Where the Murchison River meets the Indian Ocean, Kalbarri in Western Australia is a favourite holiday playground blessed with a stunning coastline, soaring river gorges and protected swimming bays. What’s more, the weather is sunny and warm all year round making any time a great time to visit.
Click on the blue text on this page to find out more about things to do in Kalbarri.
As soon as you see the coast you will notice the beautiful postcard-perfect scenes, whales and their calves migrate along the coast, and dolphins frolic in the bay (June to mid-November). You can swim, water ski and kayak, or hire paddleboats, dinghies or windsurf on the Kalbarri river foreshore. Join a fishing charter for the catch of a lifetime or throw in a line from the beach. Perhaps you’d prefer to hike through the dramatic gorges or go for a leisurely cycle along miles of uninterrupted coastline, stopping at Turquoise Bay to cool off.
For the energetic, there’s abseiling, hiking, tennis, golf and surfing and for the animal lovers a visit to the parrot breeding centre with tropical gardens and waterfalls is a must! Click here to visit the Kalbarri Abseil Adventure Tours website.
Don’t miss the daily pelican feeding on the Kalbarri foreshore which is located just in front of our Holiday Homes at the beach and of course, you can’t beat an invigorating horse ride along the beach at sunset. There is something for everyone in Kalbarri and with the warm climate during winter it is the ideal place to take the family and friends for a relaxing break.
A trip to Pink Lake, just south of Kalbarri, is a scene that needs to be witnessed to be believed. The Pink hue of the lake is created by the naturally occurring beta carotene, which makes for a captivating sight for adults and kids alike, as well as a fantastic photographic setting.
Quad Bike Tours Wagoe Beach
A quad bike tour is a fantastic way to experience some of the more remote parts of Kalbarri, not to mention a healthy dose of adrenalin and adventure. Just imagine hurtling down Wagoe beach on your very own all-terrain quad bike, with the wind flowing over your helmet and the idyllic views of the Indian Ocean. Your friendly tour guide will provide a wealth of knowledge about the Kalbarri area and may even surprise you with some fresh oysters plucked straight from the ocean when they’re in season during the winter months. Locals are known to come to the area and pick the exquisite morsels straight from the shore and enjoy them at the water’s edge.
The Wagoe Beach Lagoon
This is a thriving ecosystem of marine life, with dozens of species popping into view for a few fleeting seconds before returning to the security of the oceans depths.
Kalbarri National Park
A visit to the park is a must. With a photo opportunity at the iconic Nature’s Window on the top of the to-do list for visitors. The outline of the natural rock formation that is Nature’s Window offers a perfect vantage point of the upper sections of the Murchison River. 150 metres below you will have a bird’s eye view of the lush foliage of the central coast area, including the beautiful river red gum trees, perfectly framed by the contrast of the Tumblagooda sandstone. There are many fantastic vantage points in the National Park, with the surrounds of red sand, wildflowers and a different view of the Murchison River.
Fishing, Charters & Cruises
Kalbarri is regarded as one of Western Australia’s premier fishing holiday destinations. Due to the warmer water, schools of tropical game fish and temperate reef species travel south from the tropics, following the warm water currents all the way down to Kalbarri, which makes the end of winter and spring a perfect time for fishing.
Mulloway and Mackerel can be caught at Chinamans Beach, right at the mouth of the Murchison River in Kalbarri. The fish enter this area to gain access to the many bait schools that inhabit the river system, once full they return to the ocean. 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. Chinamans Beach is easily accessible and safe to fish from for the whole family, so don’t forget to pack a picnic and a camera to photograph your catch of the day!
The tranquil setting of Chinaman’s Beach on the Murchison River in the heart of Kalbarri also makes it a popular swimming spot. Take advantage of the warmth of year-round sunshine to swim in the refreshing clear waters. Explore the marine life under the water or hire a windsurfer or paddleboat. For the less energetic, it is a beautiful spot to laze on the soft white sand to enjoy a great book and soak up the sun.
