why!
The park offers plenty of walking tracks to suit every difficulty level. There are lookouts and more for visitors to explore. Keep an eye out for native Australian wildlife as you wander through the preserved bushland.
Cost of Entry: It is $15 per car for a day pass into Kalbarri National Park. You can purchase this at the ticket office upon entry or via the ticket machine. During off-season times, the ticket office may be unattended.
One of the most popular tourist attractions within Kalbarri National Park is Natures Window. This naturally occurring rock formation ‘window’ is a stark contrast from the breathtaking scenery that surrounds it.
The view from the window is of the Murchison River valley and offers great photo opportunities.
The walk to get to Natures Window is an easy, short stroll and suitable for most fitness levels. The loop is 1km so you can easily do this in 45 minutes, giving you time to enjoy the sights for a while.
Take care as you get closer to the Nature’s Window as the last section of the walk is very rocky. Just follow the arrow markers.
We did this walk with a 6 and 9-year-old who enjoyed the rock stairs at the end.
One of the newer attractions in the area is the Kalbarri Skywalk.
This unique experience allows you to walk out onto two viewing platforms that hang 300 metres above the Murchison River.
Don’t worry, it’s not anywhere as scary as it sounds! The views from up here are simply stunning and well worth making the stop, with the short walk from the car park.
There is a cafe located at the Skywalk, however, depending on the season, this may not be open so it is worthwhile checking before you go in case you are hoping to get food while you are there.
Otherwise, there are plenty of picnic tables in the undercover area if you want to bring your own lunch to share after you enjoy the Skywalk views.
Kalbarri National Park Walking Tracks
If you are a keen hiker, you will love the different walking trails around Kalbarri, through the national park and along the coast.
There are hikes for all fitness levels and abilities so make sure you choose one to suit your experience level, especially if hiking with kids!
Some of the most popular Kalbarri walking trails include:
Natures Window (Class 3) – This is a great walk for those who want to enjoy the scenery without doing too much hard work! The loop is only 1km long and takes around 30 to 45 minutes.
The Loop Trail (Class 4) – This trail is 9KM long and requires 3-4 hours. There is minimal shade and no drinking water so this one is best to do in cooler weather with hiking companions and plenty of water. The Loop Trail is closed after 7 am during the warmer months from November to March inclusive.
Z Bend Lookout (Class 3) – The Z-Bend lookout is a moderately easy walking trail, but make sure you take extreme care in the gorge risk area. It will bring you to a spectacular lookout over the river and is only a 1.2KM return hike.
Z-Bend River Trail (Class 4) – The Z Bend river trail is a much more challenging hike that will give you access to the river, with a 2.6km return distance.
Pot Alley Beach (Class 3) – This was one of our favourite Kalbarri hikes with kids since it is only 400m return. It takes you down through the gorge, to Pot Alley Beach with spectacular scenery. While it was a bit rough for swimming, this is a wonderful spot for a family picnic.
Ross Graham Lookout (Class 3) – This 700m return hike provides the easiest access in Kalbarri National Park to the river’s edge.
Eagle Gorge (Class 3) – This steep sandstone trail leads down to Eagle Gorge Beach and is a 1km return trail.
Mushroom Rock (Class 3) – The 3km loop along the Mushroom Rock nature trail links up with Rainbow Valley. Give yourself 1-2 hours to complete this track.
A great place to take a dip on a hot day, the Blue Holes are located just south of Kalbarri town.
There is a short walk down to the beach from the car park and you will find yourself on beautiful Blue Hole Beach. The coastline here is lovely with crystal clear water surrounded by cliffs.
What is especially popular is exploring the shallow rock pools – the Blue Holes. The Blue Holes are a fish habitat protection area and the limestone rock formations are incredible to see.
This is a popular place for snorkelling and kids will love wading around the shallow pools along the edges of the beach, spotting marine life.
Kalbarri’s Foreshore, at the mouth of the Murchison River, is a great place to take a walk, have a picnic or just relax on the beach. Here you will find Chinaman’s Beach which is a popular swimming beach in the town of Kalbarri.
The Foreshore stretches for over a kilometre and has a beautiful white sand beach, picnic tables, barbecues and toilets. It’s also pet-friendly so it’s a popular spot to bring your furry friend along.
Kalbarri Water Activities
If you’re wondering what to do in Kalbarri that’s a little more adventurous, head to Kalbarri Boat Hire along the foreshore and hire some equipment for some fun on the water.
They have the following for hire (no pre-booking required):
They also run half-day canoe safaris, suitable for ages 3 and up, as a memorable way of experiencing the Murchison River and enjoying a bush BBQ lunch.
Foreshore Nature Playground
The best part of the foreshore though, if you ask our kids, is the incredible Foreshore Playground. Kalbarri’s nature playground is huge and has loads of fun play equipment to inspire imaginative outdoor play.
With the location right alongside the water, this is a great day to spend a half or full day with the family enjoying the Kalbarri facilities.
If you are visiting Kalbarri with kids, this is a fun experience they are sure to love.
Pelican feeding occurs daily along the Kalbarri foreshore, located opposite the caravan park. This takes place at 8:45 am each day, run by local volunteers.
Don’t forget to bring a gold coin donation!
Kalbarri Pink Lake – Hutt Lagoon
While it is actually located in Port Gregory, just 40 minutes south of Kalbarri, the Pink Lake is a popular attraction and well worth a visit.
Hutt Lagoon gets its pink colouring from a combination of the high salt content and algae. It’s definitely an amazing sight to see.
The best time to view the lake is usually mid-morning to mid-afternoon when the sun is highest, on a clear, sunny day. This is when you will get the most vibrant bubblegum pink colour.
While there isn’t so much to do in the area and you can’t swim in the lake, this Kalbarri attraction might be one you visit on your way to or from Kalbarri as you head towards Perth.
Check out our drone footage over Hutt Lagoon:
For the ultimate experience, Kalbarri Scenic Flights take you over the top of the Hutt Lagoon, as well as Lucky Bay, Rainbow Valley and Red Bluff.
There are plenty of things to do in Kalbarri that don’t require any bookings, but if you’re looking for more ideas or want to explore further afield, then there are some incredible day tours and activities on offer.
Kalbarri Sunset Coastal Cliff Cruise – See the vibrant colours of the red rocks as the sun sets over Kalbarri on this sunset coastal cruise past Jacques Point, Red Bluff, Mushroom Rock, Rainbow Valley, Pot Alley and Eagle Gorge.
Guided Whale Watching Boat Tour – Every June, humpback whales migrate past Kalbarri from the Southern Ocean to breeding grounds in warmer waters, before returning south each August. This is your chance to watch these majestic creatures in the water.
Rock lobster Pot Pull Tour – This unique experience takes fishing in Kalbarri to a whole new level with your chance to see how the world-famous Western Rocklobster is caught. And your opportunity to take some with you at the end for a seafood feast!
A visit to the Kalbarri Visitor Centre will also help you plan local tours and activities for your visit, including opening times for Kalbarri attractions, quad boat tours and Kalbarri Wilderness tours.
Kalbarri has plenty of things to do for all ages. With its wide variety of natural attractions, it’s the perfect place to take your family on a road trip or weekend getaway from Perth. Whether you’re looking for things to do in Kalbarri National Park or places close by that are worth visiting, we’ve got you covered with our list. Kalbarri is definitely worth adding to your Western Australia bucket list!
PLAN YOUR VISIT TO WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Book your flights – We use Skyscanner to research and book flights. You can set up a price alert for your travel dates, plus it compares most major airlines in one place.
Car hire – Europcar is a great option for car rental.