Day 91: 28 August – Not your average Monday…

Author: Mrs A

Location: Kalbarri

Distance kayaked: unknown – time 3 hours

Distance hiked: 4 km

In spite of hearing rumbling thunder all around us, we made the decision to head out on to the Murchison River estuary for an explore in our pack rafts this morning. Lightning strikes were seen in the distance, but for the most part it was dry for our paddle. As always we were lucky enough to see lots of birdlife including pelicans, kites, a kestrel, turns diving for fish and more. And no other boats on the water.

We weren’t lucky the whole time though, with the clouds taking a sudden turn and then dumping their cargo on our heads. We returned to the car, deflated the boats and went back to the mobile apartment for hot showers and lunch.

After drying off and warming up we decided to head off again, this time in the car to see more of Kalbarri National Park, the coastal aspect. And what a coastline it is. This seems to be south-west WA’s answer to the Great Ocean Road, without the flies and icy cold winds, with rock formations including the likes of ‘Island Rock’, ‘Natural Bridge’, ‘Castle Cove’, ‘Grandstand Rock Gorge’ and ‘Eagle Gorge’. There is an 8km walk along the cliff tops linking all of these, but we didn’t have time to do the whole thing, so did short walks between sections.

There has been quite a bit of money spent on these decking walkways – stunningly crafted along the edge of the cliff with no barriers, tastefully designed to complement the scenery. As we walked along whales breached and fin slapped out at sea and a number of kestrels swooped artfully along the sheer walls. We even saw a stunning bright blue Splendid Fairy Wren – sadly too far out of reach of my camera to get a good photo.

And there was non-feathery wildlife also. At one lookout we arrived to find a rock wallaby waiting for us in the carpark, while at another an echidna strolled nonchalantly across the road in front of us. Just magic!

Our final evening at Kalbarri finished with a lovely sunset and the promise of more storm activity tonight to see us on our way south. We really feel we have only touched on the surface of Kalbarri – there are so many paddling, biking and hiking opportunities here, a week or more would have been better. 

Regardless, tomorrow we head off towards Geraldton via Northampton to adventures new.

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