Well, it would seem I’ve deviated from an intended course by deciding to blog about my time in Kalbarri ahead of Bendigo. This isn’t by all means a display of my choosing something a little shinier, but my post about the latter just wouldn’t be ready in the near future. I’ve gotta keep myself busy and I have since learnt of a strong following I have in France that keeps coming back for more, so this sheep must keep the readers happy.
Heading back west, the national park at Kalbarri is a popular spot for any kind of travellers looking for something to awe at; all I can say is bring a GOOD pair of shoes and a daypack because you will need both hands at your disposal. The town itself was established in 1951 and is 589km north of Perth, lasting about six and a half hours if going non stop, but I enjoy my eyesores and the road that was taken must be acknowledged!
Setting out from Perth on a Tuesday with Easyrider Tours (my first ever backpacker tour!!!), I, along with some Germans, a Dane and some Aussies made our way north via a few locations that can’t possibly be forgotten or missed. I was nervous and timid about doing a tour with people I didn’t know, but these reservations were put to rest when we first agreed on the corky texture of some biscuits we chose to bin.
Our first day on the road went pretty smoothly, and I’ll be making this opinion until death takes me, but with an over abundance of beaches and breakers, the west has THE best coastline in OZ, so haters, silencio.
The first big stop we made deserves a bit of attention. On a recent adventure to Thailand I shared with some badarse Americans (it was written on one of their shoulders) how Australian sand can come in a variety of colours, so in doing that I was quick to mention the shade of custard yellow you can find at the Pinnacles.
I’m gonna go ahead and say that these long and slender rock formations, some of them even sporting their own ‘beaks’, number in the possible thousands and are a must see for anyone hitting the west; it’s a good stop along the way, especially with the sun out, for you to get lost in. The Pinnacles add to the proof that nature can always amaze us.
Be sure to keep your eyes open for wildlife because we found the tracks of several creatures, including snakes (I’d just like to mention that if you do see a wild snake, do the wise thing and DON’T approach it; that’s how we Aussies have gotten this far, just sayin!) You’re also like to meet some interesting individuals who can add to your experience. We did meet a guy offering discounted skydiving trips but with the exception of a thrill seeking grandmother in our group who looked through my drawing book without asking, the majority of us weren’t that interested in his offer. This sheep don’t jump out of planes.
Moving on you’re like to see what the wind can do to the lone trees out in the paddocks and a salt lake, at Port Gregory I’m told, that looked great in the evening. It came up as pink which is common in the west. It’s called Pink Lake but westerners have a tendency to reuse names a lot. The colour comes from bacteria in the ground that also turns carrots orange.
We walked across it for about a half hour maybe and helped leave an impression. I had a feel with my hand and there’s no shame in having a taste of the salt you’ve just touched; it’s one of the things Western Australia is well known for. When our time at the lake was up we completed the drive to the town of Kalbarri.
When you’re here, have some dinner over at Finlay’s Fish BBQ Restaurant. I’m angry at myself for not getting any pics of the place but it has a really good outdoor setting and the seafood was great; they also have meat and I assume vegetarian options available too. We didn’t spend much time in the town itself but I found it easy to get around on foot and it does provide water activities like kayaking.
And now we’ve come to the cherry on the top (big MEH if you don’t like my use of words.)
Kalbarri National Park was certainly one of the highlights, if not the spark that inspired my big travels around Australia. I guess the draw card anyone would need to come is Nature’s Window at the Loop. This rock formation isn’t a long or difficult walk from the car park (just keep away from the ledges) and by looking through it you’re given a brilliant shot of the rugged landscape below featuring the 130m deep gorges and the Murchison River, hence the name.
Whilst we were at the Window we took turns having pictures taken of ourselves ‘hanging’ off a ledge (not the ones we were walking along earlier); keep it in mind if you like freaking your parentals out.
The park has several lookouts that’re bound to keep your cameras busy and jaws dropping (I think my group and I went to Z Bend Lookout but I’m not so sure), and visitors are able to climb down the gorge and swim in the river which is what we did of course.
However, in the interest of safety this climb should only be attempted by people who’re physically abled; I’m not trying to poke anyone but there’s no continuous set of stairs and most of the time we were going over rocks that weren’t exactly flat to walk on. I didn’t have my daypack (brilliant idea it was not) with me so I was juggling a water bottle, camera and towel all at the same time, so KEEP YOUR HANDS FREE!!! But reaching the bottom was certainly its own rewards. I could’ve spent the whole day there.
So that’s what I’ve got to say about this brilliant display of nature and everything we saw leading up to it. Oh and here’s a fun fact for anyone concerned about Australia’s deadly wildlife, the scorpions at Kalbarri used to be bigger than Chihuahuas.