The rugged landscape comes alive with a blaze of brilliant colours and lush scents from June to November. For six picturesque months, a whopping 12,000 plant species carpet the state with their vivid beauty and endless varieties are still being discovered! In Western Australia, Australia’s most familiar wildflowers take a dazzling twist from the norm. Pink boronias, red and green kangaroo paw, magenta paperbark blossom and orange-flowering banksias are top of the list for wildflower spotters.
For a little piece of history, stop by and visit the town of Northampton, either on the way to Kalbarri or on way home. Northampton is located 114 km south of Kalbarri; it is an attractive historical town, with an outstanding National Trust building. Formerly named Gwalla after the location's copper mine, it was established by the Cornish ex-convict Joseph Horrocks. The town is known for its many wildflowers, and cave paintings at the Bowes River turnoff show that the region has been inhabited by Indigenous Australians. Kalbarri is famous for its fun leisure activities, like surfing, fishing and snorkeling. Those who like to get to know the history of the area they are staying in hasn’t been forgotten. Lying on the ocean bed just below the spectacular Zuytdorp Cliffs is the 17th-century ship wreck of the Dutch East India Company merchant vessel, Zuytdorp.
Native Botanic Garden
The West Australian coast is not only 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 is one of Australia’s most beautiful parrot habitats, with the largest free-flight parrot aviary. With around 350 birds, including 50 species of Australian parrots and cockatoos, Rainbow Jungle is a must for all visitors to Kalbarri. There is more to the Rainbow Jungle than first meets the eye!
Be sure to explore the naturally occurring sandstone formations and gain an appreciation for the age of the land. To really get in touch with nature and enjoy the benefits of the warm currents of the coral coast a swim in the waters near Blue Holes is a must. Renowned for exceptional snorkeling, Blue Holes is located just south of Kalbarri. Explore the protected waters of the Indian Ocean and be amazed by a myriad of stunning fish and other marine life swimming in the tranquil waters and crawling along the ocean floor. Walk along the pristine sandy beach and examine rock pools along the shore.
For the wax heads and grommets who live for a good surf break then Jakes Point is regarded by many as a superb reef break. Jakes Point is a popular surfing beach in Kalbarri providing a perfect surf break along the point. Amateur surfers will enjoy the safe conditions of this beach and easy access to the water from the white sandy beach. Spectators have a great vantage point from the water’s edge to watch the surfers tackling the waves. Take a walk along the path above the beach to explore more of the coastline and keep an eye on the water for the Bottlenose dolphins that are frequently seen playing in the water off the shore. After a day of surfing, settle back on the sand to enjoy the famous Western Australian sunset over the horizon.
If you’ve booked a longer stay in the central coast region, then a trip a little further north to Shark Bay is a fantastic option, especially considering its world heritage listing. You can learn a great deal about the area and find out why Shark Bay has been granted a world heritage listed site. Your first stop has to be the Hamelin Pool stromatolites. Stromatolites provide some of the most ancient records of life on Earth by fossil remains which date back more than 3.5 billion years ago, with Shark Bay being one of the few places on earth where these ancient organisms can be witnessed.
Lying on the ocean bed just below the spectacular Zuytdorp Cliffs is the 17th-century shipwreck of the Dutch East India Company merchant vessel, Zuytdorp.
Take a sightseeing cruise and learn about the history of the Zuytdorp and capture the magnificent 200-kilometer cliffs on film. Alternatively, a scenic flight will provide you breathtaking views of this stunning yet treacherous coastline. Most people would be unaware of the significance the Zuytdorp shipwreck had on Australian history. It is understood some of the survivors were looked after by the local Aboriginal people, making this the first European contact with Australia’s indigenous people. The Zuytdorp lies in a protected zone making diving illegal. The area has no permanent water source, so be sure to bring plenty of drinking water when visiting the cliffs. The Zuytdorp’s final resting place is an hour north of Kalbarri.
Another picturesque location is Shell Beach. As you may suspect the beach is famous for its shells, millions if not billions of them. The shells make up the entire stretch of beach, which is more than 110 km’s in length. Shell Beach is one of only two beaches in the world made up entirely of shells. The shells typically reach a depth of 7 to 10 metres into the ocean floor. Over time, the shells have formed a limestone that is known as Coquina.