If you plan on travelling through the west of Australia, be sure to book some time for Kalbarri and the nearby National Park. Kalbarri is an elongated coastal town, found at the mouth of the Murchison River. The river has a bay that is positioned nicely up against the centre of town. The bay itself is safe for swimming and there are plenty of pelicans to see. Renting a small motor boat or canoe is very affordable and children can enjoy themselves at the playground. The Chinamans Beach Lookout is situated at walking distance, with not only a memorial of the wrecked 18th century (1712) Dutch ship 'De Zuytdorp', but it also lets you admire the nice view over Kalbarri. This spot is especially popular during sunset. In Kalbarri itself, the big eucalyptus trees on the water side and near the electricity wires are inhabited by large numbers of Galahs, the pink-grey cockatoos.
South of town you will find a series of lookout points that offer marvellous views over the spectacular coast line. Red Bluff Lookout, with its wide view over Kalbarri, the white Red Bluff Beach, and Pot Alley, which is situated just a few kilometres away with its layers of red rock, are true marvels to behold. If you enjoy hiking, do so to your heart's content as the lookout points are connected to each other by a stable landscaped path. But there is more to see and do. The Rainbow Jungle bird park should definitely be considered; host to all parrot species that are native to Australia. If you travel by camper throughout the months of June to September and stop by Kalbarri, you might be lucky enough to spot a few whales from the coast and/or lookout points.
And don't forget The Loop and Z Bend! Both are located in the National Park and can be reached through an unpaved road. Kalbarri offers a lot of great sights, but these should definitely top your list. The view around Nature's Window is especially beautiful. If you are not short on time, please consider taking 'The Loop Walk', a remarkable stroll through the park in all its tranquillity. The path elevates well above the cliff of the Murchison River and you should not be surprised to come across a few eagles and black cockatoos during your walk.
The start of the road that leads to The Loop and the Z Bend is situated roughly 11 kilometres north-east of Kalbarri. The road has a dead-end, so you will have to drive back again, amounting to some 60 kilometres in total. If you travel in a rental vehicle, please consult its terms and conditions to see if your car or camper is allowed to drive on this road, as its surface quality sometimes leaves to be desired. In any case, most 2WD cars and 2WD campers are disallowed from driving on this road. 4WD cars and 4WD campers. One 2WD camper that is allowed to drive on this unpaved road is the Hitop 5 seats. As a last note, you cannot go camping near The Loop and Z Bend.
Visiting all lookout points south of Kalbarri will take at least a few hours and a visit to The Loop and Z Bend can take up to half a day. While most travellers are limited in time when it comes to visiting Western Australia, it is nonetheless recommended to schedule an entire day to explore Kalbarri and its surroundings. Just to make sure you can experience all it has to offer. Kalbarri also has plenty of available accommodation, including hotels, holiday homes, a hostel and 4 camp sites. If you plan on visiting Kalbarri during the Christmas season up to the end of January, please keep in mind that this is also the period of Australian summer holidays. As such, it can be quite hectic and busy. It is highly recommended to book well ahead of time for stays at a camping site during this period.
So, if you are travelling by car of camper along Australia's west coast, do visit this amazing little town and the National Park of the same title. You will definitely not regret it.